The NIHR enables patients and medical professionals to participate in high quality research that benefits the NHS and the public. Every year, the NIHR publishes statistics to provide a general picture of health and social care research in England, including how many participants are taking part in research and how many studies are supported by the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN), including studies sponsored by the life sciences industry. 2018/19 was a record-breaking year for research in the CRN.
Record numbers are taking part in research
2018/19 was a record-breaking year for research, with 875,250 participants taking part in studies across England - the highest since records began and an increase of 140,000 on the previous year. This number of participants is the equivalent of 2,383 per day!
Every Trust in England offers an opportunity to get involved
100% of NHS Trusts recruited participants into studies. Wherever patients are based in the country, there is an opportunity for them to get involved in research.
More studies are open to participants
Year on year study growth is at record levels for the third year running. 6,106 studies were supported by the CRN in 2018/19 - an increase of over 300 from 2017/18. 2,194 of these were new studies.
Life sciences studies continue to flourish
More life sciences studies were open in 2018/19 than ever before, with 1,523 commercial studies supported by the CRN recruiting 46,064 participants and making innovative treatments available to patients. Nearly half of these (740) were new studies.
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 and benefits everyone involved. This year, we delivered 82% of non commercial studies and 69% of commercial studies to time and target.
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 2018/19, we helped recruit 42,024 participants to dementia and neurodegeneration studies - the equivalent to 115 participants per day and an increase of 27% from last year.
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.
Why are the numbers so important?
Jonathan Sheffield, CEO of the NIHR Clinical Research Network, discusses the annual statistics and what they mean for health and social care research in England: