Clinical research networks
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN) is designed to provide a world-class infrastructure for clinical trials in all areas of disease and clinical need within the NHS. The NIHR CRN consists of a managed set of Topic Specific Clinical Research Networks, a Primary Care Research Network (PCRN) and a Comprehensive NHS Research Network.
The Topic specific networks cover the following disease areas: Dementias and Neurodegenerative diseases; Cancer; Medicines for Children; Diabetes; Stroke; Mental Health. The Comprehensive networks cover all other disease areas and the PCRN covers all primary care research.
The NIHR CRN Coordinating Centre is working to develop and strengthen NHS infrastructure to support the delivery of clinical research. As well as supporting the creation of additional research infrastructure, the NIHR CRN Coordinating Centre is working with key partners to improve the clinical research environment as a whole. This includes: developing a high quality clinical research portfolio, offering a regulatory and governance advice service, supporting the work of Clinical Trials Units, working closely with funders.
The APCRC works closely with our local Comprehensive Local Research Network (CLRN), Western CLRN, which is hosted in Bristol.
The CLRN aims are:
- to ensure that patients and healthcare professionals from all parts of the country and from all areas of healthcare can take part in and benefit from clinical research
- to improve the quality, speed and coordination of clinical research by removing the barriers to research within the NHS
- to streamline and performance manage NHS support for clinical studies to ensure that the costs of research are met in a timely and efficient manner
- to unify and streamline administrative procedures associated with regulation, governance, reporting and approvals
- to strengthen research collaboration with industry and ensure that the NHS can meet the health research needs of industry
- to further integrate health research and patient care.
In order to achieve these aims, the Coordinating Centre:
- provides an excellent clinical research infrastructure to support a high quality portfolio of clinical research studies and facilitate patient participation into studies
- provides those NHS service support costs which were previously provided through other NHS R&D funding streams
- provides and deploys resources for research management in order to ensure that the research portfolio is delivered to the highest standards of research governance.
The APCRC team also work closely with the Primary Care Research Network (PCRN), which is able to provide practical help in terms of recruitment to primary care studies in the area. For more information on how PCRN can help you, consult their website.
Major changes to the structure of the Networks will be introduced in April 2014, building on their success to date. More details will be provided in updates of this website and in our handbook, as they become available.