Avon Primary Care Research Collaborative

Last updated: 15 October 2012 

The journey

The purpose of this programme was to embed research and evaluation into the commissioning cycle; and as PCTs are replaced by CCGs, to ensure that this continues to be the case.  Its aim was to offer an ‘evidence hub’ so that commissioners can access robust data and evidence to inform their decisions.  The services offered include audit, evaluation, research governance, research management and research support.  

In providing these services the intention was also to reinforce the reputation of R&D as a customer-focussed, helpful department; to create closer and more collaborative relationships between stakeholders; and to ensure that commissioning, re-commissioning and de-commissioning decisions are based on robust research and evidence.



In recognition of its work in supporting, developing and hosting research grants, the service received the second largest flexibility and sustainability award to a PCT in the UK (in 2011/12) and the largest award to a PCT in the 2012/13 financial year.  It has also received widespread and positive feedback.  The process of embedding R&D more deeply into commissioning has improved relationships and collaboration across stakeholders and evaluation is now being built into commissioning cycles as a matter of course.


Patient setting

In-patient   X Out-patient   X Community based   X
Mental health   X Chronic illness   X Cross-systems   X


Clinical area

Staying healthy X Maternity and newborn  X Children and young people  X Acute care   X
Planned care  X Mental health   X Long-term conditions   X End of life   X


Information, tools and techniques used

No information available.



The R&D team covers the PCT cluster of Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire and works closely with primary care researchers across the NHS and the Higher Education sector.  Its HEI colleagues are based at the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England. 



The process began in July 2009 and is still continuing. The team is now working with the Clinical Commissioning Groups in the Cluster (who will take on the role of ‘host’ to the service in April 2013) to ensure that this work continues.


Contact details and further information

Dr Joanne Hartland, R&D Programme Manager: jo.hartland@bristol.nhs.uk

Further information at www.apcrc.nhs.co.uk.

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