Following consultation with Scottish NHS R&D offices, the Chief Scientist Office (CSO) announce that Scotland signs up to guidelines for Attributing the costs of Research and Development in NHS Scotland (AcoRD). This announcement brings Scotland into line with England, who published guidance earlier this year. Wales and Northern Ireland are expected to announce their policies in the coming months.
The AcoRD guidance clarifies the three categories of costs associated with non-commercial research studies first established in 1997:
- research costs
- NHS support costs
- treatment costs.
The guidance establishes a mechanism for the Scottish government to meet some of the costs of charity-funded research in the NHS for charities that are members of AMRC. AcoRD considers AMRC members as a special case because their funds come from donations by patients and the public using high quality peer review processes. The agreement recognises the unique contribution such medical research charities make to excellent research in the NHS. For that reason the guidance ensures that certain research costs will be met by NHSScotland through NRS (NHS Research Scotland) funding allocated to Boards.
Sharmila Nebhrajani, chief executive of AMRC said:
‘We welcome this announcement, and its recognition of the unique contribution that charities make in funding research in the NHS in Scotland. In our poll of nearly 1,000 adults last year; 92 per cent told us they believe it’s important for the NHS to support research funded by charities. This support maximises the investment of charity funds – so that their money goes directly towards funding research that leads to better health outcomes for patients.’
Notes to editors
- The AcoRD guidance supersedes earlier guidance contained in Attributing Revenue Costs of non-commercial research in the NHS (ARCO) and must be used to attribute the costs of research taking place in the NHS where the outline or full grant funding application is submitted to funders on or after 1 October 2012.
- Clinical research incurs research, support and treatment costs. Research costs are paid for by the grant funder, except in some instances where they are paid by the Department of Health because the grant funder is an AMRC member charity. Support costs are paid for by the Department of Health through NIHR. Treatment costs are paid for by the NHS. The principles for defining these costs were established in 1997, in HSG (97)32, and have not changed.
- The guidelines on implementing clinical research costs, ARCO (Attributing revenue costs of externally funded non-commercial research in the NHS) were agreed in 2005. AcoRD is a revision of ARCO. It takes into account changes to the research landscape and the development of the NIHR Clinical Research Networks, which provide research infrastructure for studies taking place in the NHS.
- The Department of Health’s decision to make a special case for AMRC medical research charities is similar to HEFCE’s practice in providing additional funding to universities to support the costs of charity-sponsored research.
- The Department of Health and AMRC have agreed to work together on the implementation and monitoring of the new guidance. This will include gathering data to assess the impact of the guidance on the costs of research and to provide assurance that the new guidelines do not have unintended consequences. Initial monitoring will take place in April 2013.