HL Deb 15 December 1994 vol 559 cc134-5WA
Lord Gainford

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they accept the recommendations of the report of the NHS Research and Development Task Force chaired by Professor Anthony Culyer.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Cumberlege)

Since Professor Culyer's reportSupporting Research caul Development in the NHS was published on 14 September, we have had valuable discussions about it with the academic and research communities and beyond. The broad thrust of the report has been welcomed.

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Health has now decided to introduce a new system of funding and supporting research, based largely on the report's proposals, to come into effect from 1996–97. The key points are:

  • The introduction of a "single funding system" for NHS research and development, service support for R&D and research facilities.
  • The intention to raise R&D funds by a levy on purchasers of health care.
  • Changes in the advisory structure for R&D, including revised terms of reference and membership for the Central NHS R&D Committee (CRDC). The CRDC will have a new role advising the NHS how to invest its R&D funds.
  • The creation of a new National Forum to bring together the major health-related research funders to provide advice for the NHS and the Government.

We are also announcing today that an extra £8 million will be available in 1995–96 for research commissioned by the NHS.

The intention is to set a framework for funding and supporting research in the NHS for the long term and provide a clear focus for future discussions about the detail of implementation.

These decisions follow our recent announcement of £40 million increase for 1995–96 in the ear-marked funds dedicated to meeting the NHS costs of medical and dental education and research. Together they underline the Government's strong commitment to the NHS research base and using it to develop further a knowledge-based service.

A note giving further details of the new funding system has been placed in the Library.