Over 250,000 Greater Manchester patients take part in research studies


More than 250,000 people have now taken part in research studies in Greater Manchester over the last five years, according to annual figures released by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

A total of 254,850 people have participated in health and care research studies supported by the NIHR and carried out across the region since April 2015. That equates to more than nine per cent of the current Greater Manchester population.

In the last year (1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020), almost 50,900 people took part across the 990 studies which were conducted in NHS hospitals, GP practices and other health and social care settings in Greater Manchester.

Each of the NHS trusts in Greater Manchester, East Cheshire and East Lancashire are research-active and contributed to the total.

In the whole of England, more than 732,000 people took part in research during 2019/20. By doing so, each person has given their time to improve healthcare for others. Without their commitment, vital research that changes lives simply could not happen.

Debbie Vinsun, Chief Operating Officer, NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) Greater Manchester, said: “It is a significant achievement for our region to recruit over a quarter-of-a-million volunteers to health and social care research studies over five years.

“We are able to achieve this thanks to our excellent network of local partners who work hard to offer people the opportunities to take part in research studies, regardless of where the participants live, their type of illness, or their age.

“Most importantly, we are able to achieve this thanks to the willingness of tens of thousands of Greater Manchester patients who agree to participate in research every year. We are grateful to every single person who consents, because research truly does make a difference to lives every single day.”

The NIHR CRN aims to help studies start as quickly as possible and ensure sufficient numbers of patients can be recruited to enable studies to answer the research questions they set out to answer. In 2019/20, with NIHR CRN support, 87 per cent of non-commercial studies in Greater Manchester recruited the required number of participants and did so within the projected time (a measurement known as meeting “time and target”).

Of the 990 studies carried out in Greater Manchester in 2019/20, a total of 281 (28.4 per cent) were sponsored by the life sciences industry – which includes commercial companies working in pharmaceutical, medical technology and diagnostics sectors. Eighty-six per cent of these commercial studies in Greater Manchester recruited to time and target.

Dr William van’t Hoff, Chief Executive Officer of the NIHR Clinical Research Network, said: “I am delighted to see strong results of research delivery, reflecting the tremendous amount of work from many different staff based throughout our entire regional networks and in all healthcare settings. The NIHR CRN is truly showing its reach and opportunity to help researchers and patients across the whole country.”

To learn more about research studies you can take part in, visit www.bepartofresearch.nihr.ac.uk

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