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Clinical research is embedded within our NHS facilitating timely access to resources and a strong support infrastructure.

Scotland operates a centralised system to support clinical research and improve quality, efficiency and co-ordination. Working on a pan-Scotland basis a responsive infrastructure has been implemented to encourage researchers to bring studies to Scotland and ensure that obtaining R&D permission is a smooth and rapid process.

Investments in nationwide clinical research infrastructure also supports researchers, clinicians and industry, providing states of the art facilities to conduct clinical trials across all therapy areas. NHS Scotland and our partner Universities have worked together to deliver a framework for a fully connected network delivering Scotland as a single clinical research site and gaining recognition for a number of internationally recognised centres of excellence.

Regional Nodes
Local delivery, development and governance of clinical research is achieved through regional nodes working within NHS Boards to provide support across Scotland.

  • North (includes NHS Grampian and NHS Highland) and is managed from the R&D Office in NHS Grampian. The North node takes the lead on an efficient permissions system by hosting the NRS Permissions Coordinating Centre
  • East (includes NHS Tayside, NHS Forth Valley and NHS Fife and is managed from the TASC Office in NHS Tayside. The East node takes the lead on Governance issues
  • South (this includes NHS Lothian and NHS Borders and is managed from the ACORD office in NHS Lothian. The South-East node has responsibility for NRS contractual issues and training.
  • West (this includes NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS National Waiting Times, NHS Lanarkshire, NHS Ayrshire & Arran and NHS Dumfries and Galloway. It is managed by the R&D office in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. The West node leads on the IT infrastructure for NRS by hosting the Scottish Research management Database (SReDa) and the National Databases Coordinator

NRS Network
Delivery of a range of high quality studies across a spectrum of diseases is provided through the NRS Clinical Research Network. The Network supports the development, set up and completion of clinical research studies across Scotland by providing advice on study design and feasibility, identifying potential sites, facilitating access to resources and monitoring recruitment in specialist disease areas.

NRS Permissions Co-ordinating Centre (PCC)
An efficient R&D permission process across Scotland, for commercial and non-commercial multicentre research projects is delivered by the PCC. This provides a single point of contact for industry and investigators, centralised project co-ordination and faster approvals.

Clinical Research Facilities
Located in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Fife, Glasgow and Highland, Clinical Research Facilities provide support in the provision of trained research staff, dedicated clinical research space and expertise in the conduct of clinical trials.

Each NRS node hosts a Biorepository that holds responsibility for tissue governance for their partner board and supports and facilitates access to surplus diagnostic and surgical tissue for use in research. These nodes form a network of Biorepositories designed to encourage the use of tissue in research and boost the availability of tissue from across Scotland.

Data Safe Havens
Available in each NRS node, Safe Havens provide a 'secure' platform for the use of NHS electronic data in research feasibility, delivery and pharmacovigilance.