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June Newsletter

Date: 25 June 2018

Welcome to our June News

Please continue to contribute to the NHS R&D Forum and shape our community.

Read our updated Privacy Policy and information on how we process your personal data in line with GDPR here

Ask your teams to sign up to Forum membership…it is open, it is free and it helps to ensure our Professional community thrives.

NEW EVENTS –  Symposia

Embedding Research Strategy & Culture in a Health & Care Setting

How to be a well-led research active organisation

Birmingham, October 10th. Only £175

Leading research in an organisation requires many skills and strategies. The rewards are great if the tactics succeed, however there can be many challenges along the route. NHS R&D departments play a key role as enablers and leaders of quality research in health as reflected in our publication Research for All: Best Practice in Research Management.

During this new symposium you will hear perspectives on research culture and leadership from top Board level NHS executives, patients, and peers who are leading R&D; exploring what has worked well (and not so well) in some NHS organisations.

Confirmed speakers include: Sarah-Jane Marsh CEO (Birmingham Women’s & Children’s NHS Trust), Sarah Williams (Solent NHS Trust), Jo Hartland, (Avon Primary Care Research Collaborative), Christine McGrath (Southampton University Hospitals), Lucy Wasinski & Dan Lawrence (Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust) and Kelly Hard (Birmingham Women’s & Children’s)

To secure a place BOOK HERE

Non-Commercial Research Sponsors Symposium for Health & Care

Being a competent Sponsor

London, November 8th2018. Only £175

Being a Research Sponsor representative is a broad and evolving role, bringing responsibility and accountability with very little formal training or opportunity to share practice. The NHS R&D Forum groups want to improve this for non-commercial sponsors and their partners; through learning, development, resources, and events.

This one day Symposium will bring together those acting for and on behalf of Sponsor organisations across the non-commercial sector, including Sponsor representatives, CTUs, regulators and policy makers. The Symposium will provide space for members to hear from key speakers and to share successes and challenges in the Sponsorship of health and care research studies.

To secure a place BOOK HERE

7 Core Elements of Research Management, Support & Leadership 

During 2017-2018 the Forum training and learning oversight group undertook a comprehensive training needs analysis across members within the community. The group has also scoped a full learning and development programme to serve the spectrum of levels and roles, now called the 7 core elements of a research management support and leadership team.

These core elements can be mapped to the Forum’s R&D functions wheel and help ensure we cover all the high-level learning needs and competencies required in an R&D team.

Learning around patient and public involvement is embedded within each of the core elements. You can download a PDF of these core-elements for sharing here

Presenting this work at the Forum conference, group chair Dr Allyson Bailey, asked for help in prioritising the programme further so that work may begin on writing the new course material so watch this space!


Forum courses currently open for bookings this quarter are:

10thJuly, London: Archiving – Book here

1st& 2ndOctober, Manchester: Applied Monitoring in a Health Care Setting – Book here

15th& 16thOctober, London: Essentials of NHS Research – Book here

See all other events advertised here

Forum Roundup


Forum Review 2017-2018: What did we achieve as a networked community?

Read this year’s summary of Forum progress and activities between May 2017 and May 2018. Thank you for all your contributions over the year.

Do you want to get more involved with the Forum?

If you want to take partin Forum activity or you have an idea to suggest, explore or share contact

Calls from the community

Members have requested examples of the following. If you have any good examples to share in the resources exchange please send to

  • Policies and procedures for research finance and VAT
  • Example subcontract or SLA, for subcontracting provider services when hosting studies
  • Any good job descriptions at band 7 and band 6 for any R&I office roles.

Have your say

Forum group members have recently influenced:

  • Overarching principles for
commercial contract recruitment target setting for NIHR CRN supported studies.
  • MRC/HRA GDPR factsheet
  • NHSE operational plans for ETCs. Alison Steele R&I manager Sherwood Forest NHS Trust has agreed to feed into NHSE working group to provide a DGH perspective.
  • CQC indicators for research operational group

Look out for a Forum survey coming soon to ask for your views on how we are implementing the strategy, what we can improve on and what our leadership team and working groups should prioritise next on your behalf.

If you want to request help from the Forum community or working groups or if you have something to say on a topic, email

Other News and Calls

Improving Performance in Initiating and Delivering Clinical Research 70 day benchmark removed

 Statement from the Department of Health & Social Care

“The Government is committed to creating the best environment for clinical trials and achieving the ambition set out in the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy to make the UK a top tier global hub for biomedical and clinical research and medical innovation. This includes a commitment to increase the number of clinical trials, improve clinical trial capabilities and reduce the time it takes to initiate and deliver studies, ensuring we are supporting the most innovative trials and meeting the needs of the Life Sciences Industry.

As part of a package of support to improve performance in initiating and delivering clinical research, the National Institute for Health Research will continue to require providers of NHS services in receipt of NIHR funding to measure and publish their performance in initiating and delivering clinical research. This requirement is also being reinforced through the NHS standard contract, as outlined in NHS England’s ‘12 Actions to Support and Apply Research in the NHS’, as a measure of the importance of clinical trial performance to the NHS, patients and the Life Sciences Industry.

The 70 day benchmark for clinical trials, which was introduced as part of the publication requirements, has played an important role in driving up trial performance in the NHS in England.  However, we have had feedback from the Life Sciences Industry that publication of performance data using the agreed Minimum Data Set, rather than the 70 day benchmark, will now better meet the needs of industry partners in research site selection and allow sponsors to view the most appropriate timelines for each clinical trial. In response to this, we are now removing the 70 day benchmark for performance in initiating clinical research.

We are also initiating work to streamline the collection of performance data from NHS Trusts, and to improve data quality and usefulness. We will continue to monitor performance data and feedback from the Life Science Industry as this change is embedded.

The NIHR Central Commissioning Facility Clinical Trial Performance team have updated the PID guidance documents for Q1 18-19 to reflect the changes in reporting and publishing requirements. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact them at”

Patient Experience in Research Annual Survey Findings 17/18

The NIHR CRN CC has published its latest report on findings from 2017/2018 patient experience in research survey. Please take the time to read it.

This report is really important to our understanding of what it is like to experience being part of the research activity we run in the NHS. It is also critical to helping us understand where we can and must improve and so please cascade widely and take the time to read the helpful recommendations. The report also highlights the fantastic work of research staff in health care organisations and this should be celebrated. Read it here. For an insightful blog from Simon Denegri on the report, see here

New Governance Arrangements for Research Ethics Committees (GAFREC) published

The Health Research Authority and the UK health departments in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have published revised Governance Arrangements for Research Ethics Committees(GAFREC), which will replace the 2011 version from 17 September 2018.

Changes take account of legal, policy and operational developments, as well as feedback from applicants, REC members and staff. There is one new addition to the good practice requirements for REC review. Following public consultation by the Human Tissue Authority, research involving human DNA extracted from acellular material, which previously did not require REC review, is now included for the first time. Read more here

Single electronic submissions of the IRAS Form for studies led from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

On 28 June 2018 an update to IRAS, the Integrated Research Application System, will introduce a single, e-submission of IRAS Forms and associated documents.  This change applies to studies taking place in NHS organisations in Scotland and Wales and Health and Social Care (HSC) organisations in Northern Ireland where the lead NHS/HSC R&D office is in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales.  Please see the Four Nations Compatibility Programme announcement for more details.

Single IRAS Form and document e‑submission is already available for NHS/HSC studies where the lead NHS R&D office is in England.

There is no change to how participating organisations are set up.  IRAS Help provides advice on how to submit site specific/ local information to sites.

NIHR Involve survey on involving children and young people in research

NIHR INVOLVE are looking into enablers and barriers that researchers face when involving children and young people in research. Please complete their survey 

New Resources

New this month:


Please send in your tools, resources and helpful links. You can upload them directly or send to Just one resource from every organisation would really make a difference and help to keep us all current.

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