The Future of UK Clinical Research Delivery: Policy Paper Excerpt

Posted on July 13th 2021

 The pandemic has showcased the clear link between research and better outcomes – for individuals and the NHS.

Our response has demonstrated the strength of our clinical research ecosystem and our unique ability to deliver innovative research to a high standard, at scale and at speed – for the benefit of everyone. We’ve achieved things none of us thought possible, all while continuing to deliver exceptionally high standards in clinical research and the highest possible levels of patient safety. We now need to seize this momentum and look to the future.

Clinical research is the single most important way in which we improve our healthcare – by identifying the best means to prevent, diagnose and treat conditions. So, we need to bolster delivery of innovative research across all phases, all conditions and right across the UK, as we work to rapidly restart our non-COVID-19 research portfolio and build back better.

Research is also vital in determining what doesn’t work, so we can improve best practice and focus resources on providing healthcare that delivers the greatest benefit to patients. And research extends beyond clinical trials for new medicines to cover a range of activities – from a study into a new approach to radiation therapy, to work to explore how a particular disease could be prevented, or even an investigation to help mitigate the side effects of a new treatment.

Clinical research is all around us and helps to improve the quality of healthcare patients receive. Crucially, these benefits are felt by everyone, not just those participating in research. For example, data shows NHS trusts that are highly research active have better outcomes for patients across their services.

As we look to tackle today’s major healthcare challenges, including the worrying rise in long-term conditions, such as obesity, diabetes and mental health, we must double-down on our commitment to clinical research.

This is how we will identify the best treatments, the best technologies and the best techniques to improve the lives of our children and our grandchildren – while also ensuring we are ready to deal with any future global health crisis.

In Wales, the NHS is supported by Health and Care Research Wales (HCRW), which promotes and supports health and care research, to ensure it is of the highest international scientific quality, is relevant to the needs and challenges of health and care in Wales, and that it makes a difference to policy and practice in ways that improve the lives of patients, people and communities.


Excerpt from the Department of Health &  Social Care Policy Paper  Read full report on GOV.UK website

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