NHS Health Research Authority launches new strategy on helping people trust research

The Health Research Authority (HRA) launched their new three-year strategy this week, laying out its intention to ensure fast and simple delivery of research that people can trust.

The strategy is based on two key principles: “to include, so that health and social care research is done with and for everyone, and to accelerate, so that research findings improve care faster.”

Digging deeper into the details, the inclusion principle focuses on “meaningfully involving people in all stages of research and sharing its findings”, as that is “crucial to earn people’s trust”. It notes that research must address the issues that matter to patients and the public, which means public conversations need to happen to identify these issues. The need for diversity is also highlighted, with the HRA stating that they can “make better decisions by working with a diverse group of people with lived experiences”.

The acceleration principle underlines the need to save researchers money and time by making it easier for them to find out what they need to do in order to undertake a study, and also easier to earn the necessary approvals. The H`RA state that they plan to tackle this by joining up research approvals across the UK, and that they will support action to ensure that NHS resources can be allotted to research that will help to improve care. HRA will work with research teams to explore further options for enabling research, and will also create a new online system to make the process for gaining approvals smoother.

Matt Westmore, the HRA’s Chief Executive, said: ‘The UK is amongst the best places to do research in the world, with outstanding science, globally successful companies, our national health and social services and strong public support. Fundamental to our success is trust, meaning that people want to get involved in research and use its findings.

‘Cementing our status as a destination to do world-leading research with public confidence will attract investment, creating more research opportunities for patients and the public and helping us to better meet their needs.”

To read the strategy in full, please click here.