Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH) is among the most research-active mental health trusts in England, according to new figures from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
The figures have been revealed today as the NIHR publishes its annual research statistics. The statistics cover commercial research studies sponsored by the life sciences industry – such as pharmaceutical companies – and non-commercial studies funded by organisations such as medical charities, research councils, the government or NIHR.
This year’s figures, which cover the 12-month period between April 2017 to March 2018, suggest that health research is thriving across Greater Manchester and the NHS continues to be seen as a good place to deliver high quality clinical trials.
GMMH is ranked second in the NIHR’s 2017/18 NHS Research Activity League Table for mental health; behind only South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.
This high ranking reflects the fact that GMMH’s active research department helped deliver 61 clinical research studies on the NIHR portfolio during 2017/18. And a total of 2,130 participants were recruited on to those studies.
This means patients across the region continue to have a good chance of taking part in mental health research, which can provide access to new and improved treatments and allows people to contribute to developments in future care.
Neil Thwaite, Chief Executive of GMMH, said: “When GMMH was formed 18 months ago it brought together the strengths of our former trusts and this has resulted in thousands of people across Greater Manchester being able to take part in research projects.
“I am proud to lead an organisation, which gives the communities it serves, the opportunity to shape treatments and services through research and innovation.
“These figures only strengthen our resolve to become a world-leading centre for mental health research and innovation.”
Medical Director at GMMH, Dr Chris Daly, added: “GMMH strives to ensure our clinical services are informed and improved by research and innovation.
“Our clinicians work tirelessly to involve our service users and carers in research and these figures are extremely gratifying.
“I would like to thank the thousands of people who have taken part in studies over the last year – their commitment will have a big impact on future services and treatments across the world.”
In total, more than 43,716 participants across the Greater Manchester region took part in clinical research studies supported by the NIHR in 2017/18. This is an increase of 5.75 per cent on 2016/17 and means that 211,500 participants in Greater Manchester have been involved in studies supported by NIHR over the last five years.
Patients were recruited on to a total of 1,034 research studies across the Greater Manchester area during 2017/18. These studies cover all medical areas, from cancer to dementia; from surgery to infectious diseases, and everything in between.
One-hundred per cent of Greater Manchester’s 14 hospital trusts and 11 Clinical Commissioning Groups continue to be research-active. This means patients across the region have a good chance of taking part in research, which can provide access to new and improved treatments and allows people to contribute to developments in future care.
The number of NIHR-supported life sciences industry research studies being conducted in Greater Manchester rose by 4.4 per cent in 2017/18. That equated to 307 commercial research studies – the most to ever take place in the region and the third highest of any region in England in 2017/18.
More than 3,650 participants in Greater Manchester took part in those commercial studies in 2017/18, which represented an increase of 34.5 per cent on the previous year.
Dr Jonathan Sheffield OBE, Chief Executive Officer of the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) said: “Health research is the key to finding new and innovative cures, treatments and care for patients. Evidence also shows that research-active organisations consistently deliver better outcomes to all patients they treat, not just those involved in health research trials.
“We aim to ensure research is embedded in all aspects of care delivered in Greater Manchester and England. We also wish to provide an opportunity for anyone to be involved in a health research study. With nearly three quarters of a million participants nationally in the last year we are moving closer to achieving this.”