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More than 80,000 sign up to NHS research in Yorkshire and Humber in 2017/18

Date: 18 July 2018

More than 80,000 sign up to NHS research in Yorkshire and Humber in 2017/18

  • Increase of almost 10,000 on 2016/17

The Yorkshire and Humber region continues to be a hotbed for the number of patients taking part in clinical research studies in the NHS, with more than 80,000 participants being given access to new and better treatments, according to figures out today from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

In 2017/18, 82,909 people took part in research delivered through NHS trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) from April 2017 to March 2018. This represents an increase of almost 10,000 on the previous year (72,944), according to figures published in the NIHR NHS Research Activity League Table*.

One participant in research was Leeds man Paul Driver, who is currently taking part in the NIHR and Cancer Research UK-funded FOCUS4 trial into advanced bowel cancer.

He said: “It’s the data itself which is important and all the results are important. I know I can’t talk about curing my cancer but I can help other people.”

Nationally, 53% of NHS trusts increased their research activity, as did 48% of CCGs.

The number of NHS organisations offering patients the chance to participate in life sciences industry research rose across England - with 34% of NHS trusts and 28% of CCG regions increasing the number of commercial studies they supported.

It was a strong year for NHS trusts in Yorkshire with Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT) and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust both placed in the top 10 nationally for number of studies supported during the year. LTHT sits fourth while Sheffield Teaching Hospitals is ninth.

LTHT is top nationally for increase in recruitment in all studies, with 19,179 in 2017/18 compared to 12,431 in 2016/17. Sheffield Teaching Hospitals is 10th, with 14,484 representing a yearly increase of 2,994.

Dr Jacqueline Andrews, Director for Research and Innovation at LTHT, said: "We are delighted that Leeds Teaching Hospitals has been able to contribute so significantly to NIHR recruitment to studies this year.

“We are looking forward to even closer partnership working with NIHR in 18/19 when our new £4million 18-bed Clinical Research Facility opens in spring 2019.

“We thank all our research-active staff who have embraced new ways of working, to deliver a greater volume of research to ensure our patients have access to the very latest developments in research and innovation."

Professor Simon Heller, Director of Research and Development at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to have given more patients than ever before access to ground-breaking clinical research, which is pivotal in helping doctors and scientists better understand how diseases work and bringing potentially life-changing technologies and treatments to the clinic.

“The large increase in numbers in Sheffield is in part thanks to a large online study in diabetes, which used social media to recruit patients, our leading Public Patient Involvement panel, which is one of ten sites testing national public involvement in research standards, our dedicated Clinical Research and Innovation Office and our strengthening partnership with both the city’s universities.”

Alongside LTHT and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals in the top 10 for recruiting trusts in all studies is Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, with 12,489 participants, an increase of 38% on 2016/17.

Professor John Wright, Director of Bradford Institute for Health Research, said: “This is an amazing achievement for Bradford and demonstrates the commitment from our doctors and nurses and the support from our patients to be a City of Research.

“Ten years ago Bradford was playing non-league for medical research and today we are in the top half of the premiership. What a journey!”

There were positive stories, too, for CCGs in the region. NHS Vale of York CCG maintained its 10th place nationally from the previous year for number of studies supported, with 28 studies.

NHS Harrogate and Rural District CCG came fourth nationally in increase in number of studies; with 16 up from six in 2016/17, and this rise also saw them placed second in England for percentage increase in studies, at 167%.

Paul Carder, Head of Research at West Yorkshire Research and Development, on behalf of NHS Harrogate and Rural District CCG, said: “This is great news and highlights the willingness and dedication of our general practices to participate in and embrace new research and innovation that improves the quality of care that is delivered in the community and enhances our patients’ outcomes."

Professor Alistair Hall, Clinical Director of the NIHR Clinical Research Network Yorkshire and Humber, which supports the delivery of clinical research in the region, said the picture was looking bright now and in the future.

“Through our NHS trusts and CCGs, we continue to offer our patients access to the latest treatments.

“That we do so is testament to the hard work of research-active NHS staff who have really developed a research culture in our region. They sit at the vanguard of new NHS innovation in the service’s 70th year.”

To see the League Table, go here: www.nihr.ac.uk/nihrleaguetable

*To note, 1,221 people were recruited to studies from non-NHS settings such as universities in 2017/18. This brings the total for recruitment up to 84,130.

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    More than 80,000 people signed up to NHS research in Yorkshire and Humber in 2017/18 - an increase of almost 10,000 on 2016/17
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