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CRN South London - Strategy 2018/19-2021/22



Our purpose 

We provide the practical support that researchers in South London need to carry out high quality clinical and other health-related research studies in the NHS for the benefit of our local patient population.

Our scope

CRN South London works to support research delivery in-line with research strategies implemented by our local NHS partners.  Providers include 12 NHS organisations and 12 clinical commissioning groups and include specialist, academic and non-academic providers as well, as working in acute, community and mental health sectors.

Our approach 

  • We will ensure that the areas we will focus on locally align with the five goals of the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) 
  • We will work cohesively with other parts of the NIHR infrastructure within the locality
  • Increase the opportunities for all people across England to participate in health research 
  • Provide researchers with the practical support they need to make clinical research studies happen in the NHS 
  • Improve the efficient delivery of high quality clinical research 
  • Increase national and international clinical research investment
  • Provide a coordinated and innovative approach to national research priorities 
  • Provide consistent and transparent approaches to providing research support to enable efficient use of CRN resource

From 2018/19 onwards:

  • We will work with our established teaching and specialist hospitals to:
    1. Enable sustained growth and facilitate appropriate investment through core infrastructure
    2. Continue to deliver to high performing areas of the portfolio
    3. Improve recruitment to time and target
    4. Explore opportunities to disseminate locally led studies across the region 
    5. Ensure the uptake of national studies within the region in-line with local and national research priorities
    6. Understand and support delivery of our locally derived investigator initiated studies
  • We will work with our smaller and developing organisations to nurture areas of new potential (“greenshoots”) and support growth in areas with a more established track record of delivery by:
    1. Facilitating transparent access to contingency funding to support robust development plans
    2. Engaging with speciality research leads to support the development and prioritisation of “greenshoots”
    3. Enabling transparent access to strategic PA funding to support the development of “greenshoots”
    4. Promoting commercial studies and opportunities within the national Biosimilar initiative
    5. Facilitating mentorship/buddy relationships with larger/experienced Units/Investigators
    6. Facilitating access to the flexible delivery workforce
  • We will work to enable enhanced delivery across primary care and in the community to:
    1. Support delivery across a broad range of NHS and non-NHS providers
    2. Support feasibility and delivery of studies within both the community and acute setting by establishing models of working to maximise direct recruitment as well as Patient Identification Centre activity
    3. Establish mechanisms by which public health research questions can be supported locally
  • We will develop an approach to enhancing staff and Investigator experience working by:
    1. Developing a robust and transparent approach to induction and matrix management 
    2. Supporting and encouraging personal development, education and training that is pertinent and appropriate
    3. Ensure CRN staff demonstrate the core values and behaviours as well as those of the employing trust and embed an ethos of well-being
    4. Supporting leadership and training programmes relevant to the local NIHR community and individuals within the team
  • We will also continue to work across a range of cross-cutting themes to:
    1. Engage our local patient population and the public in the work of the CRN
    2. Acknowledge the value and impact of our local community’s participation in research
    3. Embed the use of Local Portfolio Management System (LPMS) amongst our partners
    4. Evaluate and embed our Study Support Service
    5. Embed a culture of Improvement and Innovation within the CRN
    6. Review and evaluate the impact of digital technologies within core delivery of the CRN

The strategy is operationalised annually through a detailed annual plan. If you would like a copy of any of our annual reports, please email