In November 2008 a new system was launched in the UK: The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Coordinated System for gaining NHS Permission (CSP). This aims to standardise and streamline the process for gaining NHS permission to conduct clinical research.
The NIHR claim that it will reduce any duplication in the NHS review process, provide a single point for applications, and clarify the roles and responsibilities of those involved (sponsors, investigators, etc). Many researchers will be welcoming this initiative!
To find out more visit the NIHR website.