HSC R&D Division provides core funding to support the Northern Ireland Clinical Research Network (NICRN).
The NICRN provides infrastructure that allows high-quality clinical research to take place across all Health and Social Care (HSC) structures, so that patients can benefit from new and better treatments. The Network provides skilled health professionals who can help researchers to set up and run clinical studies quickly and effectively and work with patients and the public to ensure their needs are at the centre of research activity.
The NICRN aims to:
- Enhance the ability of patients and health care professionals to participate in and benefit from clinical research
- Enhance the quality of clinical research undertaken within HSC
- Improve the speed of delivering research outcomes
- Enhance the regional coordination of clinical research across Trusts and academic organisations
- Improve integration of clinical research within HSC structures and services
The NICRN is made up of different Interest Groups (clinical specialities) working in areas that are relevant to the HSC. These are led by clinicians with a proven track record in clinical research. The Interest Groups are facilitated by research support posts in the HSC, so that researchers have access to experienced staff, who can carry out the research study and for example, obtain participant consent, carry out extra participant tests, and collect the clinical data required for the research. The Network also provides help to identify and recruit patients onto research studies, so that researchers can be confident of completing the study on time, and on target.
To date the HSC R&D Division has supported the establishment of 12 Interest Groups (Clinical Specialties) which make up the NICRN. These are:
- Child Health
- Critical Care
- Primary Care
- Respiratory Health
- Mental Health
N.B. Cancer is an additional clinical speciality supported by the NI Cancer Trials Network.
In addition, NICRN works alongside the other R&D structures in Northern Ireland such as the NI Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) and the NI Clinical Research Facility (CRF) to aid NI researchers in their ability to design and conduct clinical research within Health & Social Care environment to the highest national standards.
For further information on how to engage with NICRN please contact the NICRN coordinating centre.
Consultant Chemical Pathologist
Western Health and Social Care Trust