HRA Latest 26 November 2021: Clinical trials of the future, interactive toolkit to help researchers and participants, countdown to combined review, 10th birthday celebrations and more

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NHS Health Research Authority

HRA Latest – 26 November 2021

Professor Matt Westmore, next Chief Executive of the HRA

Welcome to HRA Latest, with all the latest updates for those working or involved in health and social care research.

The COVID-19 pandemic showed us what the NHS and the UK’s research systems and infrastructure can achieve, and this month our Director of Approvals Dr Janet Messer has blogged about what we can take from this challenge for the future.  Also this month, Parkinson’s UK has launched a new toolkit to helps researchers to keep in contact with participants following a study, read how our Research Ethics Committee members helped make it happen. And the countdown is on to 1 January 2022, when combined review with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) becomes the way all Clinical Trials of Investigational Medicinal Products (CTIMPs) applications are made. 

As always, for regular updates and the latest news, you can follow us on Twitter @HRA_Latest.

Matt Westmore, Chief Executive

Two female scientists looking at medical lab equipment



Clinical trials of the future – a blog by Dr Janet Messer

Our Director of Approvals, Dr Janet Messer, talked with industry experts about the future of clinical trials at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine Symposium 2021. If you missed the session, read her blog about how the HRA is learning from the COVID-19 pandemic and what it means for these vital research studies.

A group of people sitting at a table in a room, with laptops open and yellow and pink post it notes on the wall



New tool to benefit people who participate in research

Parkinson’s UK has developed an interactive toolkit to help researchers and participants keep in touch after they have taken part in a research study. Our Research Ethics Committee (REC) members worked with other stakeholders including research participants on the project.

A finger selecting a button on a screen



Combined review for all CTIMPs coming soon

The countdown is on to 1 January 2022, when combined review with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) becomes the way all Clinical Trials of Investigational Medicinal Products (CTIMPs) applications are made. Over the coming weeks we’ll make sure that applicants, sponsors and host sites are fully prepared for the changes. 

Read more

New e-learning module to help make transparency easy

All studies should provide a plain language summary of what the research found, but some researchers told us that they don’t always know how to write a summary which explains their research to everyone. To support them in communicating results, we’ve developed an e-learning module which will give a better understanding of how to produce consistent plain language summaries of research.

You need to set up an account to on our learning system to access the module. This is free to do.  

Access the e-learning module

Understanding our member demographics

Equality, diversity and inclusion are an important part of the HRA’s mission. It’s important to us to that the HRA community reflects the diversity of the population that we serve. We’ve been working to understand the demographics of our REC, Confidentiality Advisory Group (CAG) and Public Involvement Network (PIN) members and to identify where we might need targeted initiatives to increase our diversity. We are in the very early planning stages and will continue to share our progress.

Find out more

A colourful birthday cake with 10 candles

The HRA celebrates its 10th birthday

We’re nearly ten. Next week, on 1 December 2021, we are celebrating a whole decade of the HRA. We’re using the occasion to take stock of how far we’ve come, and to look to the future. We also want to recognise and thank all of the people who’ve helped us over the past 10 years, and those who will help us shape our future. On 1 December we’ll be talking about the past 10 years on our website and social media and over the coming months we’ll have a programme of activities to continue the conversation.

Patient and public involvement matching service report header

Working together to make public involvement better

We want to see public involvement fully integrated into all UK health and social care research. We’re excited to be working with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to bring together key players from across the research sector to collaborate in this important area.

Read more

Lessons for leaders and strategy delivery - a podcast by Matt Westmore

Our Chief Executive Matt Westmore told The Purposeful Strategist how he ensures that the purpose of the HRA drives its strategy. He shared lessons for leaders about the journey the organisation has been on.

Listen to the podcast