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The NIHR Clinical Research Network North West London supports studies across 30 specialities.

The NIHR supports research being delivered through 30 specialty therapy areas. Each specialty is made up of expert clinical leaders and practitioners who work at both national and local levels to ensure that studies are delivered successfully and to promote awareness of research opportunities for participants to take part in. The specialty groups also support the dialogue between the life sciences industry and charities to ensure the pipeline of research studies and to facilitate the involvement of participants to make research more effective. Visit the main NIHR website to find out what is happening nationally in the different specialties. 

Primary Care

We provide the support to enable research to be carried out in primary care settings across North West London. We work in partnership with GP practices, pharmacies and care homes to improve the health and wealth of patients in our region.

In 2018/19, the NIHR Clinical Research Network North West London:

  • Had the highest number of recruiting practices to commercial studies
  • Was the highest recruiting CRN for Primary Care in London
  • Achieved the highest percentage of GP engagement across England per 100,000 patient population
  • Was the 4th highest recruiting CRN for Primary Care nationally

Serving a population of 2.4 million, GPs in North West London are fully committed to supporting high quality clinical research supported by the Network's Primary Care team. We work to ensure all patients in the area are afforded the opportunity to participate in research and work closely with investigators to ensure that clinical trials are set up and delivered as efficiently as possible.

The Primary Care team work to provide support in the following ways:

  • Identifying sites
  • Study set-up
  • Training and development
  • Performance management

To find out more about how we can support you please email or call 0203 312 5927.


We provide the support to enable ophthalmology research to be carried out across North West London. We work in partnership at a number of sites including Western Eye Hospital and Central Middlesex Hospital.

Ophthalmology is a rapidly growing area of research in our region. The NIHR Clinical Research Network North West London can provide support with study set-up, training and performance management.

If you would like to find out more about carrying out research in this exciting speciality in North West London please get in touch with our Study Support Service.


Dr Christiana Dinah is Macula Service and Research Lead at Central Middlesex Hospital. She is also the Ophthalmology Specialty Co-Lead for the NIHR Clinical Research Network North West London. She has been instrumental in transforming her department into a research active department. We interviewed her about her journey to research and the growth of this specialty in North West London.

What is your career background?

I went to medical school at St. George's Hospital in London. Whilst I was there I did a BSc in Genetics. That was my first experience of research. It gave me a thirst for answering questions and the potential impact research can have on patients. That short project was focused on identifying gene mutation in a very rare disease, which only five children in the world were diagnosed with. Seeing pictures of the kids made me realise how much of an impact research can have.

I then completed my medical school degree and went on to do Ophthalmology as part of my first year as a pre-registration doctor. After that I completed my Ophthalmology training, which was mostly up North in Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesbrough.

I also took out a year to do clinical trials research, which was mind blowing. And that was a point when I decided that I wanted to pursue research in my career, whatever that may be. After training I moved back to London and did my medical retina fellowship at Moorfields Eye Hospital. I then became a consultant at Central Middlesex Hospital, where I've set up the research department.

What inspired you to work in research?

I've always been interested in knowing how things work. Even as a young child, I would take things apart and put them back together just to see why they work the way they do. That need to understand has always been a part of who I am.

I have seen an explosion of new treatments and new investigative and diagnostic techniques. Seeing the direct impact on patient care and patient experience has really changed my view on what we can achieve as an ophthalmology community.

One of my mentors said to me that even the smallest of discoveries is like a time capsule that you bury. Generations to come can use it as part of the puzzle to answer some of the questions they have. So that gave me the perspective that even the smallest things can help answer the big questions. It was a no brainer that research would have to be part of whatever career I chose to develop.

What skills are needed in your career?

You certainly need to have attention to detail and a curious mind. Teamwork because you achieve so much more within research if you're able to collaborate, both within your department and outside of it.

I would also say leadership skills. Being able to bring out the best in people and motivate your team. Being clear about what your goals are and what it takes to achieve them. And being able to celebrate when you get there or to encourage your team members when you don't.

What do you like most about your job?

I like being in a position to offer treatments that were not previously accessible to patients and to see the hope that that brings. I also enjoy my team. I enjoy the meetings we have, the times we brainstorm to see how we can better deliver care and meet our research goals.  I also enjoy writing. I know that's a bit of an odd one, but I do enjoy writing and I plan to do more of that now that our team is better established.

What is your career highlight?

We started this research team in a relatively research naive hospital, where we hadn't had any Ophthalmology commercial clinical trials previously. So a particular highlight was being the top recruiters nationally for our first commercial research. That was gratifying and convinced me that it's worth all the work.

Why do you think getting involved in research is important?

It's important to have a research active department because data shows these departments have better outcomes.

From a patient perspective, it’s important to be represented in the clinical trials that produce the treatments being offered. The results will be more applicable to them.

What do you see in the future for research?

Ophthalmology now has the highest outpatient attendances of all specialties. So I think one of the ways research is going to impact ophthalmology will be the use of remote or virtual systems to deliver outpatient care. Artificial intelligence will also streamline work and possibly help predict which patients will respond best to particular treatments

I really think technology is the next thing. I believe in the next 10 years, the landscape will be different from what it is now.

Other specialties

As well as the specialties featured on this page, we also support research into a wide range of other conditions. To find out more about how we can help you with your studies, please contact our Study Support Service.