Health chiefs have pledged to increase the number of clinical trials available to patients after new figures revealed an increase in research studies across Norfolk.

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A new league table, published by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network, revealed that more than half of NHS trusts across the country increased the number of clinical research studies over the last year, contributing to the drive for better treatments for all NHS patients.

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital increased their number of studies from 182 in 2012/13 to 186 in 2013/14 and recruited more than 4,000 patients for trails, according to the figures.

The number of studies at the James Paget University Hospital rose from 45 to 49, recruiting 728 patients, and there was an increase at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in King’s Lynn from 37 to 41, involving 361 patients.

The N&N was named as one of just 15 institutions in a national research network last year, beating a rival bid from hospitals in Cambridge.

Anna Dugdale, chief executive of the Colney hospital, said: “We are committed to enabling those of our patients who wish to do so to be included in clinical trials. We are proud of our achievement to date on recruitment to trials and will build on this working with our patients to develop new trials and involve more patients in trials developed elsewhere in the country.”

Jonathan Sheffield, chief executive officer of the NIHR Clinical Research Network, added: “It’s great to see a real appetite for research in Norwich. I would like to thank all the patients and carers who have taken part in research, and thereby made a contribution to improving NHS treatments for everyone.”

“I would also like to congratulate the trusts in Norwich for increasing their number of studies. We know that research is something that patients really value and these Trusts are creating the opportunities for patients to get involved.”

The clinical research league table is available at www.crn.nihr.ac.uk/annualstats

Patients and carers who want to find out more about clinical research can visit www.nhsresearch.org

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