Cooksey Review: UK health research funding

02 August 2006

In the March 2006 budget, the Chancellor, Gordon Brown, announced a single, ring-fenced budget to support the health research funded by the Medical Research Council and the NHS Research and Development Programme. An independent review commissioned by the Government and chaired by Sir David Cooksey, has been set up to examine the best institutional arrangements for this new single fund for health research and how these arrangements would be implemented.

The Royal Society and the Academy of Medical Sciences prepared a joint response to the invitation to submit comments. The submission was developed following wide consultation with Fellows and has been endorsed by the Councils of both Academies. In the response we welcome the Government's proposal to form a single health research budget but stress that it must be established with the appropriate leadership, governance, resources and culture in order to maximise the application of health research to benefit patients in the UK and internationally. We also emphasise that the model which is eventually chosen to coordinate UK health research should strive to preserve the strengths of the MRC and NHS R&D Programme and ensure coherence across the spectrum of health research, from basic biomedical science, through experimental medicine and clinical trials to population health, health services research and service innovation.