The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) measures its effectiveness against High Level Objectives (HLOs), agreed with the Department of Health and Social Care. The HLOs are the CRN’s national, overarching annual objectives for research delivery in the NHS and other health and social care settings.
Each year the HLOs are reviewed to ensure they reflect the national priorities at the time. For example, in 2020/21 an Urgent Public Health and a Restart objective was introduced in response to COVID-19 and served as an indicator of wider NIHR policy.
In 2021/22 the focus became managing research recovery and during 2022/23 two new measures of the Efficient Study Delivery Objective were added to reflect the expectation that the CRN demonstrates efficiency in supporting the delivery of studies on the NIHR CRN portfolio, as set out in The Future of Clinical Research Delivery: 2022 to 2025 implementation plan.
Alongside these topical objectives, a number of other objectives are constant across recent years, for example, ‘demonstrating to people taking part in health and social care research studies that their contribution is valued’.
The HLOs for the most recent four years can be found in the reports linked below, alongside the CRN’s performance against each objective.
The CRN reports on its performance on a quarterly and annual basis to the DHSC. Annual performance reports can be found below.
Each year the CRN also publishes its annual statistics.