HRA Latest 28 April 2022: Urgent action to recover health and social care research; My foray into public involvement; Innovating to help patients with life-threatening conditions and more...

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NHS Health Research Authority

HRA Latest – 28 April 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.

The Department of Health and Social Care has asked the research community to take urgent action to review and revitalise the NHS research portfolio. We’ve collated all of the relevant guidance to support research teams to act on this request. 

Also, this month, as part of our work to champion public involvement in health and social care research, Della Ogunleye, a member of our Public Involvement Network, shares how she’s been influencing our work, and how public involvement has changed her life. 

And you can find out about our commitment to embed environmental sustainability into all the work of the HRA through a new sustainability strategy.

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

Matt Westmore, Chief Executive

Male and female researchers reviewing paperwork in a lab

Urgent action to recover health and social care research  

The urgent public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic meant that some health and social care studies were delayed, paused or even abandoned. We’re working with others to recover a thriving, diverse and sustainable research portfolio in the UK. Our guidance will help researchers to take action to allow precious NHS resources to be focussed on studies that can be completed. 

Della Ogunleye

My foray into public involvement – a blog by Public Involvement Network member Della Ogunleye

We’ve been working with funders, regulators and research organisations to make a shared commitment to improve public involvement in research. Della Ogunleye blogs about her work in public involvement, how she adds value to the HRA and the difference it makes to her 

A clinician injecting the arm of a man with his sleeve rolled up

Innovating to help patients with life-threatening conditions 

We’ve been working with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on guidance for the Early Access to Medicine Scheme, which is now supported by new regulations. The scheme supports innovation by allowing patients with life-threatening or seriously debilitating conditions without existing treatment options to use new medicines, before they get a marketing authorisation.

Green leaves

Introducing the HRA’s sustainability strategy 

We’ve published our new sustainability strategy. Developed by our staff Green Team, it commits to change and explores how we can encourage change elsewhere in the research system.


Read the strategy

Screen capture from combined review video

Combined review 

We’ve produced a short video explaining IRAS user roles for combined review. It covers changes we made in March for collaborators, based on your feedback.

Watch the video 

HRA SDDR image

Help us to improve our reviews

We are working to reduce timelines and provide a better experience for researchers who use identifiable patient data without patient consent by testing ways to align Confidentiality Advisory Group (CAG) and Research Ethics Committee (REC) approvals. 

Read more

National contract value review

From April 2022 a new process is starting to make it easier to deliver commercial research in the NHS. 

We’ve worked with NHS England and Improvement, the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), and the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) to deliver a national contract value review. The result will be a standardised, national approach to NHS site costing for commercial contract research to replace the current costing process.  

Find out more