Data on performance in initiating and delivering clinical research

The NIHR analyses data submitted each quarter to the Performance in Initiating and Delivering  Clinical Research (PID) exercise to understand how quickly providers of NHS services are recruiting patients to clinical trials and how they are performing against their contractual requirements.

We publish a comparison table showing the performance of all organisations that submit to the PID exercise, and trend analyses showing performance across the country as a whole.

Providers of NHS services with NIHR contracts are required to publish their organisation’s performance data on their website.

Comparable performance data

We collate and publish data from the more than 200 providers of NHS services that submit data on initiating and delivering clinical research.  

This data allows organisations to compare their performance against that of similarly sized providers and collaborate to improve. The data also helps drive increases in the number of patients that have the opportunity to participate in research and enhances the nation’s attractiveness as a host for research.

As of 2018, improvement in clinical trial performance and reducing site set up and participant recruitment time is no longer assessed with a 70 day benchmark. Instead, analyses focus on transparency, accuracy, and meeting sponsor expectations.

Trend data

We analyse trends over time in performance in initiating and delivering clinical research, to understand performance of the NHS as a whole. In particular we look at:

  • how quickly participants are recruited once a study is set up (time between date site selected and first participant recruited)
  • how many clinical trial participants are recruited to time and target.

Performance in initiating clinical research

The following graph shows the progression over time of the distribution of the initiation interval, from Date Site Selected (DSS) to First Participant Recruited (FPR), for providers of NHS services subject to an NIHR contract, since Quarter 4 2016-17.

N.B. While submissions are quarterly, the scope of data submitted is a rolling 12 months’ of data.

The number of providers whose data were analysed in a given quarterly submission is included in square brackets beneath each quarter.

DSS = Date Site Selected

FPR = First Patient Recruited

Absolute Data = All clinical trials submitted to the Clinical Trial Performance team

Performance in delivering clinical research

The following graph shows the number of trials submitted to each quarter for the Performance in Delivering exercise, and how many trials met their target, out of trials with an agreed target, and out of all trials submitted.


N.B. While submissions are quarterly, the scope of data submitted is a rolling 12 months’ of data.

'Agreed target' means there is both a target number of participants, and a target date to recruit.

Data for each NHS provider

The Department of Health and Social Care requires providers of NHS services to publish on a quarterly basis data on:

  • initiation of clinical trials
  • recruitment to time and target for commercial contract clinical trials.

This information is published by each provider on their website.  We’ve collated in a table details of where each provider has published their data.

If you have any questions regarding the PID exercise, contact the NIHR Clinical Trial Performance team on