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Research to be recognised by regulators for its role in improving patient care

Date: 11 January 2018

Recent evidence suggests that hospitals that support high quality patient-centred research can show better healthcare outcomes for patients. This has led to a partnership between the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), the Health Research Authority (HRA) and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), together with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), to develop new research indicators for use as part of CQC’s monitoring and inspection programme.

The indicators are initially being developed to better recognise NHS Trusts who are working to ensure patients get the benefit of early access to medical innovations and help boost knowledge of the most effective healthcare techniques. Under the NHS Constitution, patients already have the right to information on opportunities to join in relevant research and with support from NIHR, a record number of patients over the last year have been able to take part in research studies.

William van’t Hoff, NIHR Clinical Director for NHS Engagement, said:

“Evidence is emerging that patients have better outcomes at research-active hospitals, regardless of whether they took part in the research studies. Well-led healthcare organisations support patients to join cutting-edge research projects and clinical trials. We are delighted to be working with our research partners and CQC to help more NHS and care organisations recognise the value that clinical research plays in improving health.” 

Whilst the number of research studies being undertaken in NHS trusts is on the increase, there is still some work to do to enable more patients to access research opportunities. The partnership recognises the existing strong framework of research governance and assessment of research performance. The new indicators, which should be available by spring 2018, aim to give NHS organisations the opportunity to showcase research as part of their assessment by the CQC, demonstrating their commitment to high quality patient care.

For more information or to provide feedback about this work, please contact Sarah Birch, Stakeholder Engagement Officer.

  • Summary:
    Recent evidence suggests that hospitals that support high quality patient-centred research can show better healthcare outcomes for patients. This has led to a partnership between the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), the Health Research Authority (HRA) and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), together with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), to develop new research indicators for use as part of CQC’s monitoring and inspection programme.
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