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CRN North West London - Funding allocation report for 2022/23


This paper is a summary of the funding plan agreed in November 2021, which was awaiting final confirmation of the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) budget, and has since been confirmed at the Executive Committee meeting in February 2022.

Due to the disruption caused by COVID-19, CRN Coordinating Centre (CC) has acknowledged the need for stability in funding for the local CRNs in future years. As a result, the CRN made an indicative proposal to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to award the same amount of funding for 2022/23 as for the current financial year (2021/22). This was confirmed in December 2021.

Other funding elements, as well as any potential additional in-year funding, are outside the scope of this paper.

An adjustment to the North West London allocation is also planned following the merger of Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust (RBHT) with Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. It has been agreed that the North West London allocation would be reduced by £739,536, and the award for South London increased by the same amount as the Trust now sits within the CRN South London geography. Table 1 below shows the assumed CRN North West London funding.


Table 1


Core allocation (excluding top-sliced and Excess Treatment Costs service funding)

Cost pressures & staff retention

Total allocation*

2021/22 North West London




2022/23 RBHT reduction




2022/23 (assumed) North West London




*excluding Excess Treatment Costs service funding, transformation programme, Public Health and Prevention research, National Specialty Leads, in-year allocations (e.g. managed recovery)


Partner Organisation Funding

'Flat cash' proposal

Considering the national calls for stability in funding, we propose to allocate the same amounts to our Partner Organisations as in the current financial year. Allocating 'flat cash' amounts rather than activity-based funding (ABF) would also be preferable as the usual High Level Objectives (HLOs), which had provided the levers in our local financial model, have been replaced by HLOs that are geared towards recovery and resilience in research and that only apply to a relatively small number of studies (e.g. managed recovery or new commercial studies). Basing local funding allocations on these new HLOs would therefore mean that funding would be driven by performance of a small selection of studies, which could seriously imbalance the distribution of funding in our local research infrastructure.


Fixed allocations

As in previous years, allocations to London Ambulance Service NHS Trust, Central London and Community Healthcare NHS Trust, and Primary Care, remain fixed in both models. Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (Host) costs (i.e. CRN core costs) also remain fixed and are broken down in Table 2.


Funding for under-served populations

As in the past, the CRN is expected to ring-fence 2% of its funding to support under-served populations. The last columns in Table 2 shows the amounts to fund this activity in each partner.


Transformation budget for Direct Delivery Team

We will continue to receive a transformation budget of £757,576. This transformation budget was awarded to local CRNs in 2020-21 to establish a new workforce – CRN Direct Delivery Team - with the flexibility, capability and capacity to deliver priority research studies across broader settings, particularly outside of hospital settings. The transformation budget is managed by the CRN Host and will fund staff based within the primary care team and within West London NHS Trust and Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust. 2% of this budget will also be allocated to meeting the needs of under-served populations.


Table 2 - 'Flat Cash' proposal


2021/22 Total

2022/23 Total

2% expenditure on under-served populations

Central and North West London
NHS Foundation Trust




Central London and Community
Healthcare NHS Trust




Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust




London Ambulance Service NHS Trust




London North West University
Healthcare NHS Trust




Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust




The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS
Foundation Trust




West London NHS Trust




Primary Care




Imperial College Healthcare
NHS Trust (Delivery)




Imperial College Healthcare
NHS Trust (Host)