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Knowledge Hub

NHS England to promote fast track trials for better access to new treatments

Could small changes speed up patient access to new treatments?


Patients could get quicker access to new treatments as NHS England announces plans to simplify the research set-up process.


NHS England, National Institute for Health Research, Health Research Authority and NHS Improvement will all introduce a standard set of processes aimed at reducing administrative costs to the NHS and to commercial sponsors.


Site set-up and reporting processes have been standardised; and claims for excess treatment costs from non-commercial research will be streamlined into a single point of access for the whole of England.


The Association of Medical Research Charities welcomed the new arrangements, but called for changes to the excess treatment cost (ETC) thresholds and the rate at which clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) pay into centralised funds.


The changes are part of a commitment set out in an NHS England board paper, 12 actions to support and apply research in the NHS. The commitments include:

  • eliminate delays in confirming multi-site trials
  • manage excess treatment costs better


The 12 actions also include promises to put research priorities into national NHS programmes and into sustainability and transformation partnerships. Other steps include commitments to research-ready local care records.


Further information

NHS England: 12 actions to support and apply research in the NHS

NHS England: Supporting research in the NHS: A consultation covering changes to simplify arrangements for research in the NHS and associated changes to the terms of the NHS standard contract