Brighton-based NHS trust praised for supporting clinical research

An NHS trust based in Brighton has been named one of the top five best community trusts in the country for research activity.

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust (SCFT), which has its headquarters at Brighton General Hospital, contributed to more than two dozen studies in the past year.

The trust was fifth in the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) annual league table for the volume of research by care or community trusts.

The trust said: “The research activity league table shows that SCFT research projects involved 663 participants in 26 studies. There was a 169.5 per cent increase on the previous year.

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“Clinical research is important because it improves the quality of care and treatment for patients, particularly those with progressive conditions.

“Research at SCFT gives patients access to the latest treatments in development and improves clinical effectiveness”.

Studies undertaken by the trust included work with adults who have neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis or dementia as well as advanced cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome.

The trust also works with children, including research with children with complex disabilities and their families in particular.

The trust’s chief executive Siobhan Melia said: “At Sussex Community we recognise that clinical research is central to our work and to our patients.

“It is through research that the NHS is able to offer the most effective treatments and services and improve people’s health.

Siobhan Melia

“We want to be a leading NHS trust for research in community settings and are delighted that the league table shows that we are heading in the right direction with huge growth in our research capacity.”

The trust employs more than 4,750 staff who provide medical, nursing and therapeutic care to over 9,000 people a day including adults, children and whole families.

Services include community and specialist nursing, health visits, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy and occupational therapy.

Two other trusts serving Brighton and Hove featured in the top ten league tables for their respective areas of activity.

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust was seventh in the list of mental health trusts by volume of research.

And the South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust came tenth out of the country’s ambulance trusts for the amount of research activity in 2016-17.

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