We are the Clinical Research Network Primary Care Specialty Group in the West Midlands. Our purpose is to support and co-ordinate high quality NHS health research in primary care. We work with a range of people such as research investigators, GPs, nurses, dentists and other community healthcare professionals. We also work directly with patients and public representative groups aiming to increase public involvement in research.
We liaise directly with Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) on a range of NHS research projects to ensure they are adopted successfully. Once a study has been approved in this area our main role is to promote it to primary care teams and support them in carrying it out. We have a team of facilitators, GPs and research nurses who help practice teams with training, technical help and explanations. In more complex trials where practices may be seeing study patients face to face our nurses can lend assistance.
We exist to promote research that will be of benefit to NHS patients and enable it to happen quickly and successfully. This leads to the adoption of new and better treatments which yield improved outcomes as well as results and are more cost-effective for the NHS. The research projects we work with come from the national list of studies approved by the NHS National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), otherwise known as the NIHR Portfolio. These all have to meet strict ethical, safety and scientific standards, as well as yielding important benefits to NHS patient care.
What is Primary Care?
Primary care is the setting where most people experience NHS services for the first time outside hospitals, such as GP surgeries, dentists and pharmacies. It provides the health services that are most used by most people in the UK. In fact, at least 90% of all health contacts take place in primary care.