Commercial research in NIHR Clinical Research Network West of England
To discuss any aspect of our offer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0117 342 1692
The CRN West of England (LCRN) region has a highly diverse population of 2.4 million. It has a large urban centre in Bristol and predominantly rural areas in South Gloucestershire and North Somerset. The Bristol population has a higher than the national average percentage of young people and 16% of the population is black and minority ethnic. Conversely, the populations of Bath, Gloucestershire and North Somerset have higher than national average percentage of older people.
Specialist research facilities
- Bristol Biomedical Research Centre was awarded £21 million (2017-2023). The key research themes are: cardiovascular disease, nutrition, diet and lifestyle, reproductive and perinatal mental health, surgical innovation and mental health.
- Clinical Trials and Evaluation Unit based in University of Bristol.
- Clinical Research and Imaging Centre - a state-of-the-art research and imaging centre
- Cobalt Health, Cheltenham - a medical charity scanning centre at the forefront of diagnostic imaging (PET Scanner).
- Research Institute for the Care of Older People (RICE) - carrying out research into ageing and dementia.
- West of England NHS Genomic Medicine Centre.
- Royal United Hospitals Bath now includes the former ‘Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases’, a national specialist rehabilitation and rheumatology hospital
- North Bristol NHS Trust
- Institute of Neurosciences
- Richard Bright Renal Service
- Major Trauma Centre
- Bristol Urological Institute
- University Hospitals Bristol Foundation Trust
- Bristol Eye Hospital
- Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre
- Bristol Heart Institute
- Bristol Royal Hospital for Children
- Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
- 2gether NHS Foundation Trust (Mental Health)
- Gloucester Care Services NHS Trust provides health and social care services.
- Bristol Eye Hospital has a large and increasing portfolio of commercial trials for retinal and other conditions. Professor Andrew Dick collaborates with researchers at the National Eye Institute, USA.
- Professor Adam Finn, Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Bristol and lead of the Bristol Children’s Vaccine Centre supports clinical trials of vaccines and medicines in children. He is part of the Bristol NIHR Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) in Evaluation of Interventions, one of two cross-cutting units in England.
- Professor Roy Jones is Director of the Research Institute for the Care of Older People (RICE), an internationally renowned dementia research and treatment centre conducting studies for major pharmaceutical and Contract Research Organisations since 1985.
- Dr Roger Bullock is Director of the Kingshill Research Centre, which specialises in commercial dementia research.
- Dr Paul Foley, Cardiology Consultant at Great Western Hospital, has a large active portfolio of commercial Cardiovascular research.
- Our Intrapartum Research Group has forged collaborative relationships across maternity units in the region.
- The STAR (Severn Trainee Anaesthetic Research) Group is a successful trainee research network and has completed ten multi-centre audits and led and coordinated regional recruitment.
General research infrastructure
- Bristol Health Partners (BHP) is a collaboration between the city's NHS trusts, CCGs, universities and the local authority. BHP Health Integration Teams (HITs) tackle health priorities by harnessing the best research, innovation, care and education to improve people's health.
- People in Health West of England (PHWE) comprises BHP, the LCRN, CLAHRC West and West of England AHSN, and is supported by the University of the West of England. It involves the public in research and evidence- based innovation.
Community research infrastructure
We have the third highest engagement nationally, with 105 active general practice research sites, including three collaborations yielding large and diverse patient populations and a cluster of commercially-focused GP investigators with a list size of over 100,000 patients. Primary care accounts for 12% of study sites within the wider CRN. Our team consists of three GP champions and an experienced business unit to support with feasibility and act as a resource to research sites. Primary care also frequently supports secondary care, acting as PIC sites for commercial studies across a number of specialties, most recently in diabetes and mental health.
Consent for approach cohorts
- The LCRN is the top recruiter in England for Join Dementia Research (JDR). A line here describing what JDR is. We have a dedicated This was facilitated by a Join Dementia Research Officer, working with colleagues to promote JDR it in secondary and primary care settings.
- Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust’s ‘Everyone Included’ initiative is an opt-out approach to informing patients about research opportunities.
- Reach West is a list of people living in the west of England who are interested in taking part in health research. By signing up, people have agreed to allow access to their details in order to identify relevant research projects in which they can participate.
Collaborations with Industry
UH Bristol is a Partner Site with Quintiles, a leading global Contract Research Organisation (CRO). Quintiles’ Partner Sites form part of the company’s Prime and Partner Site Network and are selected based on their competitive performance in terms of Study Setup times, patient recruitment and high quality, as well as a cultural fit that places the patient at the centre of all activities.
Doctors from the Bath Area Research Organisation Network (BARONET) are the first UK primary care network to partner with Pfizer’s INSPIRE (Investigator Networks, Site Partnerships and Infrastructure for Research Excellence) research programme.
Regionally, our highest performing commercially active specialties are diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, dementia, ophthalmology and children.
Development areas include:
- This three year development project, led by a Senior Research Nurse, looks to ensure equity of access to research for all diabetic patients by adopting a region wide approach to recruitment to diabetes studies, encompassing primary, secondary care settings and other qualified providers.
- This has expanded the regional diabetes knowledge base to allow ‘joined-up’ thinking around how and where to recruit patients. The intention is that this will also encourage cross referral of research patients to other trials within the region.
- Diabetic patient cohort interested in taking part in further studies established.
- Regular events are being held to raise the profile of the CRN West of England with commercial sponsors.
We have two dementia projects focusing on increasing dementia research within primary care, residential care and supported accommodations settings.
We actively encourage the clinical community to support uptake and delivery of biosimilar clinical trials and have a number of PIs with a confirmed interest in biosimilar research.