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CRN East of England Primary Care Research more than doubled in the last year, data show

Photograph of crowded street to illustrate increase in NIHR research in the CRN East of England

Annual data published by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN) show that the number of people taking part in research attributed to the Primary Care specialty increased by 114% last year to 25,291, up from 11,838 in the previous year.

The overall number of NIHR research studies taking place in the East of England in the last year increased by 10%, from 804 in 2021/22 to 885 in 2022/23. This included increased numbers of studies within Cancer, Cardiovascular, Gastroenterology, Neurology, Reproductive Health, Respiratory, and Trauma and Emergency Care.

NHS and social care research teams across the region enrolled 64,060 participants to NIHR research trials. This represents the region’s highest annual total (apart from the Covid-dominated numbers of the two previous years).

Along with people taking part in vital research at 100% of NHS hospitals in the region, 55% (227) of GP Practices have continued to play a huge role in offering research opportunities to patients. 25,789 people were recruited to NIHR research by GP Practices, an increase of 23% (up from 21,030).

The number of care and community organisations taking part in health and care research in the East of England also increased by nearly a third (29%) since April 2022, thanks to efforts from local NIHR teams. This increase signals a move to help more people take part in vital research in the places where they live and work.

The NIHR is the nation’s largest funder of clinical research and is the research partner of the NHS and social care, with NIHR CRN staff embedded in organisations across the country. Nationally, the NIHR CRN annual statistics show that 952,789 people took part in NIHR research trials in England in 2022/23, an increase of over 220,000 on pre-pandemic levels.