HRA Latest 31 March 2022: Fast tracking research affected by the war in Ukraine, Step Forward and become a REC member, enabling data and AI in healthcare and more

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NHS Health Research Authority

HRA Latest – 31 March 2022

Professor Matt Westmore, next Chief Executive of the HRA

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

This month, as the terrible situation in Ukraine continues, our proven expedited review process is available for studies affected by the war. 

We’ve been working with other health leaders and members of the public to agree a bold, new shared commitment to improve public involvement in health and social care research. 

And find out about how we’ve been working with the World Health Organisation to learn from our experience reviewing the world’s first COVID-19 human challenge study. 

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

Matt Westmore, Chief Executive

Yellow and blue Ukraine flag

Fast-track research review for studies affected by the war in Ukraine 

Our fast-track research review process is available for participants in studies affected by the war in Ukraine. Our proven expedited review process, well-used during the pandemic, can be used for urgent public health reasons or if studies have been disrupted by world events. 

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A shared commitment to improve public involvement in research

Public involvement is important, expected and possible in all types of health and social care research. We’ve worked with members of the public, other regulators, funders and research organisations who play an important role in UK health and social care research to sign up to a bold new shared commitment to improve public involvement in research. 

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COVID-19 human challenge studies – learning lessons from the UK experience 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has published a new report looking at how research institutions defined the ethical standards required for COVID-19 human challenge studies during the pandemic. We look back on the HRA’s role in this ground-breaking journey: from application, to approval, to results and beyond. 

blue background with #Step forward and become a research ethics committee member in white text



#StepForward – Become a REC member

We’re inviting healthcare professionals to #StepForward and become Research Ethics Committee members as part of a new recruitment campaign. We need more registered healthcare professionals, retired doctors and dentists, and clinical trial statisticians to join us to play a key role in making sure health and social care research is ethical and fair for patients. You can find out more about the work of REC members and how to apply on our website.

Find out more

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Ten years of the HRA

Celebrations to mark our tenth anniversary continue. A joint workshop with the Academy of Medical Sciences looked at how the HRA should tackle the next ten years. Event chairs Jennifer Bostock and Professor Chris Butler blogged about the key findings.

Read more

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Enabling AI and data development for health and social care

We’ve been working with people involved in data driven health research and studies involving AI (artificial intelligence) to find out how to make it easier to carry out research in this area. Gemma Warren, HRA Policy Manager for Data and AI, blogs about our findings and next steps.

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Three decades of ethics review

As Ann Tunley, former Head of the Research Ethics Service and our HRA Head of Approvals Support retires after a 34-year career in research ethics, we find out how things have changed over three decades.

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News from across UK research

£260 million to boost healthcare research and manufacturing

The Government has announced that patients across the country will benefit from cutting edge medical advances and treatments as part of a £260 million investment to support research and development, as well as the manufacturing of new drugs, devices and diagnostics.

Read more