As you will be aware, a decision that no new research studies would be going through other than those related to the COVID19 effort was followed last week by an official statement from the Department of Health and Social Care prioritising COVID-19 research and frontline care (https://www.nihr.ac.uk/news/dhsc-issues-guidance-on-the-impact-on-covid-19-on-research-funded-or-supported-by-nihr/24469).
After consultation with the leadership within NHS England and NHS Improvement and NIHR, the Governance Group for the National Contract Value Review implementation met on 12th March and decided to pause this process with immediate effect.
What does the ‘pause’ mean?
We will not progress with a national contract review on any new studies that require validation. Commercial contract research studies will be validated by the LCRNs as per previous mechanisms.
What happens to the roll out of the interactive Costing Tool (iCT)?
The mandated use of the interactive Costing Tool will continue as planned. From 1st April, 2020, all new Commercial Contract Research should be costed using the interactive Costing Tool. Resources are available to support its use on the NIHR website. (https://www.nihr.ac.uk/documents/interactive-costing-tool-ict-getting-started/12170.)
Accreditation for nominated National Coordinators:
The online accreditation platform will remain open for nominated National Coordinators to undertake accreditation should they wish. Please note, however, there is no deadline for completing this while other activities must take priority.
Most face-to-face training for nominated National Coordinators has been completed. When the project resumes, anyone who has been unable to attend will get the chance to take part in further sessions and the training day.
Training for industry representatives and participating sites will be organised and invitations sent out when implementation can recommence.
Three engagement webinars have been organised on the 24th March, 2nd April and 6th April for nominated National Coordinators, wider R & D community and Industry representatives. These will share information on the pausing of implementation and give invitees an opportunity to clarify any questions they may have. Please note these are not mandatory and invitees may choose to attend any or none of them if other activities take priority.
We will continue to review the situation and, in line with advice and guidance from senior leadership within NHS England and NHS Improvement and NIHR, will announce when implementation will recommence in consultation with stakeholders.
If you have any queries, please contact the project team on firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are grateful for your understanding and cooperation.
For and on behalf of:
National Contract Value Review Process Project Implementation Team