Date: 02 July 2019
More people than ever before took part in research studies in Greater Manchester in the last year, according to new figures released today (July 2) by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN).
In 2018/19, a total of 83,478 people participated in studies carried out across the region. This surpassed the previous highest for Greater Manchester by more than 21,000.
This total accounted for 9.5 per cent of all recruitment to studies in England last year, despite the fact the Greater Manchester region accounts for around only 5 per cent of the population.
The figures have been revealed today as the NIHR publishes its research activity for 2019/19.
The statistics cover commercial research studies sponsored by the life sciences industry – such as pharmaceutical companies – and non-commercial studies funded by organisations such as medical charities, research councils, the government or the NIHR.
A message from Jonathan Sheffield, NIHR Clinical Research Network Chief Executive Officer
In addition to the excellent recruitment across the region, today’s figures also show fantastic performances by individual Greater Manchester NHS organisations.
Pennine Acute NHS Hospitals Trust recruited 37,122 participants during 2018/19. This made it the highest recruiting trust in the whole of England.
Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) was the fourth highest recruiting trust in the country (20,405). MFT was also the fourth highest in the country in terms of the number of studies supported by a trust (476 studies).
The country’s most improved trust in terms of the number of studies supported is also located in Greater Manchester, with Bridgewater Community Healthcare Trust achieving a 250 per cent improvement on 2017/18.
A total of 1,105 studies were supported across the whole of Greater Manchester.
The figures also show growth nationally across England. Overall, 50 per cent of NHS trusts and 61 per cent of Clinical Commissioning Group regions increased their research activity.
The number of NHS organisations offering patients the chance to participate in life sciences industry research also rose across England - with 25 per cent of NHS trusts and 17 per cent of CCG regions increasing the number of commercial studies they supported.
The research activity can be viewed on the NIHR website at www.nihr.ac.uk/nihrleaguetable.
Debbie Vinsun, Chief Operating Officer, NIHR Clinical Research Network, Greater Manchester, said: “Research is making a difference to lives every single day and that’s thanks to the patients right here in Greater Manchester and all over England who are willing to volunteer for studies every year.
“We are delighted that a record number of patients have agreed to participate in our region during 2018/19. Their involvement is making sure the NHS continues to get stronger and more efficient with new and improved treatments in all disease areas for current and future generations.
“We are grateful to every single participant and to our research staff across Greater Manchester whose efforts ensure patients have the opportunity to get involved in studies regardless of their address, type of illness or age.”
Jonathan Sheffield, Chief Executive Officer of the NIHR Clinical Research Network said: “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.”