Westminster Health Forum

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Next steps for clinical research in the UK

Morning, Monday, 25th March 2024

This conference will examine the future for clinical research in the UK.

It follows the Lord O'Shaughnessy Review on Clinical Research and the Government’s response in December 2023, accepting in principle its proposals for addressing key challenges in conducting trials in the UK and transforming the UK commercial clinical trial environment.

Stakeholders and policymakers will discuss next steps for implementation of recommendations from the review, including reducing regulatory burdens, improving clinical trials and participation by both clinicians and the public, developing targets, reporting and public engagement, and putting in place a comprehensive framework of metrics for government ambitions for clinical research.

The conference will be an opportunity to discuss innovative approaches to advancing UK clinical research leadership internationally, and to meet ambitions in The Future of UK Clinical Research Delivery 10-year vision as activity in the life sciences sector recovers from the pandemic. Areas for discussion include strategies for transformation of the research environment and resolving key challenges in conducting commercial clinical trials.

Delegates will assess the future for innovation, including utilising AI for medical discoveries, delivery of clinical trials, and supporting patient and clinician engagement with research.

Attendees will examine advances in the use of data, and its security and management, to improve the outcomes of clinical trials, as well as approaches to improving the administration and infrastructure for delivery of clinical trials.

Further sessions in the agenda will assess new approaches to workforce and skills development, improving accessibility and participation within research, including the use of virtual studies, and overcoming current challenges in delivering research in healthcare settings closer to the community.

We are pleased to be able to include keynote sessions with: Emma Lowe, Head of Clinical Research Delivery, Science, Research and Evidence Directorate, DHSC; and Dr Rachel Armstrong, Principal, Head of Real World Database Studies UK, IQVIA.

Sessions in the agenda include:

  • UK clinical research: progress and priorities for recovery, innovation and transformation
  • clinical trials: 
    • efficiency and delivery - regulation and standards - growing the research workforce
    • increasing participation and diversity - patient and clinician engagement - building trust and transparency in research
  • innovation:
    • implementation and development to improve clinical research outcomes - AI in clinical trial design - wearable technology and remote monitoring - digitalisation
    • secure data environments - use of real-world data - improving data management
    • improving access - raising public awareness - developing the NHS app
    • funding and R&D priorities - increasing collaboration between the NHS and research industry
  • policy: next steps for delivering long-term ambitions for clinical trials and life sciences research

The conference will be an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who are due to attend from DHSC; MHRA; DBT; OLS; UKHSA; and the Welsh Government.

Keynote Speaker

Emma Lowe

Head of Clinical Research Delivery, Science, Research and Evidence Directorate, Department of Health and Social Care

Keynote Speakers

Becky Purvis

Director of Policy and Partnerships, Health Research Authority

Dr Rachel Armstrong

Principal, Head of Real World Database Studies UK, IQVIA

Emma Lowe

Head of Clinical Research Delivery, Science, Research and Evidence Directorate, Department of Health and Social Care


Rt Hon Baroness Neville-Jones

Member of Science and Technology Committee, House of Lords


Professor Philip Evans

Deputy Medical Director, NIHR Clinical Research Network

Tamsin Morris

Head of Evidence, AstraZeneca UK

Heather Pinches

Head of NHS DigiTrials and Research Products, NHS England

Dr Janet Valentine

Executive Director of Innovation and Research Policy, Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry

Joss Langford

Chief Technology Officer and Founder, Activinsights

Dr Catriona Manville

Director of Research Policy, Association of Medical Research Charities