The University of Leeds and NHS organisations will host the network in 2024

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced that a new National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Research Delivery Network (RDN) will commence in 2024 to support health and social care research in England.

The network will aim to bring innovative new treatments and care to patients, carers and the public.

Set to build on and replace the NIHR Clinical Research Network, the University of Leeds will become the single host of the new NIHR RDN Co-ordinating Centre (RDNNCC) as of April 2024, following an open competition.

As of October 2024, 12 Regional Research Delivery Networks (RRDNs) hosted by NHS organisations will join the network to make up the NIHR RDN.

RRDN hosts will include the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and Barts Health NHS Trust.

Operating as a single organisation across England, the NIHR RDN will adapt to the changing domestic and global environments for health and care, life sciences and advancements in research design and delivery.

The network will support the implementation of government policy, including the Life Sciences Vision, the Future of the UK Clinical Research Delivery vision, the policy for life sciences research and development and will respond to findings of the Lord O’Shaughnessy review into commercial clinical trials.

Using new processes, structures and governance to ensure coordination and support through a customer-focused approach, the NIHR RDN will increase capacity and capability across the health and research care systems and will support the delivery of high-quality research for patients and the public.

Professor Lucy Chappell, chief executive of the NIHR, said: “Access to research opportunities in under-served regions is crucial and the new NIHR RDN will be pivotal in supporting new treatments and models of care to communities with major health and care needs.

“It will build capacity to extend research delivery in primary, community and social care settings to make it easier for patients to get access to cutting-edge treatment, through research.”