Public consultation on transparency and openness in health and social care research

The HRA is undertaking a consultation to allow the public and research professionals to influence the development of a strategy to make health and social care research more transparent.

This NHS Health Research Authority (HRA) consultation aims to allow patients and the public to see what research is taking place and access understandable results.

It is proposed that this would give patients, service users and carers better opportunities to join studies, and leading to improved results for health professionals, commissioners, researchers, policy makers and funders, allowing more informed decisions.

To achieve these aims the HRA has created the Research Transparency Strategy Group, which is comprised of a variety of research experts, to develop consultation plans, an overall vision and a series of commitments.

To incorporate feedback from the public and research professionals into the final strategy, about how some of those commitments will work in practice and the measures that will be taken, the HRA is running an online survey and holding a series of open workshops across the UK, as well as contacting patient groups and Research Ethics Committees and the approvals staff who support them.

The HRA previously created a national policy for the conduct of research, the UK Policy Framework for Health and Social Care Research, which sets out the responsibilities of different people and organisations involved in research, in an effort to make it more transparent.

However in practice this transparency is not always being achieved, particularly in non-commercial research, such as those sponsored by universities and NHS organisations.

In October 2018 this led the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee to call on universities and NHS organisations to improve on this lack of transparency and for the HRA to play a more active role in making the change happen.

The final strategy is expected to be published in late 2019, along with a plan for implementation.

More details on the consultation are available here

Details on how to respond can be found here

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Published on 26. June 2019 in News, News UK