It has been announced that the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NNUH) is one of just 15 NHS Trusts/Foundation Trusts in England to be appointed to run a local branch of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network.

The NIHR Clinical Research Network is the clinical research delivery arm of the NHS. It 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.

The Network helps to increase the opportunities for the Eastern region’s patients to take part in clinical research, ensures that studies are carried out efficiently, and supports the Government’s Strategy for UK Life Sciences by helping companies to carry out vital clinical research into potential life-saving new treatments and improved ways to diagnose illnesses in the NHS.

Since April, the NIHR Clinical Research Network has been carrying out a rigorous selection process to identify the NHS Trusts/Foundation Trusts to run its 15 local branches across England. The process was open to all NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts in the region.

As the chosen Trust for the Eastern region, NNUH will be awarded a five year contract from the Department of Health through the NIHR, and will take responsibility for distributing £19 million of funding per year, to support clinical research across the whole area.

Commenting on the appointment, Anna Dugdale, chief executive of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“We are delighted to have been selected as one of the 15 Trusts nationally to run the NIHR Clinical Research Network in the region.

“Our focus will be to support clinical teams across the region in increasing the number of patients who have access to clinical trials, thereby giving patients access to cutting edge clinical care.”

The Chair of the selection panel, Dr Jonathan Sheffield, Chief Executive of the NIHR Clinical Research Network, said:

“The host organisations are our local administrative branches – but they are so much more than that. They will help to set the level of ambition for clinical research delivery locally, and assist us in making sure that clinical research occupies the place it deserves in the day-to-day work of the NHS. We were extremely impressed with the commitment shown by the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust during the selection process, and I very much look forward to working with them to increase the opportunities for patients to participate in research, and develop the treatments of the future.”

Clinical research provides evidence about “what works” and on how the NHS can best use its resources to provide better treatments for NHS patients across all areas of medicine. The promotion, conduct and use of clinical research is included in the NHS Constitution, which pledges that patients will be informed of research studies in which they may be eligible to participate.

Last year, more than 630,000 patients took part in clinical research studies supported by the NIHR Clinical Research Network.


About the NIHR

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is funded by the Department of Health to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. Since its establishment in April 2006, the NIHR has transformed research in the NHS. It has increased the volume of applied health research for the benefit of patients and the public, driven faster translation of basic science discoveries into tangible benefits for patients and the economy, and developed and supported the people who conduct and contribute to applied health research. The NIHR plays a key role in the Government’s strategy for economic growth, attracting investment by the life-sciences industries through its world-class infrastructure for health research. Together, the NIHR people, programmes, centres of excellence and systems represent the most integrated health research system in the world. For further information, visit the NIHR website (

About the NIHR Clinical Research Network

The NIHR Clinical Research Network is the part of the NIHR that delivers clinical research studies in the NHS in England. Further information at:

The local branch area

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been appointed to run the local branch of the NIHR Clinical Research Network for the Eastern area.

The area has the same boundary at the Academic Health Science Network for Eastern area.

Further information about the area is available at:  

Wednesday 4th of September 2013 04:00:12 PM