For the first time, the amount of participants in NIHR-supported research has exceeded one million.

The number means that the amount of participants in health and social care research studies supported by the nation’s largest national clinical research funder has increased by more than 20% since 2017/18.

Official figures released show that 1,015,487 participants took part in 2018/19, compared to 835,904 in 2017/18.

In 2018/19, the NIHR Clinical Research Network recruited 870,250 participants to over 6,100 clinical research studies and trials, with an additional 145,237 participants joining research studies run through NIHR’s Clinical Research Facilities, Biomedical Research Centres and other research infrastructure.

The organisation confirmed that the increase is down to more new studies opening, an increase in the number of large clinical research studies and trials, and improved data collection processes.

To pass the one million mark for participants in research studies is a “significant milestone,” said Professor Chris Witty, chief medical officer for England and NIHR lead.

He continued to say that this is due to the “generous nature of patients and the public, without whom vital health research simply could not happen.”

The NIHR supports research studies and trials across the country in a variety of ways - from directly funding individual studies to supporting centres and facilities that allow studies to take place.