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Clinical Trials Service

Following commitments made to the Life sciences: industrial strategy, and publication of the Life Sciences Sector Deal 2 in December 2018, NHS Digital has launched a suite of services to support clinical trials.

What the services aim to do

These services aim to:

  • greatly speed up the recruitment process and reduce the number of recruitment centres
  • significantly reduce the cost and complexity of late phase trials
  • remove the risk of early decisions based on limited data available
  • achieve comprehensive data collection for participants

NHS Digital is well placed to support clinical trials due to the scale and reach of the datasets held in trust for the nation.

Services offered


Using national datasets to provide numbers of those eligible for a clinical trial based on certain criteria.


Enabling potentially eligible participants to be identified using clinical and demographic datasets for possible recruitment into a trial.

Tracking for contact details

Enabling clinical trials to maintain and communicate with all trial participants during and after the trial.

Tracking for clinical outcomes

Ensuring that clinical trials are informed of major life events for trial participants.

Data rights of citizens

Improving health and care relies on better pathways and treatments. These are validated by carefully controlled clinical trials. NHS Digital aims to support researchers to make the best use of the data we hold in trust to select the most appropriate participants. This not only reduces the cost of the trial but should also improve the quality of the study leading to better pathways and treatments in the future.

All of the above services protect individuals’ data rights and only take place where there is an appropriate legal framework in place. Find out how NHS Digital make sure patient data is protected and handled securely.

How to apply to use the services

To apply to use any of the clinical trials services you can:

Email: - please quote 'Clinical Trials Service' in the subject.

Phone: 0300 303 5678 to arrange an initial discussion. Existing DARS customers can also contact their assigned Case Officer for further information.

Last edited: 17 May 2019 12:07 pm