City among top performers in country for clinical research


Patients at Southampton’s university hospitals have some of the best access in the country to the latest medical advances.

The city’s partnership between University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Southampton saw 13,464 patients recruited to clinical trials – where research is taken out of the laboratory and into the clinic – during 2010/11, making it the one of the top three centres in England.

In addition, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network data also placed Southampton in the top five for volume of studies at 256, the fourth highest total among hospital trusts.

“These fantastic figures are testament to the commitment and dedication we have to improving treatment for people across the world and are an excellent example of the ambition we have to be at the forefront of advances in medicine now and for years to come,” said Christine McGrath, director of research and development at UHSFT.

“It is a huge achievement as an organisation to be ranked among the country’s top performers in both volume and recruitment for clinical trials, but also a clear indication to our patients that we are determined to ensure they receive access to the latest studies.”

As well as leading in the fields of neurosciences, oncology, cardiac care and children’s services, UHSFT works in collaboration with the University of Southampton to run the Southampton Centre for Biomedical Research, which specialises in respiratory medicine, nutrition and cancer, and incorporates the Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility.

Professor Iain Cameron, dean of the University’s faculty of medicine, said: “Collaboration between universities and the NHS is essential to drive the discovery of new treatments for the benefit of patients. Longstanding relationships between the University of Southampton, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, research funders including medical charities, and the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry have led to world-class facilities being developed in Southampton.

“We are delighted that so many local people are involved in clinical studies, leading to better healthcare across the UK and internationally, and we remain fully committed to improving patient care through research and innovation.”

Professor Peter Johnson, a consultant medical oncologist at UHSFT, chair of medical oncology at the University and Cancer Research UK chief clinician, added: “The UK is one of the best places in the world for cancer research and we are privileged here in Southampton to have such a magnificent team of experts from all specialties who are passionate about improving medicine internationally."

Posted on Wednesday 14 December 2011