City experts to lead future of clinical research in south

Two of the city’s leading clinical and academic health experts are set to transform the delivery of research across the region.

Professor John Primrose, a consultant surgeon at Southampton General Hospital, and Professor Robert Peveler, chair in liaison psychiatry at the University of Southampton, have been appointed clinical directors of the new National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network for Wessex.

The network, hosted by University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, covers research activity in Dorset, South Wiltshire and Hampshire and Isle of Wight and is in the final stages of development ahead of its official launch in April.

It is one of 15 regional groups that form the national NIHR Clinical Research Network, which provides funding to hospitals and surgeries to pay for nurses, scans, x-rays and other costs associated with carrying out clinical research in the NHS.  

As clinical directors, Prof Primrose, who is also a professor of surgery at the University of Southampton, and Prof Peveler will be responsible for boosting the numbers of doctors and nurses delivering research across the region.

They will ensure studies are carried out efficiently and maximise opportunities for patients to participate in studies that could benefit them.

Dr Michael Marsh, medical director at UHS, said: “It is reflective of our desire as clinicians and researchers in Southampton to increase access to the latest advances in medicine that UHS, in partnership with the University of Southampton, will host one of the country’s 15 networks.

“Professor Primrose and Professor Peveler are both distinguished figures in their fields and their appointments will provide the network with the leadership and guidance required to make the programme a success.”

Dr Jonathan Sheffield, chief executive of the national NIHR Clinical Research Network, added: “Clinical research provides vital evidence to help us to improve treatments for NHS patients, so it is extremely important that we have great local leaders to encourage doctors, nurses and managers to make clinical research part of the standard treatment options for all patients.  

“I’m delighted that Professors Primrose and Peveler have been appointed as the joint clinical directors for Wessex and I look forward to seeing the area build on an already impressive track record in clinical research under their leadership.”

The clinical directors will work alongside Ms Rebecca McKay, the network’s chief operating officer, who is managing its transition from the former Hampshire and Isle of Wight Comprehensive Local Research Network, which later merged with Dorset and South Wiltshire.

Posted on Tuesday 11 February 2014