Performance in initiating and delivering research - trend analysis

Please note that the graph below is based on trials receiving NHS Permissions and will not be updated after Q3 16-17. As of Q4 16-17, trials receiving NHS Permissions will no longer be analysed by the Clinical Trial Performance team; a trend graph displaying the replacement benchmark interval - between Date Site Selected and First Patient Recruited - for studies going through HRA approval will be added in due course.  

Although the data reflect a 12 month period, the volume of NHS permission trials drops significantly following HRA Approval implementation, which finished on 31 March 2016. As a result, study approval activities and the associated metrics for monitoring set-up times have changed with the removal of the local NHS permission. It is anticipated and acknowledged that variation in delivery to these metrics may be reported during this period of transition, and may reflect changes in process rather than changes in Trusts’ performance. For more detail, please refer to the impact summary document on the Minimum Data Set pages of the NIHR website.

The following graph shows the progression over time of the distribution of the initiation interval (70-day benchmark) - from Valid Research Application (VRA) to First Patient Recruitment (FPR) - for providers of NHS services subject to an NIHR contract, since the implementation of the exercise in 2012. 

It does this by plotting a number of lines representing the mean, median, upper and lower quartiles and upper and lower deciles of the interval across all trial sites included in the submission of data.  This is superimposed on a bar chart representing the number of trial sites included in the submission. 

The number of trial sites included has generally increased gradually over the period, but with a sudden influx of providers in 2014-15 due to the reconfiguration of the NIHR Local Clinical Research Network and NIHR contracting with LCRN Partners as a consequence, bringing the requirement to near national coverage of secondary care providers. The CRN website gives further detail on the structure and coverage of the LCRNs.

Further information about the data collection and reporting is available on this website.

N.B. While submissions are quarterly, the scope of data submitted is a rolling 12 months’ of data.

The number of providers whose data were analysed in a given quarterly submission is included in square brackets beneath each quarter.

VRA = Valid Research Application

FPR = First Patient Recruited

Absolute Data = All clinical trials submitted to the Clinical Trial Performance team