Can we achieve true collaboration between the National Health Service (NHS), academia, industry and consumers? UK government directives have prescribed this activity but in a commentary published this week in Trials, authors Adams and de Lima argue that these groups are yet to fully embrace the challenges of truly working together.
Adams and de Lima suggest that, while clinicians may see research as an academic exercise with limited relevance to clinical practice, industry players are likely to expect a level of inefficiency from the NHS. Furthermore, academics may be discouraged from accepting industry funding due to concerns over conflict of interest. As a result the benefits to patients from relevant research, as well as their potential involvement, may be limited.
Although changes must be made to ensure that the challenges of collaborative working can be met, the authors believe that this cultural shift represents a unique opportunity for industry, academia and the NHS to work together to allow patients the benefit of world-leading research with relevant clinical outcomes.
Assistant Journal Development Editor