This site is optimised for modern browsers. For the best experience, please use Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge.

East of England sees huge increase in care and community organisations taking part in research over 2022/23

Image of carer with resident

In the East of England in 2022/23, the:

  • Number of care and community organisations taking part in health and care research increased by 29%, from 70 to 90
  • Number of region’s care homes taking part in health and care research increased by 57%, from 28 to 44
  • Number of region’s schools taking part in health and care research increased by 1,600%, from 1 to 17

The number of care and community organisations taking part in health and care research in the East of England has increased by a third (29%) since April 2022, thanks to efforts from local National Institute for Health and Care Research (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 pandemic saw a handful of community organisations, such as care homes, helping to find treatments and vaccines for residents at risk of contracting COVID-19. This increased in the last year, with 90 organisations in the region (up from 70 in the previous year) taking part in research to help find treatments and care for many conditions, including cancer, diabetes, and dementia.

The NIHR is one of the nation’s largest funders of health and care research, and in the East of England, its local delivery teams have been helping to train and fund staff, develop trial facilities, and recruit volunteers since 2014.

Until recently, research has largely happened in the NHS, with 100% of hospitals in the region having run studies for many years. However, the NIHR is dedicated to helping more members of the public to access research where it is easiest for them - making sure medical discoveries can benefit as many people as possible.

44 of the region’s care homes took part in research last year, an increase of 57%. Growth has also been seen in schools, with 17 taking part in research last year, compared to just 1 the previous year. Other community organisations have also participated, including hospices, universities and even a dental surgery.

The number of studies being delivered in care and community organisations has also increased by over 17%, from 35 to 41, since April 2022.

Dr Helen Macdonald, Chief Operating Officer for the NIHR’s Clinical Research Network in the East of England, highlighted that this is just the start of what they hope will be greater uptake from people around the region:

“The people who volunteer to take part in NIHR research really do help to change lives for the better, and it’s hard to find the words to express our gratitude for the impact they have. We want to help even more people join them, from all backgrounds, so that everyone can benefit from the new treatments and care we find through our research.”

NHS and social care organisations in the region came together over the last week to celebrate International Clinical Trials Day on 20 May, with many holding events to raise awareness of NIHR research.

The NIHR will be continuing the celebrations all year to mark the NHS’s 75th birthday with its Shape the Future campaign. Shape the Future shows how NIHR research contributes to the NHS, saving lives and money, and how research can shape the NHS of the future.

As part of Shape the Future, the NIHR are inviting people to take part in health and care research by signing to its new Be Part of Research volunteer registry, which can be accessed via the NHS App.

The online match-making service makes it easier than ever for people to be a part of improving health treatments and care. When signing up, volunteers choose the health conditions that interest them and are sent details of relevant studies taking place locally and nationally.

To find out more about health and care research, and how you can get involved, visit