Currently there are 69 NHS Research Ethics Committees (RECs) in England. Over the last few years, however, the number of applications reviewed by RECs has fallen and in response we have merged and closed some RECs.
We believe that this reduction is the result of the elimination of duplicate reviews of the same application and a better understanding of the remit of NHS RECs by researchers.
We also know that the number of student projects has declined. Data from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
shows steady numbers of research applications for clinical trials of investigational medicinal products from 2010-2011 and our data also supports this.