Research Networks

Research networks exist at local, regional and national level. Our network is an example of Allied Health Professionals (AHP) networking for the promotion of research at local level.

At national level, there are UK clinical research networks plus the national AHP research network and AHP research forum.

At regional level, there is a North West AHP research network and regional branches of UK clinical research networks.

Currently there is a clinical research network in England as part of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) provides a research infrastructure embedded in the NHS to support participation in high quality clinical research studies across England.

For more information, please visit the NIHR CRN website.

The CRN is divided into several geographical areas. Much of Cheshire and Merseyside is part of the North West Coast Clinical Research Network, though the Macclesfield area is part of the Greater Manchester Clinical Research Network.

These locally based Research Networks coordinate and facilitate the conduct of clinical research and provide a wide range of support to the local research community.

For more information about the North West Coast Clinical Research Network, please click here.

For more information about the Greater Manchester Clinical Research Network, please click here.

Advice and support regarding Research Management and Governance is provided by the CRN, and by local NHS Trusts. Their aim is to widen participation in research and ensure that patients and healthcare professionals from all parts of the country are able to participate in, and benefit from, clinical research in all areas of disease and healthcare.

This support includes:
  • Provision for a core team to lead and manage the function and activity of the CRN including research management and governance and information management
  • Protected time (or equivalent) for clinicians of all professions who are actively engaged in the recruitment of patients to studies which are on the NIHR CRN Portfolio
  • Appropriate infrastructure in the primary care setting
  • Appropriate service support infrastructure for the six topic specific research networks
  • Identifiable clinical service support, particularly in pharmacy, pathology and radiology
  • Provision to support the development of the workforce engaged in the recruitment of patients including compliance with any legal/statutory requirements.
There also 13 Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRCs) which are funded by the National Institute for Health Research and undertake high-quality applied health research focused on the needs of patients and support the translation of research evidence into practice in the NHS.

CLAHRCs are collaborative partnerships between a university and the surrounding NHS organisations, focused on improving patient outcomes through the conduct and application of applied health research.

They create and embed approaches to research and its dissemination that are specifically designed to take account of the way that health care is increasingly delivered across sectors and a wide geographical area.