The UK health and social care research system needs urgent action to recover and grow following the disruption caused by COVID-19. Our new guidance will help researchers to take that action.
The COVID-19 pandemic delayed much ‘standard’ health and social care research as the NHS responded quickly to support the coronavirus effort. The NHS is still struggling for capacity. The research community has come together to review the full research portfolio to make sure that precious NHS resources are focussed on studies that can be completed.
Sponsors and funders have been asked to review their study portfolios and make changes to any which are struggling to deliver (for example, studies which are not meeting recruitment targets, or studies where the delivery plan is not practical due to the availability of staff). Giving as many studies as possible the chance of completing and generating evidence will require closure of studies that are not viable.
We’re ready to support sponsors and funders with taking forward these actions in a proportionate and efficient way. We have created new guidance aimed specifically at handling changes, amendments, or early closure as a result. This guidance brings together all the relevant guidance from existing processes, as well as setting out key principles to consider in the current context.