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National brain tumour research funding needs to increase to £30-35 million a year

Making research everybody’s business – position statement by RCP and NIHR

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) issued a joint position statement on ‘Making research everybody’s business’ this week.

The statement sets out how to make clinical research a part of everyday practice for all healthcare professionals in order to not only improve outcomes for patients, but to improve effectiveness and efficiency of care.

The RCP and NIHR position statement is a promising step forwards for brain tumour patients for whom standard treatment options have remained unchanged for more than 20 years, and survival rates continue to be extremely low.

While the UK’s COVID-19 response highlighted the vital role clinical research can play in the development of vaccines and treatments, it negatively impacted research into other conditions, including brain tumours, with more than 40% of NHS trusts pausing non-COVID-19 research studies during the first wave of the pandemic. Recovering clinical research activity is essential for UK healthcare and will require a collective response from across the health and care system.

To tackle this, the position statement sets out recommended actions for NHS trusts, health boards, integrated care systems, as well as Health Education England and regulators, such as the Care Quality Commission, in order to embed research in clinical practice and ultimately improve patient outcomes.

Hugh Adams, our Head of Stakeholder Relations, said: “This joint statement recognises the vital role played by clinicians in the research landscape and we applaud and support it. It must be viewed alongside the lab-based research undertaken at the discovery end of the translational pipeline which has also been affected by recent events. To neglect early-stage science risks severely limiting the throughput to the clinical end and so we would always encourage ‘nose to tail’ thinking to take innovation from the scientists’ bench to the patient’s bedside – that is the way for us to really improve options and outcomes for those affected by a brain tumour.”

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