The Government’s Health and Care Bill is currently in Committee Stage in the House of Lords and, on Monday evening, the call from the life sciences community for the Bill to enhance research was debated. Last week, the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) and 14 organisations from across the life sciences community developed a briefing for Peers calling for the Bill to incorporate an enhanced research mandate in legislation.
Currently, legislation only includes a duty for the NHS to promote research. The briefing supported amendments which enhanced this duty by introducing a duty for eligible NHS organisations to conduct clinical research, and by requiring them to plan and report requirements for research delivery. The briefing highlighted that further embedding research in healthcare would deliver a number of benefits, including:
- Improving patient outcomes and experience
- Increasing staff satisfaction
- Creating economic benefits for the NHS and the broader economy
- Supporting levelling-up and our ability to address health inequalities
- Enhancing the UK’s status as a science superpower
The briefing also explained why the existing legislation has fallen short in supporting the prioritisation and delivery of clinical research in the NHS, leading to inequality of opportunities for patients and staff to participate in research.
The briefing can be read here.
The amendment was debated, as all amendments must be in the House of Lords, but was not taken forward by the Government.
Hugh Adams, our Head of Stakeholder Relations, said: “This is disappointing, but as part of the AMRC, we at Brain Tumour Research are pleased it was discussed and what was said in the debate now becomes record, to be taken forward again at a later date. We are grateful to the House of Lords for keeping research on the agenda. Alongside the rest of the research community, we will follow up with the Peers who participated in the debate and relevant stakeholders to explore other avenues for ensuring research remains a priority for the NHS.”
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