Key Statistics 2017/18

Record numbers involved in research

Over 2017/18, a total of 725,333 people participated in NIHR CRN supported clinical research studies - the highest number since records began and an 8.8% increase since 2016/17.

More people than ever take part in life sciences industry studies

More people than ever before took part in life sciences industry research in 2017/18, gaining earlier access to potentially cutting edge new treatments. The Network helped recruit 50,112 people into commercially funded clinical research studies across England - a 45% increase from 2016/17, bringing the total number to 179,744 participants over the last five years.

Number of studies open

Throughout the year, a total of 5,804 studies were supported by the NIHR CRN in England (a 6% increase from 2016/17), of which 1,375 were commercial studies funded by the life sciences industry (a 11% increase from 2016/17).

NHS engagement in research

For the third year running, 99% of NHS trusts recruited patients to clinical research studies,  while 82% of NHS trusts were involved in clinical research sponsored by the life sciences industry.

Increased investment in clinical research

The number of new health research studies being set up over the year was also at its highest level yet, with the NIHR CRN pledging its support to 2,070 new studies in 2017/18 - of which 697 were new studies sponsored by the life sciences industry. 

Improved study set-up and delivery

Ensuring studies can set up on time, recruit to target and be delivered more efficiently is a key objective of the CRN. This year, we achieved our target for the second year running for non-commercial research - delivering 80% of studies to time and target. While 74% of commercial studies were delivered to time and target, an improvement of 1% since last year.

The Network continues to work closely with research sites to support studies to set up rapidly, which is important to demonstrate that the UK is internationally competitive. This year we supported the recruitment of 24 global and 5 European first patients into multiple specialty areas.

Increased opportunities to participate in dementia research

Supporting the Government’s Dementia Challenge by enabling people to take part in dementia studies is a key priority for NIHR and the CRN. In 2017/18, we helped recruit 33,208 people for dementia and neurodegeneration studies - a significant increase of nearly 5,000 participants from 2016/17.

A significant proportion of these people were recruited through Join Dementia Research, an online service which delivers opportunities for people to play their part in beating dementia through research.

Annual stats 2017/18: Why they matter

Jonathan Sheffield OBE, Chief Executive Officer of NIHR CRN, shares his views on NIHR's Annual Statistics 2017/18.

Matt Cooper, NIHR CRN Business Development and Marketing Director shares his views on NIHR's Annual Statistics 2017/18.

Find out more

View an infographic of our key statistics 2017/18

View a PDF of the key statistics for research delivery in the NHS 2017/18

View the NIHR Research Activity League Table 2017/18

Read the Annual Statistics 2017/18 press release here

Read a blog by Dr Phil Evans, National Specialty Lead for Primary Care