FINANCE: The trust will lose its biomedical research centre funding at the end of this financial year, after losing out in the competition for the next round of five-year funding, an NHS North West board paper shows.

NHS North West chief executive Mark Ogden’s board report stated that the trust “with their academic partner, Liverpool University, submitted an application to the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) to renew their specialist BRC in infection but unfortunately were unsuccessful”.

The original 12 BRCs, including The Royal Liverpool’s, were created in 2007 by the NIHR to “translate lab-based discoveries into new cutting edge treatments, technologies, diagnostics and other interventions in clinical settings”. It aimed to “create an environment in which scientific endeavour can thrive” by providing BRCs with “substantial levels of sustained funding”. That funding runs out at the end of 2011-12, and the NIHR ran a competition over the summer for the next round of BRC funds.

According to Mr Ogden’s report, Central Manchester University Hospitals Foundation Trust, which has a specialist BRC with Manchester University in developmental medicine, was also unsuccessful in its bid for a new comprehensive BRC. And The Christie FT was unsuccessful in its bid for a new specialist BRC in cancer, also with Manchester University.

He concluded: “As a result there are no BRCs in the North West. These organisations are currently undertaking impact assessments and the Regional Director of Research and Development at NHS North West is working with them to identify ways in which the activity of the individual BRCs can be sustained without NIHR funding and in particular whether any activity could be reframed as programme grants.”