Thursday 15 November 2012

Research and Commissioning

Please note that I will be adding further questions to ask - if tweeting include #involve2012. Commissioning is fundamentally about spending money so I thought I would throw in a few coins especially after Sir Iain Chalmers' blistering attack on waste in research at #involve2012. So, I have added some questions to ask...

The new Mandate to the NHS Commissioning Board was published earlier this week whilst we were all at INVOLVE

The Mandate sets out the objectives for the NHS and highlights the areas of health and care where the Government expects to see improvement. It focuses on the areas that matter most to people:

RESEARCH is mentioned as follows...

6.2 The objectives in this mandate can only be realised through local empowerment. The Board’s role in the new system will require it to consider how best to balance different ways of enabling local and national delivery. These may include:

·       its duties to promote research and innovation – the invention, diffusion and adoption of good practice;

7.2 The NHS Commissioning Board’s objective is to ensure that the new commissioning system promotes and supports participation by NHS organisations and NHS patients in research funded by both commercial and non-commercial organisations, most importantly to improve patient outcomes, but also to contribute to economic growth. This includes ensuring payment of treatment costs for NHS patients taking part in research funded by Government and Research Charity partner organisations. 

We need to push the NHS to make sure that research opportunities are explained to patients.

Please check with your local Trust and new Clinical Commissioning Groups to make sure that they are complying with their duties and whether they are reporting activity.

All NHS Trusts have a duty, through the NHS Constitution, to promote opportunities for patients to take part in clinical research studies. 

The National Institute for Health Research provides support for the delivery clinical research trials in the NHS in England, and there are now new measures of how individual Trusts are delivering on that duty across the different therapy areas.


1. How many clinical research studies the Trust took part in last year 2011/12? And currently?
2. How many patients it recruited as a Trust?

3. How much research is being done across a range of medical conditions?

Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) are committed to promoting patient recruitment to and participation in research according to section 4.2.2 of the authorisation process.

A statement we might expect to see from CCGs 

“We declare that our CCG understands and will comply with our statutory responsibilities regarding promoting research; and that we are committed to following the policy of ensuring that the NHS needs the treatment costs for patients who are taking part in research funded by Government and research charity partner organisations”

Some Useful Sources of Information

A Clinical Commissioners Guide to the Voluntary Sector

Resources for Health and Wellbeing Boards

Healthwatch England

NHS National Commissioning Board

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