Resources and links

Commercial performance monitoring

For research eligible for our Clinical Research Network (CRN) Portfolio, the CRN provides dedicated resource and infrastructure to help enable NHS sites throughout England to successfully deliver your study.

Our training and facilities ensure NHS research staff have the necessary skills and environment in which to conduct and deliver high-quality research.

This infrastructure includes:

  • funded research support posts in Local Clinical Research Networks to support delivery of portfolio studies
  • dedicated clinical time for research for active clinical investigators funded by the Clinical Research Network
  • dedicated Industry Managers in each of the 15 Local Clinical Research Networks to support study set-up and delivery
  • current study status (both overall and at site level) via the Open Data Platform (ODP), which is updated on a daily basis
  • access to extensive training programmes, ranging from core skills (e.g. ICH Good Clinical Practice) to therapeutic area courses
  • funded Clinical Research Network posts in support services (e.g. pharmacy, radiology) to overcome potential barriers to research
  • dedicated R&D staff in NHS Trusts throughout the Network to support research management and governance of NIHR CRN supported studies

Local Clinical Research Networks place trained staff where clinical trial support is needed. For example, they:

  • assign staff to under recruiting studies – to identify and manage issues and prevent associated delays
  • assign experienced staff to work in partnership with new investigators – to maintain high quality study delivery whilst increasing research capacity.

As well as site resource support, we also provide the following services:

Study Milestone Schedule

The Study Milestone Schedule helps the Sponsor and the CRN refine study expectations. It details the sites which are being supported by the CRN and supports collaborative working by defining joint timelines and recruitment targets. The form is also a useful tool that supports proactive study performance management both nationally and locally.

The Sponsor and CRN work together to complete the Study Milestone Schedule following final site selection, and a recruitment data upload form is issued. This process is managed in the Central Portfolio Management System (CPMS).

Recruitment updates

The Network works closely with companies to monitor site set up and recruitment into our CRN Portfolio of studies.

A specific and crucial condition of inclusion in the CRN Portfolio is that the Network receives recruitment updates for your study on a monthly basis to enable accurate performance management and future feasibility. Site recruitment updates must be provided  via CPMS in the appropriately specified format using the recruitment data upload form that was issued when the SMS was agreed; you will receive a monthly email from the CRN to remind you to do this. Patient recruitment will be collected for all UK study sites (Network and non-Network) once the study is open to recruitment.

Performance monitoring

Our Red-Amber-Green (RAG) reporting system on the Open Data Platform (ODP) enables the Network to apply active performance management as they provide a nationwide understanding of recruitment and pin-point areas for attention.

  • Green status sites can provide learnings to other sites to deliver to time and target
  • Amber statuses provide an early flag that delivery is heading off target or time and enables investigation and early resolution any issues affecting the study or site
  • Red statuses are off target or time and require urgent attention and resource to ensure successful delivery
  • These reports also highlight sites that have not recruited any patients for local investigation

This report enables Local CRN staff to manage your study actively on a site-by-site basis, ensuring everyone involved with study delivery is aware of the recruitment status of the study.

Overall performance

Our CRN also has an overall target for delivery of research across the NHS and these are reported in our Quarterly Performance Reports which are available via the links to the right.