Our policy on enabling research in the NHS
Clinical research and clinical trials in universities, institutes and the NHS are vital in developing and improving cancer treatments. Once a new treatment has been thoroughly tested in the laboratory we then need to find out how well it works in patients.
The UK has an ambitious target to dramatically increase the number of patients involved in trials, set out in the NHS Operating Framework 2010/11 - but this can only happen if a culture of research is embedded in the NHS.
We want the UK Governments to foster a supportive environment for clinical trials and clinical research in the NHS. This should include funding for infrastructure, such as nurses and data managers as well as the service support costs. Appropriate funding also needs to be channelled into NHS Research and Development, through the National Institute for Health Research, to ensure that the best evidence is available for use in making decisions about cancer care.
All healthcare professionals should understand the importance of clinical research and emphasise to their patients the value of involvement in research as part of their treatment, where appropriate. We believe that research should form an essential component of clinical academic training, and should be the responsibility of the entire clinical workforce.
All patients should have access to literature and web-based information on being involved in research, as well as information on clinical trials currently available in the area of each patient's disease.
We welcome moves in the NHS Constitution, published in July 2009, to raise the profile of research in the NHS and ensure that all patients have information about any options they may have to get involved in a clinical trial.
Cancer Research UK is also actively involved in monitoring any European legislation that has an impact on the clinical research environment in the UK. We are currently calling on the UK Government to take an active role in influencing a review of the EU Clinical Trials Directive. There are concerns across the research community that this legislation is hampering our ability to conduct clinical research in the UK and internationally.
Transforming the regulation and governance of health research in the UK
In February 2012 the Academy of Medical Sciences, Cancer Research UK and the Wellcome Trust brought together leading figures from across the health research sector including: funders, industry, Government, regulators, patient representatives, academics and NHS organisations.
The meeting focused on specific elements of the regulation and governance pathway. This report documents these discussions, concluding with the delegates’ reflections of how far the landscape has evolved, and what more is needed to truly transform the environment in the UK.
Previous consultation responses:
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