Newcastle University has been chosen by the Department of Health to co-ordinate the UK Stroke Research Network, in collaboration with the Universities of Birmingham, Glasgow, Nottingham and Oxford, under its UK Clinical Research Network (UKCRN) initiative. The network will comprise a National Co-ordinating Centre, based in the University, and eight local research networks around the country. The Department of Health is investing 20 million over five years in the project.
The aim of the UK Stroke Research Network is to establish a world-class research network which will facilitate the conduct of randomised prospective trials and studies, including for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of stroke.
The Network will meet the challenges facing UK stroke research, including responding to organisational and staffing changes in the NHS; facilitating greater expenditure on stroke research; increasing the number of multi-centre stroke rehabilitation trials and the number of trials which link directly to primary care; encouraging greater collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry; and improving links between the stroke research and clinical care communities.
One of the major elements of the network will be to increase the opportunities available for patients to become involved in clinical trials stroke research.
Newcastle University Professor and Consultant Stroke Physician at Newcastle's Freeman Hospital, Gary Ford, is the Director of the National Stroke Research Centre. He said: 'Stroke accounts for over 10 per cent of deaths in the UK, and four to six per cent of the total NHS budget.