More patients accessing new treatments in Greater Manchester

More than 40,700 participants1 were given access to new and better treatments through participation in clinical research in Greater Manchester in the past year, according to figures published today by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

Over the last five years, the NIHR has recruited more than 3.1 million participants into clinical research studies across the country, enabling more patients to benefit from improved care.2

Today’s latest figures show the number of participants3 recruited into clinical research studies across Greater Manchester has increased by almost nine per cent – from 37,416 in 2015-16, to 40,742 in 2016-17.

The data also reveals the region has five hospital trusts in the top 50 of the national 2016-17 Research Activity League Table, with CMFT being placed11th nationally . The table details how much clinical research is happening, where, in what types of trusts, and involving how many participants.

Valuable work took place across the entire region, as 100 per cent of Greater Manchester’s trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups were research active in 2016-17.

Both patients and healthy volunteers are encouraged to talk to their healthcare practitioners about participating in clinical research – you can read a number of our patients’ stories, to find out how taking part in research has impacted their lives. 

Greater Manchester headlines from the NIHR figures published today:

  • Greater Manchester has five hospital trusts in the top 50 of the national 2016-17 Research Activity League Table: Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT), 11th; The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, 25th; Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, 33rd; University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust, 38th; Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, 43rd.
  • CMFT was the fourth most improved trust nationally in the table showing the highest increase of active clinical research studies (an increase from 342 studies in 2015-16 to 383 in 2016-17).
  • The North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (NWAS) led the way among trusts which are relatively new to research but are rapidly developing a culture in research activity. NWAS was the most improved trust nationally in terms of increase in participation recruitment. It achieved a 1,080 per cent increase from five participants in 2015-16 to 59 in 2016-17.
  • There was an increase of more than 30 per cent in patient recruitment across the trusts in Greater Manchester.
  • Nationally, more than 665,000 8 participants were recruited. This was the highest number of clinical research participants in any given year. The substantial rise represents a 10 per cent increase in the last year alone.9
  • Nationally, the proportion of commercial contract studies delivering to time and target has increased by almost two thirds, from 45 per cent to 73 per cent in 2016-17.

Jonathan Sheffield, Chief Executive of the NIHR Clinical Research Network, said:

“The increase in the number of clinical research participants last year and the improvements we are seeing in studies delivering to time and target are fantastic achievements that are contributing to better health and care outcomes in this country.

“Researchers can be more confident of being able to complete their studies, and more patients will benefit from new and better treatments becoming available.

“Overall, 65 per cent of trusts nationally and 93 per cent of trusts in Greater Manchester increased their research activity in 2016-17, demonstrating the growing appetite for research within the NHS.

“We must continue to invest in the opportunities that clinical research presents, by looking at more innovative ways of delivery and making better use of digital advancements in the health and care sector.”

Additional information

  1. These figures should not be cited as a count of people because a person may participate in more than one study
  2. All data represents clinical research studies supported by the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN). Data are sourced from the NIHR CRN Portfolio of studies. More information is available at:
  3. National statistics will be published on 2 August 2017
  4. This percentage discounts the North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust participation increase in order to provide a more proportionate reflection of participation across Greater Manchester Trusts
  5. Numbers over 1 million have been rounded to the nearest 100,000. Figures between 100,000 and 1 million have been rounded to the nearest 5,000. Percentages have been rounded to whole numbers.