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CRN West of England

The Clinical Research Network (CRN) West of England, hosted at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust, facilitates research in NHS, Public Health and social care settings, supporting portfolio studies in 31 specialties in sites such as universities, schools, care homes, hospices, prisons and clinical settings.

We are funded by the Department of Health and Social Care to facilitate the delivery of research studies, by supporting our partner organisations in the West of England.

Our partner organisations comprise NHS trusts, primary care, public health and social care.

We work together to ensure that research studies that are included on the NIHR CRN Portfolio are set up quickly and are delivered to time and to target.

We facilitate both commercial and non-commercial research. We help locally hosted studies to secure sites across the country and we also help to attract studies to the West of England.

What area does the West of England cover?

Our area comprises the City of Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset (BaNES), Swindon, Gloucestershire, North Somerset and part of Wiltshire.

In our area we work with seven Trusts:

We work in approximately 100 primary care settings, both single sites and collaborations, across three Integrated Care Systems (ICSs).

  • Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire
  • Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire
  • Gloucestershire

What support can the Clinical Research Network offer?

If a study is on the Portfolio, we can offer:

  • support for a study from the outset via the Study Support Service
  • funding for study support as appropriate, to ensure good quality research opportunities for people in the West of England
  • training for staff (for example Good Clinical Practice, Informed Consent and the Principal Investigator Masterclass)
  • specialist advice from research and specialty experts.
  • the sharing of effective research strategies locally, nationwide and across specialties.

We also have a peripatetic team, comprising Research Nurses and Clinical Research Practitioners (CRPs), who are trained to offer support with the delivery of studies (depending on availability) in a wide range of settings such as hospices, schools and care homes. 

Our ENRICH network brings together care home staff, residents and their families with researchers. It provides a toolkit of resources to help care homes make the most of research and researchers to set up and run studies effectively and collaboratively in care homes. Your local ENRICH contact can be found on the ENRICH website.

We also support Join Dementia Research, a national service that enables you to register your interest and be matched with suitable research studies.

Our promotional work increases opportunities for the public to take part in clinical research and seeks to embed research as a standard component of care, for patients and carers, healthcare professionals and NHS decision makers.

What is the Portfolio?

The CRN Portfolio is the collection of studies that qualify for CRN support. To receive CRN support, your study must be on the Portfolio and to be on the Portfolio your study must be eligible for inclusion. Find more information about the eligibility criteria.

How can I find out if a study is eligible?

Please email in the first instance and our team will get back to you.