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AMRC's challenge for government in 2015

We’ve launched AMRC’s challenge for government in 2015. It calls on the current and future governments to support the UK medical research sector to ensure charities can continue to fund excellent science and develop life-saving treatments for patients.

Background

At AMRC, we have been working closely with our members and Executive Council to develop key messages for what the UK medical research sector needs from the current and future governments. We have now summarised these in AMRC's challenge for government in 2015. In September, we published our infographics sheet which demonstrates the unique contribution which charities make to the success of UK medical research. Gemma blogged about it here. In this we highlighted the three things medical research charities need:
  • strong foundations - internationally competitive levels of government funding for research in universities and the NHS 
  • skilled people - a stable pipeline of skilled researchers and health professionals
  • research at the heart of the NHS- an NHS open to research with strong connections to higher education

What is our challenge for government in 2015?

The new challenge document builds on these three overarching themes by calling on the current and future governments to:

Commit to stable investment for research

We know that medical research benefits the economy. Each pound invested in medical research by government and charities returns around 40p to the UK every year in perpetuity. Stable government investment in research will increase confidence and leverage funding from both charities and industry. Therefore, we are calling on government to maintain the dual support system which allows scientists to access a diverse mix of funding and respond to new challenges and opportunities. We are also calling on government to increase the Charity Research Support Fund to reflect the increase in charity investment in research and to protect the Medical Research Council’s budget which funds much of the basic science and expertise on which charities can build.

Support the people and environment that enable research to flourish

The quality of medical research depends on the UK having a highly skilled workforce and a flexible, innovation-friendly regulatory environment. We want government to encourage training, development and retention of researchers, technicians and healthcare workers. We also want them to work with the scientific community to raise public confidence in animal research and ensure that all research regulations are proportionate, streamlined, and help drive innovation.

Position research at the heart of the NHS

Our last call for government reflects the overarching message of Our vision for research in the NHS, that research should be embedded across the health service as part of high-quality care provision. All NHS staff should receive training in how to conduct or support research, all patients should have access to clear information about research and everyone should be offered opportunities to take part in research. Government should also work closely with NHS England and Clinical Commissioning Groups to make sure Excess Treatment Costs are paid for and patient data can be shared safely and securely to support research and facilitate the adoption of innovation. 

What next?

We are currently contacting politicians and key policy-makers to highlight the unique contribution AMRC members make to the UK medical research sector and share the infographics sheet and our challenge document.

We also hope our members and other partners will use both documents when they are talking with politicians, government officials and policy-makers ahead of the general election. If you would like printed copies of either document please get in contact with Rachael or Martin. And let us know how you get on!