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Research in the NHS

Last reviewed 
18 December 2014

Clinical research is a vital part of the work of the NHS, helping improve treatments for patients now and in the future.

  • Our vision is of an NHS where:
    • Every patient is offered opportunities to be involved in research.
    • All NHS staff see the importance of research.
    • The NHS conducts high-quality research and adopts new treatment.
  • We are working with the NHS and its staff, patients, research funders, universities, medical schools and parliamentarians to deliver our vision to embed research throughout the NHS.
Quality and standards 
  • The Secretary of State for Health, NHS England and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) all have a legal duty to promote research and the use of evidence obtained through research. Many other NHS organisations also have responsibilities for research and the adoption of innovation.  
  • All research in the NHS must be approved by the Health Research Authority and local NHS trusts. Work is underway to streamline these processes.
Data and impact