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The National Institute for Health Research has continued to thrive over the past year. My congratulations and thanks go to everyone involved for their hard work, which is helping to deliver our ambitious agenda: to create the best possible environment in which research and innovation can flourish to improve health and care services.

Since January 2011 we have:

  • Engaged 460,000 patients in NIHR Clinical Research Network Portfolio studies
  • Supported 287 new life-sciences industry studies through the NIHR Clinical Research Network (23 more than in 2010)
  • Managed permissions for 3,750 NHS sites to conduct research for patient benefit, via the NIHR’s Coordinated System for gaining NHS Permission
  • Launched the model Industry Collaborative Research Agreement (mICRA) to streamline and speed up the contracting process for collaboration between universities, the NHS and biopharmaceutical companies
  • Published updated versions of the model Clinical Trials, Contract Research Organisation, and Clinical Investigation Agreements
  • Established the first two NIHR Translational Research Partnerships to support rapid and efficient NHS-university collaboration with the life sciences industry in the early stage development of new treatments
  • Launched the UK Experimental Medicine Resource Finder as a single portal to detailed information on the capabilities and expertise of the UK's early-phase research facilities
  • Created a 'Clinical Research Zone' on the Guardian Online Healthcare Network
  • Processed 771,851,422 patient records from 9 separate data sets, in support of 4 major research projects through the Pilot Health Research Support Service 
  • Funded  285 new research grants across all Research Programmes 
  • Involved 865 lay members in activities across all Research Programmes
  • More than 672 people gave their time to our many and varied panels and committees 
  • Produced 253 new Cochrane reviews and updated 407 existing reviews, through the 23 Cochrane review groups
  • Produced 42 HTA monographs in Volume 15 in 2011, which is predicted to be 50 by the end of December 2011, and 27 Final reports published by SDO programme
  • Launched PROSPERO, an international prospective register of systematic reviews in February. Over 250 reviews registered by 26 different countries, and over 10,000 site visitors from 104 different identifiable countries or territories in the first 10 months.
  • Maintained the total number of NIHR Senior Investigators at just over 200
  • increased the number of research trainees in post to 1627 (210 more than 2010)
  • Launched a new Research Professorships Award this year, which received 57 eligible applications – successful applicants will be notified early in 2012
  • INVOLVE recruitment for members received 159 applications for 15 places
  • NIHR Primary Care Research School funded 9 research projects totalling £4.7M; two ST3 fellowships; five post doctoral fellowships; 12 doctoral studentships
  • Launched a new NIHR Centre for Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology 
  • A record £800 million funding announced for 11 new NIHR Biomedical Research Centres, and 20 NIHR Biomedical Research Units
  • Launched the Research Support Services (outlined in the Governments Plan for Growth) to facilitate consistent local research management and greatly improve performance
  • Launched the Clinical Practice Research Datalink, which will be hosted by the MHRA on behalf of the NIHR, to build a consensus on using e-health record data for the UK in health research
  • Launched a UK Clinical Trials Gateway free App for iPhone users to provide a practical and innovative way for patients to access information about clinical trials
  • Set up an official Twitter account which now has 1905 followers
  • received more than 1 billion hits on the NIHR and associated websites.

I would like to wish you all a merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year 2012. 

Professor Dame Sally C. Davies
Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Adviser


20 December 2011



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