Clinical research performance

The Royal Marsden, together with our academic partner, the ICR, is the largest comprehensive cancer centre in the world, with an outstanding reputation for research and development.

The Government's Plan for Growth, published in March 2011, announced the transformation of incentives at local level for efficiency in initiation and delivery of clinical research. The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) has therefore established two performance metrics that The Royal Marsden and other NHS providers are measured against. The two metrics are as follows:

Initiating clinical research

  • Clinical trials to be set up and operational, and to have recruited the first patient within a 70-day period. This looks at how quickly trials are set up and recruited to

Delivering clinical research

  • Recruitment of commercial clinical trials to time and target. This looks at whether or not we've recruited the target number of patients in the timeframe that we said we would. The overall aim is to increase the number of patients who have the opportunity to participate in research and to enhance the nation's attractiveness as a host for clinical research

We are currently required to submit 12 months’ worth of data on these two benchmarks to NIHR on a quarterly basis.

As a major UK Cancer Research Centre, The Royal Marsden is committed to the principle of initiating studies as efficiently as possible and delivering planned recruitment to time, and therefore we have welcomed these metrics.

Of the clinical trials that The Royal Marsden manages, a significant proportion fall into the category of rare disease, or rare sub-types of common diseases, which often makes the 70 day metric far more difficult to achieve.

This can lead to fewer patients than predicted being recruited, and may result in a lower than anticipated recruitment. The NIHR Contract Benchmark is currently a high priority for the Trust and every effort is being made to meet the benchmarks where possible. Here at The Royal Marsden we want to maintain the volume and diversity of clinical trials and continue to give patients access to the best new pioneering treatments and therapies.