The Health Research Authority is a non-department public body of the UK Department of Health, which aims to standardize the governance of national health research; it also engages the public and patients in order to improve health and social care research.
Mission and Purpose
An arm's length body of the UK Department of Health, the Health Research Authority's "core purpose is to protect and promote the interests of patients and the public in health and social care research." Facing an aging population and changes in care delivery, the HRA believes in the "need to consider how to engage with the public on research" to support care in a wider context.
In pursuit of their mission, the Health Research Authority works to:
- "make sure research is ethically reviewed and approved
- promote transparency in research
- oversee a range of committees and services
- provide independent recommendations on the processing of identifiable patient information where it is not always practical to obtain consent, for research and non-research projects."
Origins and Development
The Health Research Authority (HRA) officially became a non-departmental public body on January 1, 2015, at which time it "took direct responsibility for research policy in England, and duties to collaborate with the Devolved Administrations to provide a UK wide setting for health research." 
Organizational Structure, Membership, and Funding
As an extension of the Department of Health (DH), the UK Government has devolved some of its responsibilities to the Health Research Authority, so they have a unique budget and executive board, but are ultimately responsible to the DH.
The Board which governs the HRA is "composed of five non-executive directors, including the chair, and three executive directors."  As a dimension of the HRA's "commitment to openness and transparency, board meetings are held in public and board papers and minutes are available" on their website.
In order to govern and regulate research in the UK to ensure high quality and transparency, the HRA leads and works collaboratively with other agencies, including the "Devolved Administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to provide UK-wide systems, including a UK-wide Research Ethics Service and the four nations NHS and Health and Social Care (HSC) compatibility programme."  Furthermore, they have established formal relationships with regulatory bodies such as the Human Tissue Authority and EU-focused organizations for EU-wide initiatives such as MRHA. Involve is a partner when it comes to advising on the HRA's public engagement activities.
Specializations, Methods and Tools
To promote patient and public interests, the Health Research Authority aims to involve and listen to their views. One means of doing so is through their Public Involvement Network, where patients and members of the public have helped to recruit staff, redesign online content, and deliver staff training.
The HRA encourages public involvement through consultations, which are conducted according to their publicly accessible consultation guidance. According to this document, consultations take many forms, including:
- "simply asking for open responses to a series of questions
- surveys (online and paper) using a mixture of closed and open questions;
- stakeholder meetings, focus groups, and workshops to deliberate and debate the issues." 
Major Projects and Events
According to their website, "more than 6000 research projects a year come through the HRA, including requests to the Confidentiality Advisory Group." 
Analysis and Lessons Learned
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More on the Health Research Authority and their work is available via their newsletter, HRA Latest.
 Health Research Authority (n.d.) What We Do. https://www.hra.nhs.uk/about-us/what-we-do/
 Allen, T. (2018, Aug 9). Our Strategic Ambitions. Health Research Authority. https://www.hra.nhs.uk/about-us/what-we-do/our-vision-purpose/our-strategic-ambitions/
 Hunn, A. (2015). Guidance on conducting consultations in the HRA – Internal HRA guidance only. Health Research Authority. https://www.hra.nhs.uk/documents/253/hra-guidance-conducting-consultations-2015.pdf
 Health Research Authority (n.d.) Who We Are. https://www.hra.nhs.uk/about-us/who-we-are/
 Health Research Authority (n.d.) Partnerships. https://www.hra.nhs.uk/about-us/partnerships/
 Health Research Authority (2020, May 22) How we involve the public in our work. https://www.hra.nhs.uk/about-us/what-we-do/how-involve-public-our-work/