National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Supported Research Studies in England Surpass 1M Participants Milestone
23 October 2019
The number of participants in health and social care research studies supported by the UK's largest research funder the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has increased by more than 20% to top one million for the first time.
Figures released by the NIHR this week show that 1,015,487 participants took part in NIHR-supported research studies in England during the 2018/19 financial year. This compares to 835,904 in 2017/18, so the latest figure is an increase of 21.5%.
Health Minister Nicola Blackwood said: “Research has the potential to unlock solutions to the biggest challenges facing healthcare today, but breakthroughs are impossible without the participation of incredible volunteers who give up their time to get involved.
“I am delighted we have reached the one million participants milestone, and with so many ways to participate - such as the Be Part of Research website and the NIHR BioResource – I hope to see many more people volunteering so we can continue to improve care and ultimately save lives.”
In 2018/19, the NIHR Clinical Research Network (NIHR CRN) recruited 870,250 participants to over 6,100 clinical research studies and trials. An additional 145,237 participants joined research studies run through NIHR’s Clinical Research Facilities, Biomedical Research Centres and other research infrastructure.
Of those recruited by NIHR CRN, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT) was the 4th highest ranked NHS Trust for health research recruitment in 2018/19, recruiting 20,983 participants. The trust ranked 8th in the number of research studies recruited to, in the last financial year, supporting 453 studies. The Trust was the top NHS Trust in Yorkshire and the Humber for recruitment across all studies.
The increase is down to more new studies opening, an increase in the number of large clinical research studies and trials, and improved data collection processes.
Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England and NIHR lead, said: “To pass the one million mark for participants in research studies is a significant milestone. This is due to the generous nature of patients and the public, without whom vital health research simply could not happen.”