Local Research Networks

LRN UK Coverage

LRN Sites & Studies

The National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network (NIHR CRN) appointed eight Local Research Networks (LRNs) to support the delivery and conduct of clinical diabetes research.

  • Eastern England
    Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust with Professor Nick Wareham as clinical lead.
  • North East and Cumbria
    Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust with Professor Mark Walker as clinical lead.
  • North East London
    Barts and the London Hospital NHS Trust with Professor Graham Hitman and Professor Chris Griffiths as clinical leads.
  • North West
    Salford Royal Hospitals NHS Trust with Professor Martin Gibson as clinical lead.
  • North West London
    St Mary’s Hospital NHS Trust with Professor Robert Elkeles and Professor Simon Thom as clinical leads.
  • South East Midlands
    University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust with Professor Melanie Davies and Professor Kamlesh Khunti as clinical leads.
  • South West Peninsula
    Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust with Professor Ann Millward as clinical lead.
  • Thames Valley
    Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust with Professor Stephen Gough as clinical lead.

Aims & Objectives

The objective of each LRN is to lead, support and promote research in each topic area. This will focus on recruitment to national clinical trials and other well–designed studies conducted by the network.

Each LRN will have clinical and academic collaboration across an area that encompasses a wide variety of clinical services and patient populations, including primary, secondary and tertiary care. LRNs are expected to develop and build on links with existing clinical and research support services such as NHS R&D Support Units, Trust R&D, Clinical Research Facilities, and other research networks set up by the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network (NIHR CRN).

Diabetes is an increasingly important condition in the UK and now affects approximately five per cent of the adult population. Strategies to prevent its development, and to improve the outcomes for people with diabetes, are required. The Diabetes Research Network, with its eight dedicated Local Research Networks, is making a substantial contribution to this effort.

The aim of the DRN and the associated Local Research Networks is to facilitate the conduct of randomised prospective trials and other well-designed studies, including those for prevention, diagnosis and treatment

This will in turn:

  • Improve patient care.
  • Improve the coordination of research.
  • Improve the speed of research.
  • Maintain and enhance the quality of research.
  • Improve the integration of research.
  • Expand and enhance participation in research.

Each network is increasing patient and public involvement in diabetes research, as well as supporting workforce development, and open and transparent communication.

Each network is funded to employ dedicated research nurses and similar staff who support clinical teams in NHS hospitals to facilitate involvement in diabetes clinical studies. These networks are required to work collaboratively, under the guidance of the Diabetes Research Network Coordinating Centre, to utilise this funding to its full effect, and are encouraged to build on any existing links with clinical and research support services in their local areas.

The 8 areas that have been selected include world class research organisations in their own right and this initiative will enable a much larger part of the diabetes community to work with them and gain from their experience.

Coordinating the regional efforts will also enable new ideas and new treatments to be tested much more quickly and give an even greater insight into how diabetes occurs and methods of improving treatment and care.

Dr Sue Roberts, former National Clinical Director for Diabetes (2003 to 2008)

This is a very exciting development in clinical diabetes research. It provides the infrastructure for clinical trials and other clinical research in diabetes which should place the NHS in the best position to become the world leader in this area.

Professor Des Johnston, Director of the Diabetes Network

I believe we now have a unique opportunity to engage those with diabetes and those undertaking care and research in a partnership which will enlarge our understanding and invigorate our search for better treatments and ultimately a cure.

Professor David Matthews, Co–Director of the Diabetes Research Network

The Local Research Networks are facilitating patient recruitment into a range of high quality clinical studies. They also work closely with their counterparts in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales to support the creation of a UK–wide clinical research infrastructure for diabetes research.

In Scotland, diabetes is one of three identified areas where networks have been established under the Chief Scientist Office, and the Scottish Diabetes Research Network is being led by Dr Graham LeeseUniversity of Dundee.

In Northern Ireland, diabetes is supported as part of the Northern Ireland Clinical Research Network.

The Diabetes Research Network in Wales is one of nine thematic research networks. It is being led by Professor Steve Bain.