Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust is one of the top Trusts leading the way in providing opportunities for patients to take part in clinical research studies. Highlighted in a league table1 published for the first time by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network, Oxford University Hospitals recruited the fifth highest number of patients in England (11, 412) in 2010/11, to the seventh highest number of studies (220).
Praising the achievement of the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, Dr Jonathan Sheffield, Chief Executive of the NIHR Clinical Research Network, said: “This is fantastic news and illustrates that our partners at OUH are truly placing research at the core of NHS business. Their recruitment of 11,412 patients indicates a strong commitment to research and innovation as well as their drive to improve clinical outcomes for patients. We are keen to see other Trusts follow their example and truly embed research as a standard option within their care culture.
“We know that 97% of Trusts take part in research, but it’s important to look behind that figure to see the true picture. The league table helps us recognise the research commitment of NHS staff throughout England, but also shows that we still need to do more to put research on the radar in some areas of the NHS.”
Fostering a research-active culture brings a host of benefits for patients, clinicians and the NHS. It drives innovation, gives rise to better and more cost-effective treatments, and creates opportunities for staff development. Growing evidence also suggests that NHS organisations that are research-active appear to do better in overall performance, and an organisation’s research activity is linked to improved patient outcomes.2
Commenting on the league table results, Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Adviser for the Department of Health, said: “Clinical research is not just for the large teaching hospitals – it is absolutely core business for all NHS Trusts. A recent MORI poll showed that 72% of people would want to be offered the chance to take part in a clinical trial if they had a health condition that was affecting their daily life3. Data from the NIHR Clinical Research Network4 shows us that high quality research is happening, but we could be doing more. We need all Trusts to look at how they can increase the opportunities for patients to take part in research.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
1. Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust research activity:
• 220 research studies recruiting patients in 2010/11
• 11412 patients recruited into research studies in 2010/11
This data is from the NIHR Clinical Research Network Portfolio 2010/11; a national database of studies, which are supported by the NIHR Clinical Research Network. Only studies that meet specific eligibility criteria set by the Department of Health are included in the Portfolio. These are high quality studies that have been awarded funds as a result of open national competition, for research that is of clear value to the NHS and which takes account of Department of Health and NHS priorities.
3. Patient participation is purely voluntary and requires patient consent. A document explaining how anonymised data supports research called ‘Your health records save lives’ is available at: www.ukcrc.org/publications/informationbooklets/
4. The Clinical Research Network is part of the National Institute for Health Research.
We provide researchers with the practical support they need to make clinical studies happen in the NHS, so that more research takes place across England, and more patients can take part.
This practical support includes:
• Reducing the “red-tape” around setting up a study
• Enhancing NHS resources, by funding the people and facilities needed to carry out research “on the ground”
• Helping researchers to identify suitable NHS sites, and recruit patients to take part in research studies
• Advising researchers on how to make their study “work” in the NHS environment