The Government wishes to see a dramatic and sustained improvement in the performance of providers of NHS services in initiating and delivering clinical research. The aim is to increase the number of patients who have the opportunity to participate in research and to enhance the nation’s attractiveness as a host for research.
The Government’s Plan for Growth, published in March 2011, announced the transformation of incentives at local level for efficiency in initiation and delivery of research. For clinical trials, the NIHR will, from 2012, publish outcomes against public NIHR benchmarks, including an initial benchmark of 70 days or less from the time a provider of NHS services receives a valid research application to the time when that provider recruits the first patient for that study.
In future, NIHR funding to providers of NHS services will become conditional on meeting benchmarks, including a 70-day benchmark to recruit first patients for trials. The NIHR has made this a condition of new contracts from Autumn 2011 and performance will affect funding from 2013.
NHS providers holding NIHR contracts issued after Autumn 2011 are required to provide, on a quarterly basis, information on recruitment to clinical trials, including commercial trials. This information will be supplied to the NIHR Central Commissioning Facility (CCF) in the format specified in the following guidance documents: