Make It Public transparency strategy launches
30th July 2020
The new strategy marks a step-change in making health research findings available to the public
The Health Research Authority (HRA) has today (Thursday 30 July) launched a new strategy to ensure information about all health and social care research – including COVID-19 research - is made publicly available to benefit patients, researchers and policymakers. The strategy is delivered by the HRA in partnership with NHS Research Scotland, Health and Care Research Wales and Health and Social Care Northern Ireland.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of sharing details of research taking place - to understand the virus and find the tests, treatments and vaccines - so that results can inform best quality care and preventive measures. This also means researchers do not duplicate efforts and can build on each other’s work while the public can see what research is going on.
The new Make it Public strategy is about making transparency ‘the norm’ in research and making information more visible to the public. New measures set out in the strategy will improve this by:
- expecting researchers to plan how they will let research participants know about the findings of the study from the beginning
- introducing additional monitoring to check that researchers are reporting results and to collect information about study findings
- making information on individual research projects – and their transparency performance - available to the public
- introducing a system to consider past transparency performance when reviewing new studies for approval and in the future introducing sanctions
The strategy was developed with oversight from a UK-wide expert group, chaired by Professor Andrew George, and shaped by a public consultation. Organisations across the health and social care research sector – research funding bodies, hospitals and medical charities - are supporting the strategy.
Juliet Tizzard, Director of Policy at the HRA, said:
"The Make it Public strategy is not just a strategy for the Health Research Authority. It has been shaped by those it will affect and is based on a vision that everyone involved in health and social care research can sign up to – that trusted information from health and social care research studies is publicly available for the benefit of all. We are now working with patients, researchers, funding bodies and others to design the detail, so that the strategy creates lasting change across all health and social care research in the UK."
Research participant Lynn Laidlaw from Edinburgh said:
"People living with conditions, and healthy participants, who take part in research fundamentally deserve to know the results and whether it will affect their care and treatment in the future. Informing them is essential, without their participation the research wouldn’t have been possible."
The HRA now begins work to implement the new strategy, starting with clear guidance for researchers and sponsors, an enhanced monitoring programme to ensure public reporting and informing study participants and, further in the future, introducing sanctions into the research approvals process.
Read the Make it Public strategy
For more information go to www.hra.co.uk/makeitpublic.