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Joint NHS R&D support for clinical trials proposal put forward by DHSC for the Comprehensive Spending Review 2020

Date: 29th September 2020



Letter from Maria Palmer, Christine McGrath and Saul Faust to the Treasury on behalf of the NHS R&D Forum, UKRD, and AHUK

We are writing on behalf of the UKRD NHS Leadership community, the University Hospitals Associate Directors of R&D and NHS R&D Forum to express our very strong and unequivocal backing of the Clinical Trials Proposal put forward by DHSC for the Comprehensive Spending Review 2020.

We wholeheartedly agree with and fully support the opportunities, as laid out in the proposal, to position the UK as a global leader in clinical trials and investigations which meets the needs of patients, supports the NHS, and boosts and adds value to the UK economy.

Embedded within the NHS delivering health research, we recognise the challenges and opportunities and welcome the ambition of the proposals. The main barriers in the current system are well articulated and we support the proposed interventions.

The NHS R&D Leadership groups we represent have been central in the reorganisation of research in the NHS to manage risks appropriately and deliver a record breaking, internationally recognised trials for Covid-19. This demonstrates our ability to rapidly transform whilst maintaining research standards and ethics. We welcome the opportunity to build on this and to make the substantial changes outlined in this proposal that will deliver the progress needed. We recognise the benefit of the proposal to industry and the charitable sectors as an important funders, with government, of the UK’s clinical research infrastructure which have been adversely impacted during the COVID19 response and as a result is placing the UK’s NHS research infrastructure at significant risk. We also recognise the benefits of the integration of research, artificial intelligence and data driven insights to retain an economically viable but world calibre NHS.

The National Institute of Health Research, has transformed the health research landscape and provides a strong platform on which to build future success and secure the UK’s position as a global leader in life sciences research.

Best regards

Christine McGrath, Chair, UKRD

Saul Faust, Chair Directors of R&D, UHA

Maria Palmer, Director, NHS R&D Forum

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