Trust chosen to host pioneering regional Patient Recruitment Centre
  • Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust one of  five trusts across England chosen to host new regional Patient Recruitment Centre
  • Hospital prioritised as a centre to deliver newer multi-national Covid-19 treatment
  • The new research centre, part of £7m Government investment, will help people across the region to take part in important late-phase commercial clinical research
  • Throughout the pandemic, centres will also help local patients access cutting edge COVID-19 research, providing opportunities to take part in vital treatment trials

BRADFORD has been chosen for a major new centre which will enable patients to take part in cutting edge treatment trials – including for coronavirus (COVID-19).

The new Patient Recruitment Centre (PRC) will be hosted by Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and run by the Bradford Institute for Health Research (BIHR), which is based at Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI).

It is one of five national PRCs announced by the Government, which are being set up across England and which have been made possible thanks to a £7 million Government investment. See the short video below for more.

The Bradford PRC – the only one to be set up in Yorkshire – will enable local patients to take part in late-phase commercial clinical research – studies funded by the life sciences industry – through which participants can access potentially cutting edge new drugs and treatments before they become widely available within the NHS.

During the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the new research centres will also increase opportunities for patients across the region to access trials assessing the latest potential treatments for COVID-19.

However, the centres have not been set up solely in response to Covid-19; they have been in long term development and during the pandemic they are they still going to be recruiting patients into trials unrelated to coronavirus.

New opportunities

The five new centres are distributed across the country to ensure that as many patients as possible can benefit, and by working closely with local stakeholders, the centres will provide new opportunities for patients who may not previously have been able to take part in cutting-edge clinical studies.

Under the management of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and run locally by Bradford Institute for Health Research (BIHR), the Bradford centre will provide dedicated space, purpose-designed facilities and medical expertise to deliver clinical with the aim of increasing the number of studies being run across the region.

Dr Dinesh Saralya, Consultant Respiratory Physician and Assistant Director of the BIHR, will become director of the new PRC.

He said: “This is great news for our Trust and the city of Bradford, which we now know as the ‘City of Research.’ Being selected from a shortlist of over 35 trusts is simply a reflection of the hard work of all our research teams.

“This is also the net result of several years of excellent delivery into both early and late phase clinical trials at BTHFT and several Global first recruits. At Bradford we take pride in being the best. The new PRC will enable the wider community in Bradford and Yorkshire access cutting edge new therapies for various chronic medical conditions.

“In the current climate of finding a cure for COVID-19, the PRC will be set up as a priority centre to deliver on the various treatment trials for the virus. We will also be one of the centres of choice recruiting large numbers of patients into the forthcoming vaccine trails for COVID-19.”

National importance

Mel Pickup, Chief Executive of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “In these most difficult of times, the race to create effective treatments for COVID-19 is of critical national importance.

“I am delighted that Bradford Teaching Hospitals will be making a significant contribution to that and that the people of Bradford and the wider region will have the opportunity to be a part of it.”

Dr William van’t Hoff, Chief Executive of the NIHR Clinical Research Network, said: “I am delighted to see funding awarded to these five centres across England. They will really increase opportunities for patients in the NHS to take part in research, will benefit the NHS and provide important investment to the country.

“The importance of clinical research has never been more evident than in the COVID-19 pandemic. The NIHR has been able to help fund and to support key research studies and trials into the basis, genetics, prognosis and, critically, to offer potential treatments, including the largest global clinical treatment trial in COVID-19.

“These centres now give us a further dimension and opportunity to offer large scale trials, for instance in vaccines for COVID-19, and to help deliver those at pace and scale. Looking further, they will help us build on our position as a great country to support life-sciences research.”

Amber O’Malley, Chief Operating Officer, NIHR Clinical Research Network Yorkshire and Humber added: “This is an amazing achievement for the team at Bradford Teaching Hospitals to be selected as one of five Patient Recruitment Centres across England. There will be significant opportunities for patients in the region to take part in research and have access to cutting edge treatments and COVID-19 vaccine trials.”


To arrange an interview with Dr Dinesh Saralaya or for further media information, please contact Senior Communications Officer, Virginia Mason 07881906487 or  01274 383901.


Note to Editors:

The five new Patient Recruitment Centres have now been selected and will be based within the following NHS trusts:

  • Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust
  • The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

They have been made possible through a £7 million Government investment as part of the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy and Life Sciences Sector Deal 2, which sets out a series of measures to strengthen the UK environment for clinical research, while ensuring the country is at the forefront of medical science and the development of innovative new treatments for years to come. The centres will increase the NHS’s capacity to deliver vital research for patients, while decreasing the time it takes to set-up late-phase commercial trials within the NHS – improving the UK’s competitiveness in the global market and providing opportunities for patients to benefit from early access to innovation.

NIHR Patient Recruitment Centres (PRCs)

  • The NIHR Patient Recruitment Centres will operate under a franchise-like model – providing the rights to use NIHR CRN brand and national systems to five NHS trust hosts
  • The five NHS host sites were identified and awarded through a NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) competition
  • The total amount allocated for the set up seed funding of the five new Patient Recruitment Centres across England is £6,925,980.00
  • Each centre will be required to demonstrate the means of becoming self sufficient within three years.
  • A national programme office within the NIHR CRN Coordinating Centre will ensure the rapid adoption of clinical trials through provision of CRN Study Support Services, perform central contracting for qualifying commercial studies and ensure transparency of funding flows to the five PRCs. The programme office will ensure the franchise-like model operates uniformly across all five sites and adopt the use of the NIHR Hub to enable rapid communication and sharing of study protocols.

Late phase clinical research

  • As part of the development of new medicines or treatments, drugs are put through a series of clinical trial phases to ensure they are safe and effective. Late phase clinical research – the type supported by the new Patient Recruitment Centres – includes trials in phases 2-4.

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is the nation’s largest funder of health and care research. The NIHR:

  • Funds, supports and delivers high quality research that benefits the NHS, public health and social care
  • Engages and involves patients, carers and the public in order to improve the reach, quality and impact of research
  • Attracts, trains and supports the best researchers to tackle the complex health and care challenges of the future
  • Invests in world-class infrastructure and a skilled delivery workforce to translate discoveries into improved treatments and services
  • Partners with other public funders, charities and industry to maximise the value of research to patients and the economy

The NIHR was established in 2006 to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research, and is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care. In addition to its national role, the NIHR supports applied health research for the direct and primary benefit of people in low- and middle-income countries, using UK aid from the UK government

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is responsible for providing hospital services for the people of Bradford and communities across Yorkshire. We serve a core population of around 500,000 and provide specialist services for 1.1 million people.

Our 5,500 staff work over several sites, including Bradford Royal Infirmary, which provides the majority of inpatient services, and St Luke’s Hospital, which predominantly provides outpatient and rehabilitation services. We also manage local community hospitals at Westwood Park, Westbourne Green, and Eccleshill.