Update on the NIHR funding report and the Sustainability Review

Evaluation of NIHR investment in Cochrane infrastructure and systematic reviews

In February 2017, the NIHR published the long-awaited and independent report into the funding on UK Cochrane Review Groups.  The report highlighted much of the good work that Cochrane has produced over the years and the important contribution by the largely voluntary Collaboration to the field of evidence based medicine. The report said Cochrane represents good value for money, even if only a couple of reviews per year across the UK-based CRGs have a significant impact. However, the report emphasised that UK Cochrane groups have the potential to be even more cost-effective and suggested that improvements could be made particularly in quality and timeliness of review production, prioritisation, engagement with stakeholders and appropriate use of non-randomised evidence.   Airways welcomed the report’s findings and we are already working on ideas to address some of the issues raised. Watch this space! 

Cochrane's Sustainability Review

For some time now there has been a plan to internally re-structure Cochrane to improve efficiency and quality, recognising that 50+ individual review groups, with little formal interaction between them, is an outdated model. The Cochrane Editorial Unit has recommended that review groups are organised into a number of ‘networks’, based around topic areas. Each network will have a Senior Editor appointed to oversee quality and ensure best practice is shared between groups. This may mean that roles and scope within review groups are somewhat altered, although we don’t foresee substantial changes to Airways in the short to medium term. The review is still underway, but we expect to know more after the Cochrane Board meeting in September 2017, when the Sustainability Review team will present their findings and firm recommendations. Watch this space too!