New treatments, technologies, care approaches and devices all need to be carefully and safely tested in real life healthcare environments. Clinical research in these environments is separately funded, adds value to patient care, improves the quality of care and adds to the health and wealth of the nation.
The Care Quality Commission now recognises research as a key activity for NHS organisations. Indicators for research are embedded in its Well Led Inspection Framework for NHS Trusts. It recognises that research involves all departments, teams, staff and management functions across an organisation.
Patient access to clinical research is recognised in the NHS Constitution and features in the CQC's annual Inpatient Experience Survey. It also has a high profile in the NHS Long Term Plan.
There is growing evidence that a good level of research activity in a Trust has an impact on overall patient care outcomes.
We also know that research is important to patients and our research programme is directly linked to the health needs of local people, tackling the biggest health inequalities and responding to the feedback from patients, carers and the public about the research that is important to them.