Date: 02 July 2019
The number of people signing up to participate in health and care research across Yorkshire and Humber has risen yet again in the last year with more than 90,000 patients being given access to new treatments, according to figures published today by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
91,426 people took part in research delivered through NHS trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) across the region from April 2018 to March 2019 - an increase of over 7,000 on the previous year’s participants (84,130).
Neil Simmonds from Sheffield was one of the many across Yorkshire to take part in research, having started on the Working Win trial following a six-month absence from work. The study is an experimental trial testing a new employment support service for people with a health condition, aiming to find out how effective this new service is for helping people to find and stay in work.
Neil returned to work after only one month on the trial. He is now back to full time hours following his one-on-one sessions as part of the study, and was recently made ‘Employee of the Month’. Neil credits the support he’s received as a big factor in giving him the confidence to return. He said: “It’s an extra helping hand; even though I was on my own at work, it always felt like there was someone there with me.”
Nationally, 50% of NHS trusts and 61% of CCG regions increased their research activity for the year.
The number of NHS organisations offering patients the chance to participate in life sciences industry research also rose across England - with 25% of NHS trusts and 17% of CCG regions increasing the number of commercial studies they supported.
Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust topped the tables for ambulance trusts across the country, placing first for recruiting to the most clinical research studies and recruiting the highest number of participants.
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT) were the most research active trust in Yorkshire and Humber, placing in the top ten nationally for both the number of studies supported (eighth) and the number of participants recruited (fourth).
Dr Jacqueline Andrews, Director of Research and Innovation at Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust, said: “The results announced today are a tremendous achievement for all the hard working Research and Innovation teams and patients who have contributed to health research recruitment over the last 12 months.
“In the next year we will open a new 18 bed state of the art Clinical Research Facility at the St James’ University Hospital site to further increase dedicated research facilities in the city.
“Furthermore, our refreshed 5 year Research Strategy will focus on enabling our staff to be the most research engaged in the country to ensure our patients receive every opportunity to take part in leading edge health research.
“I would like to thank all those who took part in health research at Leeds Teaching Hospital in 2018/19”
Local CCGs also reported positive news: Sheffield CCG region came first nationally for the highest increase in the number of studies supported, and were the sixth highest recruiting CCG region in the country.
Dr Michelle Horspool, Deputy Director of Research at NHS Sheffield CCG, says: “This is a really great achievement. The improvement in activity reflects the commitment of Sheffield practices, especially the Research Clusters, in the delivery of portfolio research.
“This very much supports the ambitions of Sheffield CCG’s Research Strategy in increasing the opportunities for our patients to get involved in research and innovation.”
NHS Vale of York CCG region placed tenth (up from 13th in 2017/18) for the most studies supported nationally. They increased the amount of studies they supported by 32% this year, raising their total to 37 (previously 28) and placing them 7th in the country for increase in number of studies.
Amanda Tortice, Chief Operating Officer for the Clinical Research Network Yorkshire and Humber says: “It’s fantastic to see the number of people and organisations supporting research continue to rise year on year.
“It is very rewarding working alongside all of our partner organisations to deliver high quality research across the region, and I am extremely proud that we are able to reach out to the population of Yorkshire and Humber, offering opportunities to take part in research, and to see an unprecedented number contribute their time to help us deliver the latest treatments to patients.”
Jonathan Sheffield, Chief Executive Officer of the NIHR Clinical Research Network says:
“It’s been a fantastic year for health and care research across England, with 100% of trusts supporting research studies, providing patients with more opportunities than ever before to take part in vital research which improves future treatment and care.
"There’s a growing body of evidence which suggests that research-active hospitals have lower mortality rates, and better patient outcomes, so the NIHR Clinical Research Network will continue to work closely with the NHS organisations to ensure that research continues to be offered to people as part of quality patient care.
"The number of patients taking part in research this year is a significant step towards meeting the NHS Long Term Plan, of one million people being registered as interested in taking part in research by 2024. I would like to thank all those hard working NHS staff who are supporting the delivery of research in addition to their clinical duties, as we could not achieve these results without you.”
The league table can be viewed at: https://www.nihr.ac.uk/