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Wessex reaches over 200,000 participants in research

Over 200,000 participants have joined research studies supported by the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) Wessex in the last five years, according to latest figures published by the NIHR CRN.

The NIHR CRN’s 2019/20 annual statistics show that 37,067 participants took part in NIHR CRN Wessex supported research studies in the last financial year, taking the CRN Wessex participant total for the last five years to 222,042.

Patients from 100% of NHS trusts across the Wessex region, which covers Hampshire, Dorset, south Wiltshire and the Isle of Wight, took part in research, demonstrating the opportunities for people to participate, wherever they live and work.

NIHR CRN Wessex, which supports the delivery of an extensive portfolio of high-quality health and social care research each year, achieved a number of other key performance milestones in 2019/2020. The Network:

  • Supported the delivery of 836 studies at NHS and other health and social care sites within the region

  • Helped 92% of non-commercial studies in Wessex to recruit to time and target

  • Recruited 1,195 participants into 157 commercial studies supported by the NIHR CRN within Wessex

In 2019/20, the region’s highest recruiting specialty was mental health, with 4,226 participants recruited from 35 studies.  2019/20 was a record year for recruitment into mental health research within Wessex, with an increase of 1,841 participants recruited from the previous year.

Professor Saul Faust, Clinical Director of NIHR CRN Wessex, said: “Recruiting more than 200,000 participants into NIHR CRN supported studies in the last five years is a fantastic achievement, and would not have been possible without the support and collaboration of huge numbers of people, teams and organisations across the region.

“These important collaborations have placed the Network and the region in a strong position to respond to the call to support the delivery of urgent public health research into COVID-19, particularly with regards to vaccine trials.

“The newly established Wessex Vaccine Hub is a regional effort with contributions from all partner organisations, primary care providers and collective NIHR infrastructure. Together, we hope to provide more opportunities for patients and the public to take part in research and support global efforts to improve our understanding of this new disease.”

Across England, a total of 732,176 participants took part in studies supported by the NIHR CRN in 2019/20, with 3,599,944 participants recruited in the last five years.

Chief Executive Officer of the NIHR CRN, Dr William van’t Hoff 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.”