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New NHS trust tops clinical research league table for first time in 8 years


For the first time in eight years a new trust has topped the NIHR Clinical Research Network Research Activity League Table for the highest number of studies. Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust undertook the most clinical research studies with 567 supported studies during 2018/19. To improve future treatments and care for patients, the trust is supporting a wide range of studies from eczema prevention in newborns to better understanding outcomes for people with sepsis.

The league table is published by the NIHR Clinical Research Network each year and provides a picture of research activity across all NHS trusts and CCG regions in England. The table data includes how much clinical research is happening, where, in what types of trusts, and involving how many patients.

2018/19 has been a record breaking year for clinical research across England, with a total of 870,250 participants taking part in NIHR Clinical Research Network supported studies - the highest number on record with an increase of 140,000 more than in 2017/18. Last year more than 6,000 studies were supported by the NIHR Clinical Research Network and 50% of NHS trusts and 61% of CCG regions increased the number of studies that were available to patients.

Jonathan Sheffield, Chief Executive Officer of the NIHR Clinical Research Network says:

“It’s been a fantastic year for health and care research across England, with 100% of trusts supporting research studies, providing patients with more opportunities than ever before to take part in vital research which improves future treatment and care.  

“There’s a growing body of evidence which suggests that research-active hospitals have lower mortality rates, and better patient outcomes, so the NIHR Clinical Research Network will continue to work closely with NHS organisations to ensure that research continues to be offered to people as part of quality patient care.  

“The number of patients taking part in research this year is a significant step towards meeting the NHS Long Term Plan, of one million people being registered as interested in taking part in research by 2024.  I would like to congratulate Guy’s and St Thomas’ for topping the table this year, and also thank all those hard working, NHS staff across the country, supporting the delivery of research on top of their other clinical duties. We couldn’t achieve these results without you.”

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has achieved the biggest increase in the number of studies available to patients to participate in, with an increase of 68 studies bringing their total number to 466. 

In line with NIHR Clinical Research Network priorities, to bring easier access to research opportunities for patients where they live, Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust tops the table for the number of patients recruited into studies, with 37,122 patients recruited in 2018/19.

See the results of your local trust or CCG region by visiting: