Five new research centres to improve patient access to clinical research

Five new regional Patient Recruitment Centre sites are set to be hosted by NHS trusts across the country, providing patients with an improved access to clinical research opportunities in regions including the North East and North Cumbria, Blackpool, Bradford, Leicester and Devon.

Part of a £7m investment by the Government, the five new research centres across England are part of the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy and Life Sciences Sector Deal 2, which sets out a series of measures to strengthen the UK environment for clinical research, while ensuring the country is at the forefront of medical science and the development of innovative new treatments for years to come.

These five centres will provide opportunities for patients in regions across England who previously may not have been able to take part in cutting edge clinical studies receive the potential benefits of this research.

The five new Patient Recruitment Centres have now been selected and will be based within the following NHS trusts: 

  • Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust
  • The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

The new centre in the North East, as just one example, will be under the management of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and run locally by the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS FT, providing patients with access to late phase commercial clinical research.

It will be based at the Campus for Ageing and Vitality site in Newcastle and will provide dedicated space, purpose-designed facilities and medical expertise to deliver clinical research within a convenient local NHS hospital location, with the aim of increasing the number of studies being run across the region.

Working with local NHS trusts and stakeholders, the Patient Recruitment Centres will provide opportunities for local patients to be involved in important health research studies and trials.

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The new Patient Recruitment Centre will improve patient access across the North East and North Cumbria to clinical research opportunities

Professor Yan Yiannakou, Clinical Director for the PRC in North East and North Cumbria, said: “Our priority is to put our patients and research participants at the centre of everything we do; to ensure they have a rewarding experience, while maximising safety and helping to answer important questions about new treatments.

“We want to really connect with our local community to empower as many people as possible to be involved in research and have access to the latest treatments. By focussing on conditions that affect many people here in the North East we hope to make a real difference to the health and well-being of our local population.”

During the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the research centres will also increase opportunities for patients across the region to access trials assessing the latest potential treatments for Covid-19.

Dr William van’t Hoff, Chief Executive of the NIHR Clinical Research Network, added: “I am delighted to see funding awarded to these five centres across England. They will really increase opportunities for patients in the NHS to take part in research, will benefit the NHS and provide important investment to the country.

“The importance of clinical research has never been more evident than in the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The NIHR has been able to help fund and to support key research studies and trials into the basis, genetics, prognosis and, critically, to offer potential treatments, including the largest global clinical treatment trial in Covid-19. These centres now give us a further dimension and opportunity to offer large scale trials, for instance in treatment for COVID-19, and to help deliver those at pace and scale.”


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