In July 2021, our Governing Body approved the CCG research and development strategy which sets out how we meet our statutory obligation as a CCG to promote and support research activity.
The strategy also sets out aims and objectives for research and development (R&D) within the CCG and how these targets will be achieved.
It is intended to support the transition work to ICS, supporting research in the place of St Helens, and the implementation of the NHS Long Term Plan in St Helens. It also closely aligns with the NIHR (National Institute for Health Research) Clinical Research Network Primary Care Strategy which focuses on addressing previous barrier to primary care research, including the lack of academic opportunities for GPs, increase in workload and inadequate research funding.
Regular meetings have been held throughout 2021/22 with PCN Clinical Directors to help identify local healthcare priorities and ensure expressions of interest for NIHR portfolio studies align with these. To support the PCNs in future, approval has been given from Health Education England for innovative GP Plus posts based in St Helens linked with the NIHR Northwest Coast Clinical Research Network. These posts provided funded time for GP trainees to undertake work supporting the delivery of research locally across the PCNs.
Over the past 12 months we have focused on supporting Covid-19 related studies – which has also included two urgent public health studies. We have also collaborated with local higher education institutes to undertake evaluation of local Covid services and recruitment has taken place across 14 separate sites for the following:
Other studies have included:
And studies with direct benefit to the local population: