The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Research and Innovation

LTHT to host new NIHR Regional Research Delivery Network

16 November 2023

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has today announced that a new NIHR Research Delivery Network (RDN) will commence in 2024 to support the successful delivery of health and social care research in England.

As part of this, 12 new Regional Research Delivery Networks (RRDNs) will be hosted by NHS Organisations the length and breadth of the country, covering all English regions. After an open competition, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust was successful in its bid to become the RRDN for Yorkshire and the Humber. The RRDNs are being launched on 1 October 2024.

In collaboration with research partners the network offers unparalleled reach into our large and diverse population, transforming the way research is delivered to meet the needs of the communities we serve. The region has successfully provided over 1.2 million people the opportunity to participate in research, representing one in five members of the region’s 5.4 million population. In 2022/23 alone the network has provided >2,400 participants the opportunity to participate in high quality commercial research working with >100 commercial sponsors across 300 studies.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals is one of the biggest recruiters to NIHR Portfolio studies in the country, having recruited >90,000 participants into such trials over the past 5 years, including >5,000 participants into NIHR commercial portfolio studies.  It hosts multiple NIHR infrastructure programmes including a £20m NIHR Biomedical Research Centre run in partnership with the Universities of Leeds and York and a £8.7m NIHR Clinical Research Facility. 

Professor Phil Wood, Chief Executive Officer of Leeds Teaching Hospitals said:

“I am delighted that Leeds Teaching Hospitals has been selected as host for the new Regional Research Delivery Network for Yorkshire and the Humber. We are proud to have a really strong track record in research and innovation, and our aim is for every patient to be able to participate in, and benefit from, research. 

We look forward to working with the NIHR RDN Co-ordinating Centre and the Yorkshire and Humber RRDN leadership team to support the growth of research across the NHS over the next 5 years”.

Professor Lucy Chappell, Chief Executive of the NIHR said:

“I’d like to congratulate Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and all the successful hosts for the future NIHR RDN. I am looking forward to working with Leeds Teaching Hospitals and all the organisations across the new RDN to support the delivery of the best health and care research for the public.”

“The opportunity to be part of research   is crucial for all communities, particularly those with major health and care needs. The new NIHR RDN 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 treatments and new models of care, through research.

“The plans and ambitions we have for the NIHR 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 researchers and sponsors in 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.”

Amber O’Malley, Chief Operating Officer of the Yorkshire and Humber Clinical Research Network said: We are pleased to be hosted by Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in the future. This will provide a great platform to build on the network’s fantastic achievements and continue to ensure that people from across the Yorkshire and Humber region are able to take part in vital health and care research.

The RRDNs will form part of the NIHR Research Delivery Network, which will operate as a single organisation across England. The joint leadership function will balance regional context, expertise and leadership, with national coordination and strategy, involving DHSC policymakers.

The new NIHR RDN will support the country’s world-class research system to deliver high quality research that enables the best care for patients and the public. It will work across the health and care system, with staff in all health and care settings, to support the effective and efficient initiation and delivery of research. This will benefit people receiving care now and in the future. It will support the NHS and care services and generate benefits for the economy of the UK.

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, ensuring research is conducted in communities living with the greatest disease burden, in collaboration with patients, carers and the public, investigators and study sites.