The Conservative and Liberal Coalition Government (2010 - 2015) wished to see a dramatic and sustained improvement in the performance of providers of NHS services in initiating and delivering clinical research with a particular aim to increase the number of patients having the opportunity to participate in research and to enhance the nation’s attractiveness as a host for research.
The Coalition Government published Plan for Growth in March 2011 which announced the transformation of incentives at local level for efficiency in initiation and delivery of research. For clinical trials we have, since 2012, published outcomes against public benchmarks, including an initial benchmark of 70 days or less from the time a provider of NHS services receives a valid research application to the time when that provider recruits the first patient for that study. From Quarter 4 2015-16, the data collection platform changed to accommodate the new HRA Approvals process, and the 70 day benchmark is now calculated from the date the provider of NHS services was selected as a site for the clinical trial.
As of Quarter 1 2018-19, improvement in clinical trial performance and reducing site set up and participant recruitment time will no longer be assessed with a 70 day benchmark. A renewed focus will be placed on transparency, accuracy, and meeting sponsor expectations.