Barts Health to lead clinical research

Barts Health has been chosen to play a vital role in recruiting patients to take part in clinical trials testing drugs.

Barts Health NHS Trust has been chosen as the lead organisation for clinical research across north central and north east London, Essex and Hertfordshire, underlining its considerable experience in recruiting patients onto pioneering clinical research trials.

The Trust is one of 15 NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts across England that will host local branches of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network from April 2014.

The network is the clinical research delivery arm of the NHS and provides funding to hospitals and surgeries to pay for research nurses, scans, x-rays and other costs associated with carrying out clinical research in the NHS.

Professor Jo Martin Barts Health NHS Trust Director of Academic Health Sciences said: “We are delighted to be asked to play such a pivotal role in bringing the opportunity to participate in trials to patients.”

Professor Nick Lemoine, Director of Barts Cancer Institute, who has led the programme to speed up approval of trials across the network said: “With more time available to recruit, more patients will be recruited. Thus these ‘extra’ patients will be able to access the therapies being tested in the trials, which are potentially life-saving or life-changing.”

Clinical research provides evidence about “what works” and on how the NHS can best use its resources to provide better treatments for patients across all areas of medicine.

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The Clinical Research Network will develop the capability of all the hospitals in the region to increase the opportunities for patients to take part in clinical research, ensure that studies are carried out effectively and collaborate on vital research into potential life-saving treatments and diagnostics.

As the chosen Trust for North Thames, Barts Health will be awarded a five year contract from the Department of Health through the NIHR, and will take responsibility for distributing £29m worth of funding per year, to support clinical research across the parts of London, Essex, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.