Last autumn the House of Commons Science and Technology committee challenged the HRA to devise a new strategy to improve transparency in health and social care research. As the organisation that reviews, in partnership with the devolved administrations, all health and social care research studies involving people, their tissue and their personal data, we’re well placed to do this. Transparency has always been part of our remit, but despite improvements in some areas, practice is not universally good.
We know that a strategy to improve transparency needs to work for everyone involved in health and social care research studies, from the researchers submitting their studies for approval to the committees who review these applications and of course the patients and the public who may take part in studies or want to know the outcomes. We’ve been working with a group of expert volunteers to ensure that’s the case and today we’re presenting our work in progress, a draft strategy which sets out how we intend to improve research transparency, and where we’ll focus our efforts first. Over the next twelve weeks we need you to tell us what you think. Once we close our consultation in September we’ll collate all of the feedback we receive and produce an updated strategy as well as an action plan to implement it.
We know that this is an area which people are passionate about, so there are different ways in which you can take part in the consultation. Today we’ve opened booking for our face to face workshops in London, Manchester and Cardiff, with dates in Edinburgh and Belfast to follow. If you can’t get to a workshop, you can submit your views online via our survey which should take around fifteen minutes to complete.
Transparency about what research is going on, and what its findings are, is important for patients and the public and essential for professionals. It avoids duplication of effort and enables findings to be used to develop new and better treatments for patients and service users. It also helps to improve the quality of research. When research is carried out openly and transparently, everyone benefits. Please help us to ensure that our future strategy means that this is always the case.
"Our vision is that trusted information about health and social care research studies is publicly available for the benefit of all. The Make it Public strategy is about making that vision a reality."
Director of Policy,
Health Research Authority