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Study Support Service: National improvement plan for industry update

Date: 07 February 2019

The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) Study Support Service helps researchers and the life sciences industry plan, setup and deliver high quality research to time and target in the NHS in England.

During 2017, feedback was gathered from colleagues in the life sciences industry about the existing service provision - and in response to this, the CRN developed a national improvement plan for the delivery of the Study Support Service for commercial contract studies.

The overall objective of this project is to achieve greater customer satisfaction with respect to the delivery of the Study Support Service and three key workstreams have been identified and taken forward in the 2018/19 financial year.

These workstreams are Stakeholder Engagement, Effective Study Set-up, and Performance Monitoring. Workstream leads from the CRN's local and national teams have been working together to refine and update these processes. Colleagues from the CRN and life sciences industry have also been involved in working groups to take these areas forward this first phase of our improvement plan is nearly complete.

Further detail on each workstream can be found below:

Stakeholder engagement

The overall objective of this workstream is to optimise communication and engagement with the life sciences industry, providing consistent communication about our services and being clear on expectations for both parties (CRN and our customers).

Specifically this workstream aims to:

  • Ensure our customers understand what we offer
  • Ensure our customers know what we need from them
  • Establish an NIHR Champion programme
  • Improve our customer service

So, what can you expect to see from this workstream?

The team have been working on developing an interactive route map for Industry, which will include an industry guide written for industry by industry. These new materials are now being piloted and feedback is requested until 22 February 2019. You can access the route map here and the industry guide here. Please complete this form with any feedback that you have.

The team is also working on a communications agreement and will be establishing a Network Champions programme.

Effective study set up

The overall objective of this workstream is to optimise the way that the CRN supports the life sciences industry during the set-up stage of study delivery.

Ongoing experiences within the CRN have indicated that many of the issues and confusion that has occurred between Industry, the CRN and its NHS partners has occurred in relation to:

1) Speed of communication
2) Point of communication
3) Duplication of process

So, what can you expect to see from this workstream?

A new service will be available to customers with the offer of a study start-up call to discuss the study and any challenges which may be present during the set-up and delivery of the study in the UK. The outcome of the call will shared with study sites to overcome any delivery challenges identified and support overall study delivery to time and target. This call will be an opportunity for customers to learn more about the CRN Study Support Service and to ask any questions you may have.

We will be are undertaking a focused pilot to test and refine the service before launching nationally to all companies on 1 April.  This new service will be offered when submitting a new study feasibility to the CRN.

Performance monitoring

The overall objective of this workstream is to optimise the way that the CRN performance monitors life sciences industry studies to enhance the service our partners received, and to improve delivery to time and target.
    
Feedback from life science industry partners, CRN staff and partner organisations confirms that the process needs to be improved by:

  • Ensuring there are clear roles and responsibilities for performance monitoring between local and national CRN teams
  • Reducing duplication of effort
  • Maximising systems to improve communication channels

So, what can you expect to see from this workstream?

We have already started using a new process as consultation in use within the Network and we hope our customers will see improvements in the study milestone schedule being a key document as part of this process, as well as benefiting from the opportunity to develop further relationships with their Performance Review Lead.

Find out more

The CRN project team has been providing regular updates to the Industry Road Map Group, CREN and cCOG and would encourage life sciences colleagues to link with your company representatives on these groups to gain further insights into this work.

 

 

  • Summary:
    Following feedback from the life sciences industry, NIHR CRN has developed a national improvement plan for the delivery of the Study Support Service for commercial contract studies – find out more here.
  • Include on homepage (one at a time):
  • Areas of the site this news is applicable to:
    Industry
  • LCRN:
  • Year of publication:
    2019
  • Specialty:
  • News filter:
    Life Sciences Industry


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