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Every NHS Trust in the West Midlands delivers clinical research for the second year running

Every NHS Trust in the West Midlands delivers clinical research for the second year running

More than 65,000 people took part in research in the West Midlands in 2019/20, according to new figures released by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

This figure means that the total number of research participants in the region over the last five years is 334,784 and for the second year running, every NHS trust in England recruited to studies.

Phil Cawkwell, who took part in the NIHR-supported RECOVERY-RS trial while fighting for his life with coronavirus, says: ‘It’s a fantastic opportunity and gives you hope at a dark time to think you might be helping other people. I have always been interested in research and I would say to anyone who gets the chance - just do it. We have to go forward with medical interventions and I would definitely think about taking part in further trials in future.’

NHS trusts across the West Midlands supported 1,439 studies last year, and of these, 246 were commercial studies.

A total of 732,176 participants took part nationally in NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) supported studies in the 2019/20 financial year. That takes the total number of participants recruited to NIHR CRN studies over the last five years to 3,599,944.

The highest recruiting medical specialty nationally was primary care, with 151, 868 participants recruited. This was also reflected in the West Midlands, with 24,382 participants enrolling at their GP surgery.

‘The fact that so many people are getting involved in research through their local doctors' surgery really is great news,’ commented Dr David Shukla, Primary Care Specialty Lead for the region. ‘It shows that our GPs are really spreading the word – and patients are signing up enthusiastically.’

Professor Jeremy Kirk, Clinical Director at NIHR CRN West Midlands, said: ‘These overall numbers are great for both NHS patients, who are helping to shape the treatments of tomorrow, and the NHS staff, who have had such a heavy workload, particularly during COVID-19.
‘We thank them all for everything they put into research last year.’

David Loughton, Chief Executive of The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, which hosts the Network, comments: ‘The accomplishments of the CRN in the region are testament to the hard work and commitment of the excellent staff, and the willingness of participants to give up their time to help others.’

Dr William van’t Hoff, NIHR CRN Chief Executive Officer, said: “I am delighted to see strong results of research delivery, reflecting the tremendous amount of work from many different staff based throughout our entire regional networks and in all healthcare settings. The NIHR CRN is truly showing its reach and opportunity to help researchers and patients across the whole country.”
To find out more, visit the Be Part of Research website.

You can read Phil’s full story here.


For further information contact: Claire Hall, Communications Lead on 07775 800227.