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Patient Recruitment Centre: Exeter

Patient Recruitment Centre (PRC): Exeter is committed to efficiently setting up and delivering late-phase, large-scale commercial clinical trials in the NHS. The PRC is hosted by the Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which provides core services to 615,000 people across Devon.

It is 1 of 5 PRCs funded by the NIHR, specialising in participant recruitment and delivery of commercial clinical trials, led by a team of dedicated research professionals.

The PRC goes the extra mile to ensure participants experience a gold standard of care. Since PRC: Exeter launched, it has achieved an outstanding participant retention rate of 94% for every clinical trial to date.

Explore PRC: Exeter

Research expertise and facilities

PRC: Exeter combines state-of-the-art infrastructure, exceptional research talent and robust project management to deliver the best possible experience to those who work with it. From study initiation to exceeding recruitment targets, the PRC offers innovative and creative solutions to achieve research goals.

Consistently surpassing targets for speed and efficiency, and achieving time-to-target goals, the PRC has a remarkable reputation for timely study setup and delivery. Its proven track record of success has made it the preferred choice for organisations seeking reliable partners for their commercial research initiatives.

The PRC’s expertise spans a large number of therapeutic areas and it recently celebrated successes across key areas such as:

  • cardiology
  • microbiology
  • respiratory
  • gastroenterology
  • diabetes
  • COVID-19 vaccine trials

Research at the Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

The Royal Devon is a large trust delivering core services to a population of over 615,000 people through 2 acute hospitals, 20 community locations and care provided in people’s own homes. It also has research facilities available at sites in Heavitree, Exeter and North Devon District Hospital.

The PRC site encompasses UK Accreditation Service certified facilities including laboratories, imaging services, and pathology services.

Digital expertise has earned the Royal Devon a strong reputation for innovative technology and transformation projects, such as the adoption of electronic patient records via the EPIC system, the MYCare delivery model, and the use of the Local Portfolio Management Systems EDGE system for expressions of interest management.

Find out more about research at the Royal Devon. 

Regional reach

Devon’s unique demographic presents distinct challenges:

  • approximately 20% of the population of Devon are aged 65-84
  • 3.5% are aged over 85
  • approximately 5% of the Devon population live in the most deprived 20% of areas nationally

PRC: Exeter has excellent relationships with local networks including primary care, enabling recruitment from a community of more than 160,000 patients within 30 minutes’ drive.

Collaboration and partnerships

The Royal Devon has a strong partnership with the University of Exeter, working together to deliver world-class research via the Joint Research Office. The partnership includes the NIHR Exeter Clinical Research Facility and the NIHR Exeter Biomedical Research Centre.

The University of Exeter has extremely strong clinical networks including national and international academic collaborations in key areas supporting trials across specialties such as dementia, diabetes, genetics, and many other areas.

The PRC: Exeter has other important regional research delivery partnerships with the Academic Health Science Network and the local Strategic Transformation Plans. Its existing collaborations with life science industry partners and established networks across the NIHR infrastructure enable it to dramatically reduce the length of time it takes for study setup.

Patients and public

PRC: Exeter puts the public at the heart of everything it does. Its services are shaped with the public in mind, and it strives to provide an outstanding research journey.

When patients take part in research studies at the PRC, they can expect a personalised experience that puts them in control of their care.

This includes:

  • an accessible and welcoming environment
  • one-to-one clinical contact
  • support from a warm and friendly team
  • clear and relevant information materials tailored to your needs
  • expert personal support and advice
  • dedicated follow-up care

Patients taking part in trials at the PRC meet the team of doctors, nurses, assistant research practitioners, pharmacists and administrators who will provide support and expertise.

What kind of studies are available?

Some trials are for healthy volunteers and others are for people with specific medical conditions. The trials run by the PRC are usually “late phase” clinical trials. This means that the treatments have already undergone safety testing and are now being used in larger numbers of volunteers.

View the latest ongoing trials by area or Become a research champion.



Patient Recruitment Centre: Exeter

Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (Wonford)

Barrack Rd



View PRC: Exeter on Google maps