Date: 02 July 2019
According to figures published today by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) a record 73,920 people took part in clinical research in the West Midlands in 2018/19 - the most ever in a single year.
The 2018/19 NIHR Research Activity League Table details how much clinical research is happening, where, in what types of Trusts, and involving how many participants. The League Table can be accessed from the website: www.nihr.ac.uk/nihrleaguetable.
The top five Trusts in the West Midlands for the total number of recruits to clinical research studies are:
In addition, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust featured in the top five for research activity in commercial studies (119), with University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust placed seventh nationally for the increase in commercial studies year on year (+9).
And all of the region’s Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) saw GP practices and other primary care settings increase the number of studies they were involved in++.
‘This is the second year running that we have exceeded the 70,000 mark, beating our target by almost 10,100 recruits. Of the 15 Networks in England, we recruited the second highest number of participants in the Primary Care specialty. When adjusted for the complexity of the studies, we also recruited the second highest total overall,’ says Clinical Director of the Clinical Research Network West Midlands (CRN WM) Professor Jeremy Kirk.
‘Without all the selfless participants, we wouldn’t be able to find new and better treatments for patients in the future. It is also a fantastic reflection of the hard work and enthusiasm of our dedicated staff and researchers in the region - our thanks go to all of them.’
Professor Kirk adds: ‘The increase in the number of patients taking part in clinical research last year and the improvements we are seeing in studies delivering to time and target are fantastic achievements that are contributing to better health and care outcomes in our region.
‘As a result, more and more patients will benefit from new and better treatments becoming available.’
Participants were recruited from all 25 of the NHS Trusts in the West Midlands, and from 40% of the region’s GP practices, which is the highest proportion we have ever achieved. We also extended our reach outside of the NHS, recruiting from 31 other sites including hospices, care homes, schools, universities and pharmacies.
David Loughton, Chief Executive of The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, which hosts the Network, comments: ‘We are delighted with this success story - the accomplishments of the CRN in the West Midlands are testament to the hard work and commitment of the excellent staff, and the willingness of participants to give up their time to help others.’
There are currently more than 1,000 different studies taking place in the West Midlands across 30 health specialties. You can read about the experiences of patients who have taken part in research in our region on the Network website: www.nihr.ac.uk/nihr-in-your-area/west-midlands/patients-and-public.htm and find details of a West Midlands-led study that changed practice worldwide here.
*Trust merged with Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust in 2018/19
++Three CCGs merged with Birmingham & Solihull CCG in 2018/19
For further information contact: Claire Hall, Communications Lead on 01902 447207.