Our 2019/20 annual report explains what we do, what we’ve achieved and some of the challenges we face. It also includes information about our finances which demonstrate how we have spent the public money we are trusted with.
Our strategy sets out how we aim to achieve our vision of high-quality health and social care research that improves people’s health and wellbeing. This strategy was refreshed in 2019, refining our focus to three key areas:
Overall we’ve had a successful year with much to celebrate.
Reflecting on the last year Teresa Allen, our chief executive said: “Like organisations throughout the UK and beyond, the final quarter of the 2019/20 financial year was dominated by COVID-19. With our dual role of reviewing research studies in the interests of participants and facilitating research across health and social care, our work is central to the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. We have been able to respond to the huge call on our services at this time because of the work we did in 2019 to restructure our approvals activity, embrace technology and support our staff and volunteers to work in different ways. This has enabled us to maintain our business continuity, enhance our service across the board and adapt our whole business model to remote working.
"During the last few months, the HRA Board has worked with staff to review and refresh our strategy and goals. We are determined to ensure that the HRA, as a research enabler, is agile and responsive and can adapt to the challenges of an ever-changing environment and we will do more in the year ahead to streamline our regulatory approach, including how we review studies using patient data without consent. We have an incredible pool of volunteer members, including expert advisors, who have once again made an enormous contribution to our work.
"All of this work during 2019/20 has enabled us to respond quickly to the coronavirus pandemic and to take our volunteers and the wider research community with us. Our fast-track review process for COVID-19 studies, through which urgent research is reviewed in as little as 24 hours, has shown that we are a responsive and nimble organisation. Our next step is to learn from this extraordinary way of working and to consider options for adapting our regulatory processes in the future. During 2020, we will work with others to consider what opportunities this has created and how we can continue to work in a responsible and nimble way when other areas of research restart.”
Read our annual report in full to find out more about our achievements, challenges and spending during 2019/20 and our plans for 2020/21.