The framework defines the broad principles of good research governance and is key to ensuring that health and social care research is conducted to high scientific and ethical standards.
It details the responsibilities of the key people involved in research, outlines the delivery systems, sets standards, and describes local and national monitoring systems. Compliance with the framework should reduce the incidence of poor quality research, research misconduct and research fraud.
Lord Hunt said: 'I am delighted that there is now a means for ensuring the quality of
health and social care research. Proper governance of research is essential to ensure that the public can have confidence in, and benefit from, research in health and social care. The public has a right to expect high scientific and ethical standards in the conduct of this research.
'It will help all those who host, conduct, fund and manage health and social care research to ensure the right procedures are in place and that informed consent is obtained from participants. The proper conduct of research will help reduce the opportunity for research fraud and other misconduct. Arrangements will be put in place to monitor compliance.
'High quality research is fundamental in developing a health service which reflects the rapid developments in science and technology, and the skills necessary to apply them. We are committed to ensuring that all NHS patients benefit from such research which represents the future of the NHS.'
Professor Sir John Pattison, director of research and development, said: 'The framework is an extremely important document for ensuring the proper conduct of health and social care research.
'Its development and implementation is one of my key priorities. For the first time, it will enable the department of health to assess that the conduct of health and social care research is of high quality and meets high scientific and ethical standards.'
1. On 2 April 2001 a check list will be published to allow those responsible for health and social care research to assess their organisation's compliance with the framework.
2. These assessments will be returned to the Department of Health by 31 May 2001. They will be used to produce an overall implementation plan, which will include a realistic timetable for moving to full compliance with the framework.
3. The Research Governance Framework is on the website at www.doh.gov.uk/research