Innovative Trials responds to national recommendations to tackle UK clinical trial decline

Kate Shaw, the founder and CEO of Innovative Trials, says national plans to boost the number of clinical trials in the UK will hinge on education – for both healthcare professionals and patients.

Shaw’s comments come after the final report of the Lord O’Shaughnessy review into commercial clinical trials in the UK was published. The review makes 27 recommendations, including short- and longer-term priorities to tackle the decline in UK-based clinical trials.

Shaw said: “We welcome the comprehensive recommendations of this review, which has been urgently needed for some time. As a company specialising in patient engagement and clinical trial recruitment, we understand the challenges of running clinical trials in the UK and particularly those related to recruiting people into studies. We face these issues every day in our work and are constantly working with our clients to find solutions to overcome these hurdles.

“The success of Lord O’Shaughnessy’s recommendations for the future of commercial trials in the UK will largely depend on the education of both healthcare professionals and the public. Awareness of clinical research and its importance could be improved among both audiences. I am pleased with the recommendation of an ongoing campaign to educate the public, but we must also tackle the lack of knowledge among healthcare professionals. It is currently not a topic extensively studied at medical school, but it should be. Without a good understanding of clinical trials, many GPs and other healthcare professionals are unlikely to prioritise this on top of their already heavy workloads.

Following the publication of the review’s final report, the government pledged £121 million to deliver five ‘headline commitments’ from the report. These include:

  • providing ‘real-time’ data on commercial clinical activity in the UK
  • establishing a common approach to contacting patients about research
  • establishing clinical trial acceleration networks (CTANs)

An action plan for the implementation of the report’s other recommendations is due by the autumn. 

Shaw added: “We’re pleased to see the government taking this issue seriously and committing a significant financial package of support. But if we want the UK to be a leader in clinical research and ensure more patients have faster access to innovative new therapies, we must invest in clinical trial education from a young age. Arming people with this knowledge will help dispel myths, encourage more healthcare professionals to get involved in the recruitment and monitoring of patients and result in more people enrolling into studies when presented with the opportunity.

“We hope this will be considered as the government develops its plans to make these recommendations a reality. We would also be happy to work alongside them to share our expertise and help shape these implementation plans to achieve the best possible outcome for the life sciences sector, the NHS and above all, patients.”


For more information, please contact Laura Gibson at Presence Media at +44 7771 933609 or [email protected]

Notes to editors

About Innovative Trials

Innovative Trials is a leading global clinical trial patient recruitment and retention company. With over 10 years’ experience, Innovative Trials deploys “boots-on-the-ground” patient recruitment experts in over 70 countries, addressing individual sites’ unique recruitment and retention challenges in local language. 

Innovative Trials has experience in more than 25 therapeutic areas across 90+ conditions working with some of the biggest global pharmaceuticals, Clinical Research Organizations (CROs) and biotech companies.

Innovative Trials was founded in 2010 by Kate Shaw and Dave Watkins after identifying a growing need for clinical trial patient recruitment support.

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