Westminster Health Forum

Health research in England - funding, regulation and priorities for future policy and support


This conference will consider the future of health research in England.

It takes place in the context of the Prime Minister confirming that the UK would reject any regulatory alignment with the EU in future trade talks.

Stakeholders in health research and policymakers will discuss:

  • the future of cross-border collaboration - particularly with the EU on scientific research, including Horizon;
  • the balance of public and private sector funding - including the impact of any changes to the funding landscape;
  • regulation of clinical trials as the EU prepares to implement Clinical Trials Regulation (CTR); and
  • what more needs to be done to ensure the UK remains an attractive place to carry out research.

We also expect discussion on further developments in policy affecting the sector.

These include the update to the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy and its commitments to publishing a national genomics strategy, a national data policy framework to support research partnerships, and a common gateway for data access.

Further sessions look at the Medicines and Medical Devices Bill, which aims to ensure the UK takes a key role in global research post-Brexit to develop advanced therapies and diagnostics to improve patient care, including commitments to:

  • investment in science research and skills;
  • remove barriers to the uptake of new innovations including adapting the process for low-risk clinical trials;
  • support the development of the life sciences sector in the UK; and
  • increase funding for dementia research.

The agenda includes keynote addresses from:

  • Dr Louise Wood, Director, Science, Research and Evidence, Department of Health and Social Care; and
  • Professor David Crossman, Chief Scientist, Health, NHS Scotland.

Further keynote contributors include: Dr Janet Allen, Cystic Fibrosis Trust; Teresa Allen, Health Research Authority; John Craig, Care City; Dr Axel Heitmueller, Imperial College Health Partners and Professor Matt Westmore, University of Southampton.

Also speaking are: Professor Ian Hall, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Nottingham; Christine McGrath, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust and UKRD; Dr Sheuli Porkess, ABPI and Dr Neville Young, Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network.

The chairs are: Lord Butler of Brockwell, Non-Executive Director, King’s Health Partners and Lord Sharkey, Chair, Association of Medical Research Charities.

The agenda in summary

  • Priorities for health research policy in England - looking at public and private investment, and the wider research environment;
  • Encouraging research uptake - regulation, safeguarding data, and navigating the approval process:
    • Regulation of research and clinical trials;
    • Utilising data-protection, appropriate sharing, and maintaining public trust;
    • Transparency in research - reproducibility, reporting results, and impact;
    • Patient and public engagement in health research; and
    • Opportunities for learning from the NHS Test Beds Programme - a case study.
  • Health research and the research workforce - funding, the impact of Brexit, and encouraging cross-sector collaboration; and
  • Ensuring the UK remains an attractive place to carry out clinical research.

Engagement with policy officials at this conference

Westminster Health Forum conferences typically attract strong interest from policymakers. This seminar will be an opportunity for stakeholders to engage with officials who have reserved places representing: the DHSC; DIT; HM Treasury; the MHRA; the Office for Life Sciences; and The Scottish Government.

Price: £95 PLUS VAT

Shortly after every Westminster Health Forum seminar, a briefing document is produced. This is distributed to all delegates on the day as well as to our policymaker contacts in government, and to stakeholders more widely.

A seminar publication provides a timely record of proceedings, and acts as a guide to the latest thinking on current policy issues for those unable to be at the event.

This publication includes


Contributions from keynotes and panellists, including accompanying slides*
*Subject to approval

Delegate Pack

Information from the day, including delegate list, biographies and agenda


Transcript of questions and comments posed to speakers from attending delegates


Supplementary articles from speakers
and delegates