The Midland Research Practices Consortium (MidReC) is a network of over 600 practices with populations totalling over four million people that are representative of England and Wales. While initially MidReC practices were mainly in and around Greater Birmingham, they are now widely distributed across and beyond the West Midlands including the counties of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, North and South Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Cheshire.
Within primary care practice, the consortium has engaged the range of disciplines represented in primary care teams in its R&D training and project development, including practice nurses, nurse practitioners, practice managers, and GP-attached staff. The MidReC facilitation team is based in the Primary Care Clinical Research & Trials department (PC-CRTU) with members holding dual MidReC and academic posts. A multidisciplinary management group, nominated by practices, is responsible for management.
MidReC was formally constituted in 1988, having developed from a primary care trials network first established in 1985. After the MRC GP Framework, MidReC is the longest established and largest primary care research network in Europe. MidReC has close links with the new topic-specific networks for cancer, stroke, mental health and medicines for children as well as the Primary Care Research Network for Central England (PCRN-CE). MidReC is established as a charitable company limited by guarantee. MidReC has consistently met the requirements of the NHS Research Governance framework of 2001 and has received 'Strong' assessments for all of its research programmes in each of the DH annual reviews. All members of the consortium are offered GCP (good clinical practice) training and most have undertaken this training.