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New NIHR Research Delivery Network announced today by Department for Health and Social Care

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The Research Delivery Network (RDN), part of the National Institute of Health & Social Care Research (NIHR) will begin in 2024 to support research delivery across all areas of England.

The network will comprise of the NIHR RDN Co-ordinating Centre (RDNCC) from April 2024 with the addition of 12 Regional Research Delivery Networks (RRDNs) from October 2024, all hosted by NHS organisations across England. This will replace and build on the successes of the NIHR - Clinical Research Network (NIHR CRN).

The new networks will aim to increase capacity and capability across the health and care research system and support the successful delivery of high-quality research across England for the benefit of patients and the public. This will be done through new processes, structures and governance, working to ensure co-ordination and support through a consistent, customer-focused approach.

Currently the NHS trusts and partner organisations that work with Noclor fall across two different Local Clinical Research Networks (North Thames and North West London), from October 2024, all of our partners will be located within the same area - the North London Regional Research Delivery Network. 

Commenting on the announcement, the NIHR outlined how the new network will be part of enabling access to improve the health and wealth of the nation:

The evolution of the CRN into the RDN will help meet the current and future needs of the country for increased capacity and capability within the research system for the health and the wealth of the nation.

The RDN will deliver an enhanced study support service. This will enable improved access to research infrastructure for the life sciences industry and researchers. The expertise and site-level intelligence of staff from Regional RDNs will come together with the national oversight and leadership of the RDN Coordinating Centre to provide a more effective end-to-end service for customers.

The new RDN, working with the wider system, will enhance equality of opportunity for people to get involved in research. No matter who they are or which part of the country they reside. It will enable research activity to follow patient and service user need. It will ensure research is conducted in communities living with the greatest disease burden. It will collaborate with patients, carers and the public, investigators and study sites.

Professor Lucy Chappell, Chief Executive of the NIHR said:

“The new NIHR Research Delivery Network is designed to provide an enhanced, consistent service for all those involved in research delivery. It includes part of a system wide drive to increase commercial clinical trials, ensuring we work more effectively than ever with the life sciences industry to deliver the best, most cutting-edge health and care research for the British public, alongside research funded by the government and charities.”

“Access to research opportunities in under-served regions is crucial and the new NIHR RDN will be pivotal in supporting new treatment and models of care to communities with major health and care needs. It will build capacity to extend research delivery in primary, community and social care settings to make it easier for patients to get access to cutting-edge treatment, through research.

“The plans and ambitions we have for the RDN have evolved from the excellent work of the Clinical Research Network over the last nine years. Its many dedicated staff have worked incredibly hard to support England to deliver some of the best health and care research during this time. Without their passion and determination, so much of the world-leading research produced in this country during the COVID-19 pandemic would not have been possible.”

Lindsey Hughes, Director of Research, NHS England said:

“NHS England looks forward to working with the new NIHR Research Delivery Network Coordinating Centre and the 12 Regional Research Delivery Networks (RRDNs), building on the successful partnership we have established with the current NIHR Clinical Research Network.

"The RRDNs map to Integrated Care Systems (ICS) footprints, making it easier for ICS research leaders to engage with the support available to them. This will further enable the country’s world-class research system to deliver high quality research that enables the best care for patients and the public.”

The announcement from the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) is available to read on the Gov website news story; New NIHR Research Delivery Network created

The article from the NIHR includes further information on the background and aims of the new networks as well as the full list of Regional Research Delivery Networks across England; Department for Health and Social Care announces new NIHR Research Delivery Network