In 2006, the Department of Health set up the National Institute for Health Research to develop world-class Clinical Research within the NHS, with the Clinical Research Networks part of this wider spectrum. Participation in clinical research is written into the NHS constitution and operating framework, but the NIHR Clinical Research Network believes that more groundwork is needed to ensure that all parts of the NHS embrace the research culture. The enthusiasm and expertise of researchers in neuroscience is key to the success of the CCRN. To support this, CCRN has created a National Specialty Group for Nervous System Disorders which provides national oversight to assist researchers to access wider patient populations for their multicentre studies and for patients to access research studies at new recruitment sites. Since the inception of the NIHR and the development of the CLRN infrastructure we can see a progressive rise in the number of patients recruited to Nervous System Disorders research, and we also see a progressive rise in the number of studies being adopted onto the Nervous System Disorders portfolio. The figures show that more than half a million people participated in the NIHR Clinical Research Network studies in 2010, compared to 300 000 in the previous year. As part of NIHR, there is now a greater level of support available for clinical scientists, clinical researchers, specialist research nurses and members of the MDT.
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