About NHS DigiTrials

  • We aim to:

    • Enable more opportunities for participation in research
    • Reduce the cost and complexity of developing new treatments
    • Reduce drug costs to the NHS improve the quality of evidence on the effectiveness and safety of new treatments for patients and their doctors.

    NHS DigiTrials’ vision is to create and provide service that provides clear benefits at the right time and in the right way for its customers. Recognising that clinical trials will be focused on COVID-19 for the foreseeable future, it is currently looking at the need for outcome data to support this vital work – namely data about clinical interventions and their results across a range of care settings.

    Focusing on outcomes data will better address current clinical trial needs and is central to our vision of creating a service that provides clear benefits at the right time and in the right way.

  • NHS DigiTrials will help NHS patients across the length and breadth of England participate in clinical trials of new treatments. The results generated will influence the day-to-day care of millions of future NHS patients with a wide range of conditions, as well as supporting planning and research into COVID-19.

    We have created the NHS DigiTrials Service to provide data, expertise and infrastructure specific for clinical trials.

    • Patients and the public – including past, existing and potential clinical trial patients who want to find out more about the work of NHS DigiTrials, how this is improving patient care and how they participate in research
    • Clinical triallists – who want to identify suitable patients to be involved in clinical trials
    • Clinicians – who want to find out more about available and upcoming clinical trial options for their patients
    • Data researchers – who want to access the data from clinical trials for research and planning purposes
  • NHS DigiTrials has worked closely with patients and public, who are members of its co-development panel, to ensure they have been included in the design of this service. The co-development panel ensures that the service is trustworthy, accessible and keeps them well informed as to how patient data is being used for trials.

    Current outcomes supported by NHS DigiTrials have so far included the first set of results on the success of Dexamethasone in reducing deaths of people on ventilators (part of the Oxford RECOVERY trial), trials with NHS Blood and Transplant into the effectiveness of treating coronavirus patients with plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19 and vaccine trials.

    • Feasibility: Assisting clinical trialists to locate the numbers of patients that might be appropriate to involve in clinical trials.
    • Outcomes:  Linking trial cohorts to NHS data sources to collect information on relevant medical events to provide an efficient and comprehensive assessment of clinical safety.

    Further capabilities to be developed, that are subject to funding, include:

    • Identification: Identifying suitable patients to be invited by the appropriate investigator to participate in a clinical trial.
    • Communication: Improving communications between clinical trialists, patients and their general practitioners before, during and after the trial.