Research and Development Team wins prestigious award

Our research and development team have beaten off stiff competition from over 70 applicants to win HSJ's coveted clinical research award.

In November 2015 we beat off stiff competition from over 70 applicants to win HSJ's coveted clinical research award.

The Clinical Research Impact Award recognises an organisation’s dedication to furthering clinical research as well as ensuring that any advances made are quickly passed on to those people who could benefit.

The event, organised by HSJ, is a highly regarded celebration of excellence in UK healthcare, focusing on innovation and best practice across the sector.

Dr Matt Cooper, Business Development and Marketing Director of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network, who helped to judge the Clinical Research Impact category, said:

“Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s competition entry was outstanding because the team really conveyed the importance of having a patient-centred approach. Their innovative work focusing on ensuring that patients with learning difficulties have opportunities to take part in, and benefit from research is inspiring."

Dr Helen Rostill,  our Director of Innovation and Development, said: “We are delighted to receive this award in recognition of our commitment to improve people’s experience of our services. Taking part in research helps us to improve the quality service we can offer by giving people access to the latest forms of treatment.

“Over the last three years we have developed a vibrant research and innovation culture in the Trust and built strong partnerships with many higher education institutions and industry.

“Our ambition to strengthen the impact of our research profile has been well supported by the Kent Surrey and Sussex Clinical Research Network, our local Academic Health Science Network and Surrey Health Partners.

“However, at the heart of our success are the people who use our services, their carers and their families, who are passionate about finding new ways to support those living with poor mental health and dementia (or other neuro-degenerative conditions).

“We are also fortunate to work for a forward-thinking organisation that promotes innovation and development and to have the support of so many expert clinical and care staff.”

The Research and Development team - which started out as one part-time person seven years ago - leads and supports research projects to produce real benefits for the people who use the Trust’s services across Surrey and north east Hampshire.

Currently we are working on a pilot project involving people who use services as peer support workers to provide support to those who are recovering from a mental health crisis. The study has received high praise and has made noticeable differences to people experiencing mental health crises, helping to bridge the gap between clinicians and patients.

Dr Ramin Nilforooshan, our Research and Development Medical Lead and dementia research speciality lead in Kent Surrey and Sussex, said: “This is an out-standing achievement for R&D at the Trust.  We are currently involved in setting up or running several high profile research projects.  For example, we are one of a few international sites to be running a trial for a disease-modifying drug for Alzheimer Disease. This trial will start in April 2016. We are also involved in a trial of a Fingerprint Study that can determine, from analysing a single fingerprint, if a person has taken an illicit drug. We are running this trial in collaboration with the University of Surrey and Kings College London. Another trial is looking at whether use of an antibiotic medication could help to slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s in a person with the disease.”

HSJ’s Clinical Impact Research Award is sponsored by the NIHR Clinical Research Network.  Chief Executive Officer, Jonathan Sheffield, who presented the award said: “What’s fantastic about this award is that it’s not just about the size and scale of the research activity, it’s about changing the culture of the organisation. The category gets more competitive each year.  To win this award, NHS organisations need to demonstrate not only that they are doing research, but also that it is having a tangible impact on clinical practice. That’s exactly what Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has done. As well as truly embracing the delivery of studies they have also shown how they are promoting innovation by translating research findings into clinical applications for the benefit of their patients.”