Newcastle Hospitals top of research table for the sixth year running

The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NuTH) has once again maintained its leading position in driving health research, after being recognised for their pioneering research activity in figures published today by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).2 

NuTH has retained its position as the country’s top performing trust for the number of studies it supported for the sixth year running. The Trust has increased its number of clinical research studies to 528 during the last year and the number of participants taking part in clinical research rose to 12,575.  

Louise Robson, Acting Chief Executive for The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are very pleased to be leading the way nationally in clinical research for the sixth year in a row. As a Trust, we are committed to delivering the best possible care to patients by supporting research, which can help improve the lives of people regionally, nationally and internationally. The skill and dedication of our team of medical professionals in the clinical research field must be recognised as the driving force behind this achievement and the consistently high standards set. We would also like to thank all of the patients who have given their time to enable us to carry out this important research, as without them, none of this would be possible.”  

The league table highlights the extent of NHS research happening across England and the number of participants being recruited into studies. This year’s results show that 65% of trusts across the country increased their research activity, contributing to the drive for better treatments for all NHS patients.

Frances Roberts-Wood

Frances Roberts-Wood, 32, an archaeological curator for English Heritage, took part in a clinical trial at NuTH after being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in 2013. The trial wanted to see if intensive drug treatment, together with additional support, improves quality of life for rheumatoid arthritis patients. 

Frances, said, “Being diagnosed with a lifelong condition can be difficult to deal with. Taking part in the trial has given me access to extra support to manage my condition as I get to see my research nurse every month”. 

Frances has taken part in three clinical research studies and volunteers for the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) to help those newly diagnosed with RA understand and cope with their condition. 

Frances said, “Treatments for rheumatoid arthritis are so much better today than when my mum was diagnosed in the 1980s and that’s down to medical advances and developments in treatment. 

“There’s so much that we don’t know about autoimmune diseases, if taking part in clinical research means we improve our understanding of these conditions and the treatments available to patients, it's worth it." 

Frances Roberts-Wood and her consultant rheumatologist Dr Ben Thompson

Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NuTH), The North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (NEAS) and Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW) have retained or improved on their position in the NIHR NHS Research Activity League Table 2016/17.3  

The NIHR figures include recognition for commercial research activity as collaboration with industry is vital to enable the NHS to deliver first class clinical research, speeding up the development and availability of new treatments, therapies and diagnostics. 

Professor Stephen Robson, Clinical Director at NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria said: “The CRN North East and North Cumbria is pleased to see The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS FT retain its position for the sixth consecutive year as the country's top performing trust in terms of the number of research studies recruiting. It is a testament to the commitment to research in the North East that we also have the top performing Ambulance Trust (NEAS) and the third best performing Mental Health Trust (NTW). Our congratulations and thanks go to all the staff and patients involved in research within these organisations”. 

In 2016/17 more than 34,000 participants received opportunities to take part in over 1,570 clinical research studies in NHS Trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups within the North East and North Cumbria region. Nationally, the number of participants recruited into clinical research studies across England in 2016/17 exceeded 665,000, the highest number of clinical research participants in any given year.


For further press information or interviews, including patient interview, contact:

Zoe Thomas, Communications Officer at Clinical Research Network North East & North Cumbria at: zoe.thomas4@nhs.net or 01912823506. 

Kirstie Taylor at NIHR Clinical Research Network North East & North Cumbria at: kirstie.taylor@definitive-marketing.com  or 0753 311518.

Notes to Editors

1.    The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR): improving the health and wealth of the nation through research. 

Established by the Department of Health, the NIHR: 

●      funds high quality research to improve health

●      trains and supports health researchers

●      provides world-class research facilities

●      works with the life sciences industry and charities to benefit all

●      involves patients and the public at every step

For further information, visit the NIHR website www.nihr.ac.uk

2.    All data represents clinical research studies supported by the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN). Data are sourced from the NIHR CRN Portfolio of studies. More information is available at: https://www.nihr.ac.uk/research-and-impact/nihr-clinical-research-network-portfolio/  

3. Results from the 2016-17 NIHR Research Activity League Table are available at https://www.nihr.ac.uk/research-and-impact/nhs-research-performance/league-tables/

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