Date Published: 1 August 2005

UK Government consults for World-Class Health Research Strategy

Health News from the United Kingdom (UK).

The Department of Health today launched a consultation on proposals for a new modernised National Health Research Strategy. The views of research professionals, organisations, patients and the public are being sought on the future direction of health research for the Department of Health and the National Health Service (NHS) in England.

The strategy aims to ensure the NHS supports the Government's commitment to positioning the UK as the best place in the world for health research, development and innovation.

The proposed changes include:

  • Modernising the way research in the NHS is funded - to ensure a transparent system of funding that more accurately reflects the levels of health research conducted by NHS Trusts.
  • Establishing a set of Academic Medical Centres - to serve as the nation's premier research hospitals and compete with other top clinical research institutes throughout the world.
  • Creating the National Institute for Health Research - a virtual institute to work with the UK Clinical Research Collaboration to co-ordinate the research infrastructure of the NHS.

This would bring together, for the first time, all elements of NHS and Department of Health research.

UK Government Health Minister, Jane Kennedy said:

"We want to create a health research system in which the NHS supports outstanding individuals, working in world-class facilities, conducting leading-edge research, focused on the needs of patients and the public.
_This consultation document sets out our proposals for achieving this, placing patients at the centre of a system that focuses on quality, transparency, and value for money.
_The changes proposed are radical. However, we believe that they are essential to create a health research system in which NHS support ensures the UK is the best place in the world for health research.
_The proposed strategy has been developed by working closely with research professionals and organisations, but it will only be successful if it commands widespread support from all our stakeholders. Any changes to funding will need to be managed carefully, and we are proposing a transition period in order to minimise disruption.
_The purpose of this consultation is to seek views from the wider research community and associated organisations so that we can create the greatest possible consensus about the way forward.

The web-based consultation will run for twelve weeks, closing on 21st October 2005.

Source: UK Department of Health

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