New @HRA_Latest @OfficialNIHR data on UK public attitudes to health research highlights need to work with under-represented groups to break down barriers #diversity

White, middle-class and well-connected - and that's just the patients: is this the health research culture we wish to see in the UK? Ever since it was established in 2011, the Health Research Authority (HRA) - the UK regulator of health research whose mission is 'to protect and promote the public interest' - has commissioned … Continue reading New @HRA_Latest @OfficialNIHR data on UK public attitudes to health research highlights need to work with under-represented groups to break down barriers #diversity

What next in identifying patient priorities for health research? #JLAevaluation

I spent yesterday morning at an excellent event looking at the James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnerships (JLA PSPs for short!). #JLAevaluation Started in 2004, JLA PSPs have become a recognised and highly respected method for identifying shared priorities in health research among patients, carers and clinicians.  That they have is a testament to its founders but also the excellent JLA … Continue reading What next in identifying patient priorities for health research? #JLAevaluation

A brief update on NIHR’s review of public involvement in research

We have just passed the mid-way point in the 'evidence-gathering' phase of NIHR's strategic review of public involvement entitled 'Breaking Boundaries.'  So here's an unofficial Chair's view. The announcement of the review on 31st March, its terms of reference and our initial call for views can be found on NIHR's website here People can at the … Continue reading A brief update on NIHR’s review of public involvement in research

Political spotlight on Health Research Authority (HRA) intensifies

I am sure the new Health Research Authority (HRA) can take care of itself.  But the expectations being heaped on it by others show no signs of abating. I wouldn't be surprised if tomorrow someone calls on it to cure cancer. If it had been created by a Blair Government it would surely have been … Continue reading Political spotlight on Health Research Authority (HRA) intensifies

Royal College looks to boost child health research with children’s charter

I am prone to beating up our Royal Colleges for one reason or another.  But, over the last few years, I have grown to admire and respect the work of one of their number in particular - the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH). Yesterday, RCPCH launched a new report entitled 'Turning the Tide: … Continue reading Royal College looks to boost child health research with children’s charter

Have charities really put the brakes on public involvement in research?

I was pulled-over by the police on the M25 on Sunday night.  Unbeknown to me, my car brake lights had failed so that they were permanently on.  Quite apart from blinding any traffic on my tail, an unwitting driver could easily have mis-read my intentions with who knows what consequences.  Thankfully that didn't happen.  And by … Continue reading Have charities really put the brakes on public involvement in research?

Charities wade in on Leveson and media reporting of science

The Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) together with Cancer Research UK and Wellcome Trust have this afternoon published their response to the Leveson inquiry into the culture, practice and ethics of the press.  See first item listed under 2012 on this page at the AMRC website. The submission makes good points and I learnt … Continue reading Charities wade in on Leveson and media reporting of science

‘Scroll down’ for clinical trials

To begin with, here's more on that Pfizer story about use of mobile phone technology etc in clinical trials. It seems to have piqued an interest among many of you anyway. Also on the subject of clinical trials, I was rather perplexed by this story running out of the NHS Confederation this morning. I'm delighted … Continue reading ‘Scroll down’ for clinical trials

Flying in the face of an interregnum

As a self-confessed member of the worried well, I ask that people think carefully before they throw strange words at me.  Particularly on the day of a regular visit to my 'prescription-happy' doctor. A colleague asked me this morning how my interregnum was going.  It  sent me into a momentary panic.  Is it treatable I … Continue reading Flying in the face of an interregnum

Briefings on the impact on science of a cap non-EU migrants, data protection etc

A quick pass-by to alert you to the fact that we have a new briefing available on the impact on science of the proposed cap on non-EU migrants...and that we have published our response to the Ministry of Justice consultation on the current legislative framework for data protection. On the former I believe that the … Continue reading Briefings on the impact on science of a cap non-EU migrants, data protection etc

Coming down to earth – regulators, dementia taxes, collaboration and new generation politics

I think it was Simon Carr in the Independent who said that Ed Milliband opened his arms at the beginning of his speech as if welcoming the assembled earthlings to his world. I certainly feel as though I have come back down to earth today.  An early train back to London from Manchester to a … Continue reading Coming down to earth – regulators, dementia taxes, collaboration and new generation politics

ReSET – the costs of clinical research

ReSET, otherwise known as the Department of Health's guidance on the attribution of NHS non-commercial Research costs, NHS Support Costs and Treatment Costs, was published two weeks ago.  Very simply it sets out who  - the NHS, Department of Health, or research funder - should pay for which component of running a research study such as … Continue reading ReSET – the costs of clinical research

An Open Letter to Lord Mandelson

This week 'The Guardian' published an extract online of my response to Lord Mandelson's article in its pages about higher education funding.  But I thought I would provide the full text here for interest.  Dear Editor, The Business Secretary, Lord Mandelson, presents a stout case for why universities should see tighter budgets as an opportunity for diversifying their … Continue reading An Open Letter to Lord Mandelson

Medical research in Scotland

Last week I was in Scotland to host a meeting of some of our member charities about how we  might support their work to ensure science and research is firmly on the agenda of the Scottish Assembly.  Held in a curtained-off room in a Starbucks cafe I couldn't help wonder whether this was how it felt in … Continue reading Medical research in Scotland