The UK Government has announced about £64m in funding to support patient-centred clinical research delivery across the country.

This investment will back the first phase of the government’s ‘Saving and Improving Lives: The Future of UK Clinical Research Delivery’ strategy published in March this year.

During 2021-2022, the plan is to develop and trial new treatments and vaccines for Covid-19 while expediting ethics reviews and approval processes in order to ensure easy clinical research delivery.

In addition, clinical research capacity will be increased though virtual and remote trials. Patient Recruitment Centres will also be expanded to add capacity for late-stage commercial research.

Research diversity and participation will be bolstered in communities that are usually under-served.

Clinical research in the UK will be further digitised to enable researchers to identify patients and provide them with trial opportunities and track health outcomes.

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UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said: “Clinical research has been vital in our fight against Covid-19 and has saved thousands of lives.

“Working with the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland governments, our ambitious UK-wide vision for the future of clinical research delivery is essential if we are to build on this exciting and life-saving momentum.”

The government will collaborate with the NHS, partners across the UK, regulatory authorities, industry, and the medical research sector.

Recovery of the country’s clinical research portfolio is also part of the new project.

UK Minister for Innovation Lord Bethell said: “We will continue to build upon these strong foundations to deliver a research ecosystem that positions the UK as a global leader in cutting-edge clinical research.

“With research embedded across the NHS, UK will be a global leader in trials for new treatments and technologies.”

The UK Recovery, Resilience and Growth programme is managing and delivering the implementation plan for the first-year activity.