Our support

The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) provides researchers with the practical support they need to make clinical studies happen in the NHS. We provide world-class health service infrastructure - research support staff such as clinical research nurses, and research support services such as pharmacy, pathology and radiology - to support organisations seeking to conduct clinical research in the NHS in England. Some of this research is funded by the NIHR, but most of it is funded by NHS non-commercial partners and industry.

We also supported the set up and delivery of clinical research in the NHS through our study support service.

The Health Services Research specialty is one of over 30 specialties which bring together communities of clinical practice to provide national networks of research expertise. Our membership is made up of research-interested clinicians and practitioners at both national and local levels. Our job is to ensure that dermatology studies receive the right support to ensure they are delivered successfully in the NHS.

We oversee research that deals with the development of health services to ensure the delivery of high quality studies so that people have the opportunity to know about, and participate in, good clinical research. As a result we support a wide range of research studies that focus on improving the quality, accessibility and organisation of health services.

We work to promote the successful delivery of research studies in the NHS and to help plan new studies that will address patient’s needs. Research includes studies concerned with health service workforce issues and planning, and organisation of care (including primary-secondary interface).

We support and promote research by:

  • Supporting researchers to deliver high quality studies to time and target in the NHS
  • Engaging with the existing research community
  • Developing research infrastructure locally

The Health Services Research Specialty will take the lead for the evaluation of complex interventions which are expected to produce highly generalisable results across conditions or settings.

National Health Services and Delivery Research Clinical Specialty Leads

Each of our 15 Local Clinical Research Networks has at least one nominated local Clinical Specialty Research Lead for Health Services Research. These clinicians lead research groups to promote and support Health Services Research within the NHS Trusts in their area.

At a national level the local leads come together to manage the national Health Services Research clinical research portfolio. This involves regularly reviewing the progress of studies, identifying barriers to recruitment, and coming up with solutions and strategies to help overcome those barriers. Our National Specialty Group of clinical experts offer advice and support to commercial and non-commercial customers looking to conduct research in the NHS.

Meet our National Specialty Group Members


CRN Health Services Research Specialty Leaflet

The Health Services Research Specialty leaflet gives an overview of the services we offer.

CRN Health Services Research Specialty Profile

Read our Health Services Research Specialty Profile to find out how we can support your commercial study.

How to access support

Find out how to apply for Clinical Research Network support and how your study can benefit from our Study Support Service.