Frontline Gastroenterol doi:10.1136/flgastro-2011-100083
  • Clinical quality
  • Review

Getting involved in clinical trials research in the UK: how can Clinical Research Networks help?

  1. Colin R Rees6
  1. 1Lead for Gastrointestinal Research, West Yorkshire Comprehensive Local Research Network, Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Leeds, St James's University Hospital, Leeds, UK
  2. 2Lead for Gastrointestinal Research, County Durham and Tees Valley Comprehensive Local Research Network, County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, Durham, UK
  3. 3Comprehensive Clinical Research Network, National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network Coordinating Centre, Leeds, UK
  4. 4Hepatology National Specialty Group, Comprehensive Clinical Research Network, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Nottingham, UK
  5. 5Gastrointestinal National Specialty Group, Comprehensive Clinical Research Network, University College Hospital, London,UK
  6. 6Chair, Northern Region Endoscopy Group, Department of Gastroenterology, South Tyneside Hospital, Newcastle, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor M A Hull, Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine, Wellcome Trust Brenner Building, St James's University Hospital, Leeds LS9 7TF, UK; M.A.Hull{at}
  • Accepted 13 December 2011
  • Published Online First 10 January 2012


The Clinical Research Networks of the National Institute of Health Research have transformed clinical research in the UK, leading to a doubling in the number of patients involved in clinical research studies over the past 3 years. This has been achieved by streamlining the trials approvals process, by providing local infrastructure such as research nurse support for clinical trials recruitment and through recognition of the time and funding necessary for clinicians to contribute to clinical research. Here, we describe the structure and roles of the Comprehensive Clinical Research Networks in gastrointestinal disease and hepatology, particularly in England. We will explain how the networks have already accelerated clinical research in gastrointestinal and liver disease, as well as provide a simple guide about how individual clinicians can contribute to ongoing studies via the networks.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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