Innovation and Research

The scale of transformation necessary to deliver the ambition outlined within our Long Term Plan is a considerable challenge that will require widespread innovation, enhanced use of technology and a commitment to research. Our existing partnerships, our relationships with local academic organisations and our committed workforce mean that we are uniquely placed to be a test bed for innovation and research.

We strive to promote and support various quality improvement programmes across north east London. We also recognise that by participating and promoting research we assist towards improving and developing the services that we commission.

Research and innovation hold the key to delivering continuing sustainable improvements within the NHS. We aim to promote and assist with healthcare research as much as possible. This research can be varied. It might be part of a national research study testing a new drug or technology, a service evaluation to help review services, or a pilot to test innovative treatments.

Key strategic priorities

Our key strategic priorities on research and innovation include: 

  • Increasing the number of people participating in research
  • Meeting excess treatment costs by working in collaboration with the Local Clinical Research Networks (LCRN) and NHS England
  • Increasing the number of health and care professionals engaging in research
  • Tailoring research to local priorities
  • Contributing to creating a learning NHS environment that fosters evidence-based practice and innovation

How you can get involved

There are many ways to get involved in research. It could be as a participant in a study, or as a research partner helping to shape and deliver the research.

Visit the INVOLVE website – part of the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) which specialises in supporting greater public involvement in research.

Use your local research network, NIHR Clinical Research Network North Thames

Visit the NHS website to understand more about clinical and medical trials and which studies are recruiting.

Information for researchers

If you are interested in obtaining support for a research project or have queries on how to apply for Excess Treatment Costs funding, please find below some useful information.

Excess Treatment Costs

Some research studies will generate Excess Treatment Costs (ETCs). The definition of the various costs associated with research are outlined in the Department of Health guidance: Attributing the costs of health and social care research

ETCs incurred by research studies can be defined as the difference between the cost of standard treatment and the cost of the treatment that will be tested via research. This includes costs that would be incurred if the treatment continued after the research activity has stopped and staff training costs in order to deliver the intervention. This does not include training costs for research methods, such as case reporting. Occasionally the new treatment may be cheaper, in which case there will be a saving in treatment costs.

Applying for ETCs

The National Institute of Health Research Clinical Research Network (NIHR CRN) and its local networks manage the ETC budget on behalf of CCGs. This took effect on 1 October 2018. All new funding applications to the CRN are required to complete a Schedule of Events Cost Attribution Tool which is validated by the CRN AcoRD specialists. A schedule of events is required as part of Health Research Authority (HRA) approval to outline study activities and the associated attribution under AcoRD principles. The single point of access for processing the ETC requests is via the NIHR Study Support Service mailbox at:

Key points of the new process for ETCs

Costing is completed using a standard costing methodology (the Schedule of Events Cost Attribution Tool). High cost Excess Treatment Costs will be assessed by a panel at project funding stage. The CRN will transfer your costing and recruitment information into the Central Portfolio Management System (CPMS). This will calculate ETCs for provider organisations and will be paid when the minimum threshold is reached.

Commissioner support

We recommend you identify every relevant commissioner you require a ETC budget from for the study. If you require Public Health investment, please ensure you contact them as early as possible. Commissioners are unable to budget for ‘unknown’ research projects and can struggle to meet their ETC requests and other commitments.

To get in touch with someone about research and innovation in north east London contact:


Updated: 21/10/2019