Headlines: August 2nd, 2005

The Department of Health is seeking views on its radical research strategy which aims to support the Government’s commitment to positioning the UK as the best place in the world for health research, development and innovation. The Department is looking for contributions from health professionals, organizations, including local councils with health scrutiny responsibilities, patients and the public.The strategy sets out proposals for organizational changes with the creation of Academic Medical Centres and a National Institute for Health Research. The Centres will be located in premier research hospitals and compete with other top clinical research institutes throughout the world. The National Institute will be a virtual organization 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.

There are also plans to modernize 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. The current annual research budget of 750 million pounds will be increased by 100 million pounds.

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.

The consultation document which sets out the strategy is available at: http://www.dh.gov.uk/Consultations/LiveConsultations/LiveConsultationsArticle/fs/en?CONTENT_ID=4116825&chk=uvZH%2B8