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Title: NHS R&D Forum Primary Care Working Group Update
Date: 20/06/2012

Primary Care Working Group - udate

This group had its inaugural meeting on May 24th. We acknowledged this is an uncertain time for our primary care colleagues and this group wishes to be as supportive and informative to our members as possible and share as much as we can as soon as we can.

To support this we will use  as a document depository of all the policy, papers and information that is currently available and relevant to primary care in the new NHS landscape.

We agreed a range of task and finish groups as a priority with all working group members involved in one or more if these areas. These are

  • Authorisation for Clinical Commissioning groups
  • Research governance
  • Public Health - transition to Local Authorities
  • Excess Treatment Costs
  • Contracts and contracting
  • Promoting research development in primary care
  • Communication

We have several future meetings planned and will keep you informed.

In addition all members please note that Paul Wallace is chairing an NIHR Advisory group on research and the transition to CCGs in the NHS.   The group have focused on the role of the CCGs in primary care research and management of excess treatment costs.  A summary paper on "Primary Care Research After the Act" has been published by Peter Brindle as an editorial in the BJGP (see attached)The group have also produced this statement below on management of RM&G in primary care during this transition period, which emphasises the need to retain the status quo arrangements, whilst primary care roles with regard to RM&G are being clarified, some of you may find helpful for discussions locally. 


  1. There are existing staff who have a wealth of experience in, and understanding of, RM&G in primary care whose skills and experience will continue to be needed to support the delivery and set up of research with GPs.
  2. The issuing of permission for research is a responsibility that rests with the care provider (not the commissioner)
  3. PCTs were specifically given the RM&G function on behalf of GPs, dentists etc. It is not in the function of CCGs.

  4. If there is a need to move staff to a different employer, then it is possible for the RM&G function to be undertaken by staff employed elsewhere (just as is currently done in many consortia) but the function is still carried out for the PCT (which remains a legal entity until abolished).

  5. Where care is now provided by other new providers then point 2 above applies, i.e. it is the care provider's responsibility. Where these are not NHS organisations, then arrangements can be put in place to support research involving NHS patients, e.g. as currently undertaken through consortia etc. However, non-NHS providers are not currently CLRN members and do not currently have access to CSP. The latter point is open to review with DH.

Shona Haining



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