Deliver your trial at Patient Recruitment Centre: Exeter

The national Patient Recruitment Centre programme is purpose-designed to increase the UK’s capacity to deliver late-phase commercial clinical research; the Patient Recruitment Centre Exeter (PRC: Exeter) is one of five such centres nationwide.

We draw on the significant experience of the Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust in the set-up and delivery of commercially funded clinical trials. We have excellent working relationships with the top Clinical Research Organisations and are recognised as a site who can deliver studies effectively, opening to recruitment quickly and efficiently and achieving agreed recruitment targets on time. 

Our friendly team comprises experienced principal investigators, clinical research delivery staff and professional services staff who are keen to forge new relationships and work in new ways to expand research activity across the region.

We look forward to working with you for the benefit of patients across the regions of our population and beyond...



Research expertise

Our PRC is located within the Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust which has a proven track record of successful commercial research delivery of phase I to IV trials across a broad range of clinical specialties and trial designs. 

Our experienced and highly-skilled research team is ready to help you deliver your next commercial research venture. With a strong track record and stand-out successes, we demonstrate the ability of our team and show just why PRC: Exeter is a first-class destination for clinical trial delivery. 

Within our PRC, we support clinical research with our leading expertise spanning a large number of therapeutic areas and have had recent successes in cardiology, microbiology, respiratory, gastroenterology, diabetes and COVID-19 vaccine trials.

Regional relationships & industry connections

Our strong industry relationships and connections across the region are unquestionable.  We are proud to be part of such a strong clinical and non-clinical network which  enables us to deliver commercial clinical research at pace and to scale. 

For example, our network within Primary Care gives us the opportunity to recruit from a community of over 160, 000 patients within 30 minutes of the PRC,  while our North Devon District Hospital site and secondary care trusts cover mid and north Devon.

Our links with the Clinical Research Facility and the University of Exeter allow the PRC team to flex as required to absorb the speciality staff that may be needed to support a study. This gives us an increased knowledge and skill base required for taking on specialist and unique trials.

Existing collaborations with the life science industry partners include the highly successful IQVIA Peninsula Prime Site initiative; for which The Peninsula was the top recruiter of all prime sites in 2016 and 2017, and membership with the South West Pfizer INSPIRE site initiative.

Track record & recruitment successes

We are recognised as a site who can deliver studies effectively, opening to recruitment quickly and efficiently, and consistently achieving agreed recruitment targets on time.

  • In the 2021/22 Financial year, we opened 4 new studies and have been selected for 9 studies starting in 2022
  • 273 participants took part in Novavax cross-over study where 491 Novavax end of study visits took place
  • Novavax participant retention is at 85% one year on
  • 345 PSD were issued to support participants receiving additional deployed vaccines
  • 25% of Novavax participants agreed to be contacted again for future research 
  • DAPA MI: has recruited 39 patients exceeding the national target with a trial set up time faster than the national median
  • On average, for the last five years, we have recruited more than 300 participants per year into clinical research studies.

DAPA MI Study: We have been extremely successful working in collaboration with the in-patient research delivery team supporting recruitment to the DAPA MI Study, a global trial which is being run in the UK and Sweden in collaboration with the Uppsala Clinical Research Centre

Novavax Trial: We commenced recruitment to the Novavax vaccine trial in October 2020 at the Nightingale Hospital Exeter where an average of 86 patients per week were randomised. This resulted in us exceeding our recruitment target, with over 1200 participants screened and 545 randomised. We have been successful in high retention of participants (85%) which has now completed follow up.

Read how PRC: Exeter exceeded target recruiting 545 volunteers into one of the world’s leading COVID-19 vaccine studies.

Patient population

Compared to the rest of the UK, Devon has a unique profile with an older than average population. This provides significant opportunities for research concerning older generations and comorbid conditions including dementia. 

Approximately 20% of the population of Devon are aged 65-84 and 3.5% are aged over 85. In addition to this, approximately 5% of the Devon population live in the most deprived 20% of areas nationally. 

We also contribute to and use the Exeter 10k biobank which provides access to over 12k participants who are pre-screened, with an interest in research and can be genetically matched to trials. 


Patient experience

Our patient-centred approach to research ensures that our participants are informed and engaged which has led to 99% retention in our studies.

“The staff are very committed to the trial and I was too. I encourage anyone that gets the opportunity to participate in a trial at the PRC: Exeter” - John Burden, COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Participant

Participants enjoy being greeted at a dedicated reception in a bespoke, newly refurbished unit and 97% of all participants would consider taking part in research again. Not only that, 98% of participants felt their contribution was valued. 

Read John’s story about what inspired him to take part in a clinical trial at PRC: Exeter and how he is recommending taking part in clinical trials to his friends.


Use the links below to find out more:

Information for patients & the publicCollaborator information

Contact the PRC: Exeter Back to homepage



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