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

OECD wades into clinical trials debate, but statement on public involvement goes awol

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) yesterday waded into the increasingly feverish debate about the regulation of clinical trials with a strongly worded recommendation calling on its members to harmonise approval processes.  The recommendation which is worded with the minimum of fuss, is backed by a more detailed explanatory memorandum. But I am … Continue reading OECD wades into clinical trials debate, but statement on public involvement goes awol

A bit of a public involvement mash-up including that idea for an NHS Civil Society Assembly

So here's my unsubstantiated personal theory. It is that one of the root causes of the problems besetting today's NHS' is our failure to pay proper heed to the growing crisis in accountability and responsibility that has been a feature of our increasingly complex health system over the last seventy years.  From almost the day … Continue reading A bit of a public involvement mash-up including that idea for an NHS Civil Society Assembly

‘Best left alone’ is not the motto we want for our health regulators

It being half-term you can never have enough travel games on hand. Current favourites for me are: a) guessing who will be the new Director of the Wellcome Trust and; b) thinking of  a name for the body  created if you merged all the current Research Councils into one. I did apply for the former … Continue reading ‘Best left alone’ is not the motto we want for our health regulators

Text of speech to INVOLVE 2012 – Public involvement in research: would you like that shaken or stirred?

Public involvement in research: would you like that shaken or stirred? So, ladies and gentlemen, there I was on Saturday afternoon, at the pictures, watching the new James Bond movie, ‘Skyfall.’  This was background research for today you understand; listening to Adele dolefully sing: ‘This is the end’ which is the opening line of the … Continue reading Text of speech to INVOLVE 2012 – Public involvement in research: would you like that shaken or stirred?

Health Research Authority gets to work on speeding-up research

So there I was yesterday afternoon,  with my biology 'o'level a distant memory to put it mildly, speaking at the annual NIHR Senior Investigators Meeting thinking: 'how did I ever get into this?'  The event brings together the very best of NIHR's  researchers for an update on what's happening across health research.  And this was mentioned … Continue reading Health Research Authority gets to work on speeding-up research

There is no point to the javelin

It has come to this.  The world's top tennis players rush their shots to beat an 11pm curfew.  Bruce and Sir Paul are turned-off mid-performance.  And they don't use real javelins in schools. Looking across the the athletics field at my sons' school sports day, I spied a clutch of children competing in the javelin.  Except this … Continue reading There is no point to the javelin

New science networks herald more fertile ground for health innovation

If contemplating NHS change rest assured, and this from one who once visited Mt Etna, that the lava does solidify, some old structures do survive, and it is possible for new ones to be built with solid foundations. Herewith some new and some not so new 'kids' on the block in the world of research. … Continue reading New science networks herald more fertile ground for health innovation

In defence of the clinical trial patient: a health research ombudsman?

Over a half a million members of the British public took part in clinical trials through the NIHR Clinical Trials Research Networks in 2010, a 24% increase on the year before.  Those are the Government's figures, not mine. Last week's 'life sciences' announcement included a range of measures to increase patient recruitment to trials.  These include … Continue reading In defence of the clinical trial patient: a health research ombudsman?

Health Research Authority (HRA) commits to public involvement from day one

The Health Research Authority (HRA) has published the plan for what it will be up too in the months leading up to March 2012.  Really pleased to see a commitment under the Governance section (para 3.3) to develop a comprehensive plan for public and patient involvement. You'll see the statement mentions working with both INVOLVE and AMRC … Continue reading Health Research Authority (HRA) commits to public involvement from day one

Patients, ethics committees and clinical research – NRES/INVOLVE report highlights ‘public’ challenge for new health research regulator (HRA)

Sometimes you are just defeated by the brilliance of others.  So, if you are looking for a wonderful summary of what the autumn statement means for health research, then I can highly recommend Becky's Policy Pages. Clearly, the opening up of health data is the single most important strategic announcement in today's statement - much … Continue reading Patients, ethics committees and clinical research – NRES/INVOLVE report highlights ‘public’ challenge for new health research regulator (HRA)

EU clinical trials push by broad UK coalition

Good to see a broad coalition of UK organisations including AMRC issue this joint statement today urging for the ongoing revision of EU Clinical Trials Directive to culminate in less bureaucracy for funders and others when setting up and running trials. No one would argue with the need to put patient safety first but I … Continue reading EU clinical trials push by broad UK coalition