About us

Three females and two males talking in a group

As well as working with Acute and Community Trusts, we work with a wide range of primary care practitioners such as GPs, practice nurses, pharmacists and dentists and  we support and oversee research in areas which primary care practitioners have particular responsibility. This includes health promotion, disease prevention, screening and early diagnosis, as well as the management of common and long-term conditions.

The NHS constitution states that "research is a core NHS business and  every patient should be offered the opportunity to engage with research activities"

CRN WM supports and oversees both commercial and non-commercial NIHR portfolio adopted studies throughout the West Midlands. 

Primary Care research is overseen by three regional offices - here at The University of Birmingham and also at Keele University and the University of Warwick.

What we can offer

  • Primary care practitioners can have various levels of involvement in high quality research identified as important to the NHS across a broad range of specialities and interests
  • Increased opportunities for patients to become involved in important research  with access to additional tests (study dependent) and treatment
  • Choice of  level  of involvement in research  -  from Participant Identification Sites (PIC) to working on more involved observation or intervention studies (non-PIC)
  • Opportunities for primary care practice staff to become involved in commercial life sciences contract work
  • Service support costs (SSCs) to cover staff time for involvement in research
  • Opportunities for GP practices to be part of the Research Site Initiative (RSI) Scheme with funding to develop research delivery infrastructure within the practice
  • Opportunities for Pharmacies to become part of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) Research Ready Scheme
  • Free training opportunities to primary care practitioners to enable them to become “research capable”  enhancing their knowledge and skills; thereby contributing to their continuing professional development
  • Dedicated team of research staff who can support and help with study set-up

Setting up a study - how the CRN can help

The team

We have a team of research facilitators supporting research teams throughout the UK identifying suitable sites from local knowledge for studies:

They facilitate study set-up and support local GP practices and community pharmacists.  We recognise the importance of patient involvement within primary care research and our facilitators actively engage with patient partnership Groups (PPGs) to raise awareness of research.

We have a team of specially qualified research nurses who are based within local GP practices providing advice and expertise to primary care practitioners and researchers.   We also have a team of GP Research Champions raising awareness of primary care research within the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and local GP practices.