Academy of Medical Sciences Report

UK NHS and research leaders say the next ten years could transform the health and wealth of the UK in a new report from the Academy of Medical Sciences 

Some of the UK’s leaders in medical sciences on 8th January said investment in health research over the next ten years could transform the health of the nation, save more lives and contribute to the wealth of the UK.

The NHS R&D Forum strategy & leadership group, a strategic body of senior research leaders from across health & care, including some of the country’s most prestigious NHS clinical research organisations, welcomed the report by the Academy of Medical Sciences (AMS), which calls for more investment and better partnerships between the NHS and the UK’s universities for research. The group however stresses the importance of investment in multidisciplinary teams across all care sectors from the outset and welcomes the recommendation of a pilot, to generate evidence to show where additional resource will have the greatest impact and looking more broadly at the barriers to research activity.

The NHS R&D Forum Leadership and Strategy group said:

“Clinical research is fundamental to improving the UK’s health and its wealth. The NHS is leading the world in clinical research and our aim is to ensure that NHS patients continue to benefit from the expertise in the UK. The AMS report makes a robust case that investment will be needed to ensure we continue to translate innovations from the research community into new treatments for patients in the next decade.

“Excellent partnerships between NHS organisations and academic institutions are fundamental to building on current successes. We know that taking part in research both as a patient or as a member of staff has direct benefits on the quality of care the NHS can provide.

“The AMS report is an important part of setting the agenda for this decade and in identifying that better infrastructure and strong partnerships across all research institutions are essential to future developments. We look forward to working with the Academy on developing these ideas further, which we believe should involve a wide range of professional groups across health and care from the outset and in the pilot, looking broadly at the barriers to participation in research.

The NHS R&D Forum has been developing a number of initiatives to enable more NHS professionals to get involved in clinical research, one of the key recommendations of the AMS report. Members of the NHS R&D Forum are part of a multi-stakeholder team supporting the development of metrics, as recommended in the report and members are working to influence this for primary care.”

References and notes

The AMS report, “Transforming health through innovation: Integrating the NHS and academia”, presents a number of case studies for the effective delivery of clinical research including NHS-academic partnerships for research and innovation in health and care. 

The report highlights the risk to health and care without improved investment in research capacity and capability and includes six recommendations that aim to ensure research and NHS healthcare are aligned.

The AMS has also published an associated report on the benefits of enabling every NHS Consultant to carry out research as part of the core duties: ‘Estimate of the economic costs and literature review of the benefits of dedicated research time for Hospital Consultants in the NHS’.

January 2020

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