A new report, A New Pathway for the Regulation and Governance of Health Research, published by the Academy of Medical Sciences, claims that the current system in the UK is too bureaucratic, cumbersome and is stiffling medical advances. It recommends the establishment of a new Health Research Agency, a single independent body, to bring together all the existing approval processes for NHS research. By streamlining procedures, there could be rapid approval for health research projects.
Professor Sir Michal Rawlins, Chair of the AMS working group that produced the report, said
The current system of regulation is making it increasingly difficult to initiate health research in the UK…. We have found unequivocal evidence that health research in this country is being jeopardised by a regulatory and governance framework that has become unnecessarily complex and burdensome.
A report in the THES said that:
The report recommendations have been widely endorsed by the research community. Sir John Savill, chief executive of the Medical Research Council, described them as “a pragmatic way forward”, while Harpal Kumar, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, said a single health research agency could reduce approval times by 80 per cent.