The NIHR National Patient Recruitment Centres (NPRCs) are the first family of NIHR-funded research facilities that are 100% dedicated to delivering commercial research.
They are purpose-designed to increase the UK’s capacity to deliver large scale, late-phase commercial clinical trials and to make it easier and quicker to deliver commercial research in our NHS.
By attracting more commercial research to the UK, NPRCs will also increase opportunities for NHS patients to access cutting edge treatment and therapies that are not yet widely available through the NHS.
Five purpose-designed National Patient Recruitment Centres (NPRCs) have been established in the National Health Service (NHS) to:
They bring to life one of the Sector Deal 2 commitments contributing to the Government’s Life Sciences Industrial Strategy which sets out a series of measures to strengthen the UK’s clinical research environment and improve the UK’s competitiveness in the global market.
With a special focus on common chronic conditions, these research facilities have a number of unique features which offer new ways to conduct late-phase, large-scale commercial research projects. Speed, efficiency, innovation and continuous improvement are key drivers of this new initiative which will help to maintain the UK’s position as a global destination for commercial clinical research.
The five new National Patient Recruitment Centres will be based within the following NHS trusts:
On this page you will find further information and a number of resources describing how the National Patient Recruitment Centres will achieve these aims including an introductory video, webinar recording and an eBrochure. A plain text version of the eBrochure is also available.
You can also access resources from the official launch of the National Patient Recruitment Centres, which took place in November 2020:
An innovative and unique franchise-like operating model has been purpose-designed for the NPRCs to improve the speed and consistency with which commercial research is delivered. This approach is facilitated by our remarkable team ethos which enables all five centres to work in a harmonised manner to deliver the following benefits:
Find out more about our new, standardised, national approach to costing and contracting for commercial contract research.
The NPRCs were selected through an open national competition which required them to evidence a proven track record of delivering late-phase commercial research to time and target at scale. Each centre is receiving £1,309,280 of pump-priming funding over three years to support the planning, set-up and delivery of more late-phase commercial research. This means you can expect:
We provide a range of opportunities for life sciences companies to access a broad cross section of the UK patient population.
The NPRC unique franchise-like model is an evolution of how we deliver commercial research in the NHS environment. It builds upon the strengths of the NIHR Study Support Service provided by the NIHR Clinical Research Network and takes our collaborative culture, for which the UK is renowned, to the next level. This synergistic way of working seeks to develop and test new process models and work flows to improve the quality and efficiency of research delivery.
Then, where efficiencies and improvements are achieved, the same franchise-like model supports the rapid dissemination and adoption of innovation, best practice and best-in-class commercial business processes across all five centres.
Agility is a key feature of our NPRC model and having the ability to adapt quickly to new challenges and situations has never been more important than in the global COVID-19 pandemic.
From piloting patient simulations to running real world research, we are keen to explore new opportunities.
The patient’s experience is our priority.
We offer a personalised, concierge-style service to all participants throughout their research journey.
Each centre has a welcoming waiting area, especially for trial participants, with free refreshments and parking. We also ensure that our centres are accessible through appropriate hours of operation to maximise engagement with patients irrespective of their working hours, mobility, and more.
Here are some quotes from trial participants:
“I was welcomed by friendly and knowledgeable medical research staff. The purpose and nature of the study had already been explained in the emailed patient information sheet, but all the staff were pleased to be able to explain it all again and answer any questions that I had. It was very reassuring.”
Novavax COVID19 vaccine trial, October 2020, at PRC: Exeter. Read the full story.
“The team really put me at ease and have regularly checked up on me either by phone or through a web call. It has made the whole experience so much easier.
“The fact that it’s virtual means there is no need to travel far in order to speak with the staff, which is useful as a student. The delivery of the product was very quick and efficient.”
Relieve IBS-D virtual trial, September 2020, at PRC: Newcastle. Read the full case study.
If you are a life science company looking to run a study you can contact the National Patient Recruitment Centre Programme Office by email:
Please visit the web pages of your nearest National Patient Recruitment Centre (PRC) and contact the centre directly.