Purpose of this document
This document provides information on the NIHR Local Clinical Research Network (LCRN) funding allocations for the 2020/21 financial year (see Table 2).
Purpose of CRN funding model
The purpose of the CRN funding model is to best apportion the national CRN funding allocation from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to the 15 LCRNs in pursuance of the aims of the NIHR CRN as set out in the NIHR Briefing Note for the CRN, and the CRN High Level Objectives.
The CRN funding model was radically simplified for the 2019/20 financial year with agreement that the basis would remain unchanged for a minimum three-year period. The 2020/21 CRN funding model is the second year of this three-year period.
Overview of CRN funding model 2020/21
The CRN funding model for 2020/21 has three components: ‘Core’, ‘Topsliced’, and ‘Excess Treatment Cost (ETC) Service Funding’.
- The Core component is a two-part model consisting of a fixed and a variable element.
- Fixed element - 80% of core funding, using the 2018/19 allocations as the baseline for the calculations, and allowing LCRNs to plan effectively.
- Variable element - 20% of core funding, used to incentivise and reward LCRNs in pursuance of DHSC strategic initiatives and objectives. The factors determining the distribution of this element - i.e. the allocation of this element - could by definition be changed year on year. Further information on the variable element is provided below.
- The Top-sliced component provides for national NHS service support functions and CRN National Specialty Leads. This has been deducted from the total CRN allocation prior to the core fixed and variable elements being calculated.
- The ETC Service Funding, as previously agreed with DHSC, provides additional staff resource to support the management of ETCs.
Core funding component - variable element
Funding allocations within the variable element were calculated using performance data in relation to CRN High Level Objectives (HLOs) 1, 2a and 2b CRN Specialty Objectives and a new ‘Targeting Local Health Needs’ metric. Each of these five factors attracted 4% of the total core funding allocation, i.e. 20% of core funding in total.
a) HLO 1 – the number of participants recruited into NIHR CRN Portfolio Studies
b) HLO 2a – the proportion of commercial contract studies in the NIHR CRN Portfolio delivering to recruitment time and target
c) HLO 2b – the proportion of non-commercial studies in the NIHR CRN Portfolio delivering to recruitment time and target
d) Specialty Objectives – the number included in the 2020/21 funding model has been reduced, as listed below, in order to better align with new objectives that were introduced in April 2019:
- Cancer – on-target recruitment into at least 8 of the 13 Cancer subspecialties
- Children – proportion of NHS Trusts recruiting into Children’s studies
- Critical Care – proportion of intensive care units recruiting into studies
- Diabetes – increase recruitment into studies that require collaboration between primary and secondary care
- Gastroenterology – recruitment of 40 participants per 100,000 population to Gastro studies
- Mental Health – increase participation in Mental Health studies involving children and young people
- Musculoskeletal Disorders – increase the number of participants recruited into Orth studies
- Ophthalmology – increase NHS participation in Ophthalmology studies
- Renal Disorders – ‘new’ Principal Investigators engaged in commercial Renal Disorders studies
- Surgery – increase patient access to Surgery research studies.
e) Targeting Local Health Needs – compares the prevalence and research activity for ‘priority’ health conditions:
- Mental Health – common
- Mental Health – severe
A balanced scorecard approach was used to calculate the allocation for each LCRN. This ensured that all LCRNs received some funding from the variable element. The methodology was to apply a score to the 2018/19 HLO and Specialty objectives, and Targeting Health Needs metric outturn data at a LCRN level; the better the performance, the higher the score awarded. An example, using HLO 1, is provided in Table 1 below:
|% of target achieved (success rate)||Point awarded|
To ensure the volume and complexities of the HLOs were taken into account, the scores per LCRN for HLO 1 were multiplied by the number of participants recruited, and the scores for HLO 2a and HLO 2b were multiplied by the number of studies that achieved the recruitment to time and target aim of 80%.
Host corporate support services
LCRNs are provided with an allowable expenditure to provide a range of corporate support facilities and services that facilitate the governance, leadership and management of the LCRN. These services typically include: financial management and reporting; human resources; information technology and governance; office space, facilities and equipment; legal and contracting support.
Cap and Collar
The funding model aims to avoid major fluctuations in year on year funding, thus providing stability in the NIHR infrastructure and allow LCRNs to plan more effectively.
As in previous years, a +/- 5% Cap and Collar has been applied to the 2020/21 CRN funding model. The Top-sliced element and Excess Treatments Cost Service Funding are excluded from this calculation.
|LCRN||Fixed funding element (£) with LCRN adjustments included||Variable element (£) with cap and collar adjustment included||Total pre-top sliced £||Top-sliced £||ETC service funding £||Final allocation £|
|Kent, Surrey and Sussex||11,297,656||2,907,897||14,205,553||0||59,798||14,265,351|
|North East and North Cumbria||14,328,680||3,712,191||18,040,871||62,200||80,576||18,183,647|
|North West Coast||12,861,884||2,878,679||15,740,563||67,555||50,020||15,858,138|
|North West London||11,053,784||3,287,396||14,341,180||40,240||89,132||14,470,552|
|South West Peninsula||8,501,858||2,721,194||11,223,052||65,700||42,686||11,331,438|
|Thames Valley and South Midlands||12,134,992||3,758,181||15,893,173||36,040||87,910||16,017,123|
|West of England||10,043,354||2,802,724||12,846,078||0||68,354||12,914,432|
|Yorkshire and Humber||20,854,427||4,916,772||25,771,199||280,384||91,577||26,143,160|
Any enquiries regarding the 2020/21 LCRN funding allocations should be emailed to Sally Johnson, LCRN Funding and Contracts Manager, to: firstname.lastname@example.org.