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National Patient Safety Agency

First stage of NRES research summary database underway

17 October 2008

The first stage of an initiative by the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA), through its National Research Ethics Service (NRES), to publish research summaries on the NPSA website is now underway.  This is the first step in developing a transparent and open system of NHS ethics review where research summaries can be accessed and viewed by all interested parties.


Researchers from universities, the NHS and pharmaceutical companies already submit research summaries when applying for ethical review.  Under this new initiative they will be asked to allow NRES to publish their research summaries on the new database.  This will be of huge benefit to patients, researchers and the general public, providing confidence in a transparent process of ethics review.


During the first stage of this initiative it is expected that approximately 50 – 100 summaries a month will be published and NRES will target the publication of clinical trials during this period.


Speaking about the new initiative, Dr Janet Wisely, NRES Director said: “Although still at the first stage of implementation, publication of research summaries and the Research Ethics Committee (REC) opinion will be a groundbreaking development for clinical research and other research in the NHS and fulfils NRES’ aim to be open and transparent in all activities.  The impact on patients and the public will be beneficial, making the system of clinical research in the UK more transparent and therefore safer for those involved.”


Once the guidance is tested and agreed and the process established, the publication of research summaries will be rolled out in early 2009 to include all applications to the NHS Research Ethics Committees.


To view the NRES research summary database visit: http://www.nres.npsa.nhs.uk/researchsummaries



Notes for editors:


Media enquiries to Amelia Lyons in the NPSA Communications Department on 020 7927 9580 or amelia.lyons@npsa.nhs.uk.


The National Research Ethics Committee (NRES) facilitates and promotes ethical research in the UK.  Clinical research and other research within the NHS requires approval from an NHS Research Ethics Committee (REC).  Ethical research is research that protects the rights, safety, dignity and well-being of the people who take part.


NRES is a division of the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA).  It provides operational support, training, guidance and quality assurance programmes for research ethics committees throughout the UK.  The NRES also provides application systems for researchers and support and guidance to researchers applying to the NHS RECs.


The National Patient Safety Agency encompasses the National Research Ethics Service, National Reporting and Learning Service and the National Clinical Assessment Service. Our vision is to lead and contribute to improved, safe patient care by informing, supporting and influencing healthcare individuals and organisations. Each division works within its sphere of expertise to improve patient outcomes.