The NIHR National Patient Recruitment Centres (PRCs) are dedicated to setting up and delivering late phase commercial clinical trials in the NHS at pace and scale.
All five Centres work collaboratively through an innovative, national ‘franchise-like’ model to realise benefits and results for the life sciences industry.
These new recruitment engines, becoming operational in 2020, will make it easier and quicker to deliver commercial research in the UK.
The five National Patient Recruitment Centres (PRCs), which have been established in the National Health Service (NHS), are purpose-designed to increase the UK’s capacity to deliver late-phase commercial clinical research.
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. It also seeks to ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of medical science and the development of innovative new treatments.
The PRCs unique franchise-like operational model has been created to improve the speed and consistency with which commercial research is delivered, and also to provide an ideal test bed for future innovation in clinical research delivery. The PRCs will also increase opportunities for patients to benefit from early access to innovation by making the UK an even more attractive place to deliver cutting-edge commercial clinical research.
The five new Patient Recruitment Centres will be based within the following NHS trusts:
Our five National Patient Recruitment Centres (PRCs) utilise a collaborative franchise-like model to make it easier and quicker to deliver commercial research in the NHS. Our remarkable team ethos enables all five Centres to work in a harmonised manner, using shared processes, to provide:
Find out more about our new, standardised, national approach to costing and contracting for commercial contract research.
Our National Patient Recruitment Centres (PRCs) are geographically distributed throughout England and offer wide coverage of the country in terms of recruitment reach.
All five are all located outside of the well-known ‘golden triangle’ (an unofficial grouping of research universities in the cities of Cambridge, London and Oxford in the southeast of England). This represents a unique opportunity for life sciences companies. Through our feasibility processes, you can explore how we can help to match your clinical trials to clinical need across England, thereby boosting both recruitment and retention.
You will also discover that each Centre has unique selling points that contribute to their ability to act as recruitment engines. Each location offers a variety of opportunities to access different patient populations and areas of disease prevalence. This is facilitated through partnerships and collaborations across the health sector in each region. These connections, which include primary, secondary and community care organisations, extend each Centre’s recruitment reach far beyond the catchment area of the NHS trusts where the Centres are located.
This unique recruitment reach is then combined with forward-thinking recruitment strategies to deliver results on target and on time. For example, our PRCs are adopting a multiple-modality approach to recruitment. They have the ability to reach beyond the hospital’s specialist clinics and offer research opportunities to patients with conditions that are often managed in the community by their GP or pharmacist. Think asthma, think IBS (Inflammatory Bowel Disease), think episodic headaches - to name just a few common chronic conditions now managed predominantly in primary care in the UK.
This proactive and inclusive approach to recruitment does not rely on the right patient walking into the right clinic, at the right time. Instead we reach out into the local community and empower patients to volunteer for research. We do this by utilising health-related campaigns to drive enrollment to our rapidly expanding “consent to be contacted” research registers. So in addition to the usual recruitment methods, expect social media, local press and radio, and adverts on pharmacy shelves raising awareness of research participation opportunities.
Add to this our unparalleled access to NHS data. Whether it's sense checking study feasibility, or analysing electronic health records to identify and invite suitable participants, we work with our partners across the region to optimise the opportunities that access to NHS data presents.
Also consider that all five Centres were selected in open national competition. Each Centre was required to evidence a proven track record of delivering late-phase commercial research to time and target at scale that is at or above the 2018/19 published national average of 69%.
We are all about continuous improvement in the National Patient Recruitment Centres (PRCs). Our franchise model is designed to support and disseminate innovation in commercial research delivery, across all five Centres, to improve quality and efficiency.
So as well as adopting innovative recruitment strategies (see reach and reliability), we’ll also be adopting innovative functionality, best practice, and best-in-class commercial business processes wherever possible.
For example, implementing a ‘digital first’ approach is high on our list of priorities and, from launch in 2020, we will be working towards providing a consistent digital platform to support delivery of all studies across all five Centres. We’ll also be undertaking and managing future configuration work to support new process models, work flows and organisational changes as required.
As a result, we offer an excellent customer experience to life sciences companies placing studies in the Centres. As a customer you will benefit from working with a dedicated team, with an abundance of our commercial expertise and experience, that is 100% focused on delivering commercial research.
We also offer a personalised, concierge-style service to your participants throughout their research journey which includes a patient tracking and booking system. We will always ensure that our Centres are accessible through appropriate hours of operation to maximise engagement with patients irrespective of their working hours, mobility, and more.
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 use the details below to contact your nearest National Patient Recruitment Centre (PRC):