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More people take part in NIHR research in the Eastern region than ever before!

More people take part in NIHR research in the Eastern region than ever before!

It has been revealed that over 45,000 people - more than ever before - took part in NHS research in the Eastern region over the last year, according to the annual National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research Activity League Table, published today.

NHS and Social Care research teams from across the Eastern region ran over 950 NIHR studies, with 47,599 patients and public taking part in 2018/19. This equates to over 5000 more volunteers than last year (5,574).

The Research Activity League Table is published by the NIHR annually to detail research activity across all NHS trusts and CCGs in England. The table provides a picture of how much clinical research is happening in which NHS organisations, and involving how many patients.

NHS trusts in East Anglia in particular saw an enormous 80% increase research activity compared to 65% of NHS trusts nationally, with Cambridge University Hospitals showing the biggest increase of any trust in England. Research teams at the Trust ran 17% more studies compared to the previous year with 466 in total. This is an increase of 68 studies from 2018/19, the highest rise in the country.

The number of NHS trusts, GP practices and social healthcare enterprises offering patients the chance to participate in life sciences industry research also rose across East Anglia, with 35% increasing the number of commercial studies they supported, compared to 23% nationally.

9 year old Mckenzie Carr, from Norwich, is the first participant to sign up to a new research study taking place at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH) which looks at how sensitising the body to insulin can impact the effectiveness of growth hormone in short children who are born small. He said, “I got a leaflet and read it and said yes because I wanted to know more about why I don’t grow”.

Helen Macdonald, Chief Operating Officer for the NIHR’s Clinical Research Network in the Eastern region praised teams, saying: “It is fantastic to once again see the Eastern region playing such a strong national role in health and social care research. To have such a significant increase in the number of studies taking place shows that research in the region is thriving. It is also testament to the continued hard work and dedication of the research teams and health professionals who do so much to develop better treatments and care for patients now and in the future”.

The table sits on the NIHR website at, accessible to anyone wanting to understand how much research activity is happening in their local trust or CCG.