7 December 2016
The Lancashire Clinical Research Facility – a joint venture between the NHS and Lancaster University – has been awarded £750,000 in funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

The CRF is a collaborative venture between Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (LTHTR), Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust (LCFT) and  Lancaster University. It builds on a strong history of partnership working between these organisations developed through the Lancaster Health Hub, which works strategically to drive collaborative research and innovation involving Lancaster University, industry, the NHS and other public sector partners across Lancashire and Cumbria.

Based at the Royal Preston Hospital, the CRF will provide excellent  opportunities for local people to participate in high quality clinical research led by staff in both NHS Trusts and colleagues from Lancaster University.

The award will be used over five years to support the delivery of research in new treatments  for participants across Lancashire and South Cumbria.

 Professor Neil Johnson, Dean of the Faculty of Health and Medicine, welcomed the news.

“Building on the relationships that have been established between the University and these two NHS Trusts, the development of the CRF enhances very significantly the potential for clinical research locally – and this award recognises that potential.

“The CRF will enable the University to have significantly greater involvement in clinical trials and we are absolutely delighted to be its core academic partner.“

Karen Partington, chief executive at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust said: “This is amazing news. Leading research programmes is an important priority for us in delivering excellent care, as they help to improve health outcomes for everyone and bring the latest medicines and treatments to patients in Lancashire and South Cumbria. “I’m incredibly proud of our research team’s achievements and can’t wait to see what progress they make as a result of this invaluable opportunity.”

Gemma Whiteley, head of research and innovation at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust, said: “Being designated an NIHR CRF as a result of receiving this funding is a huge achievement for the region, opening up opportunities for our population to have access to more high quality clinical trials in a safe and comfortable environment.”

Heather Tierney Moore, Lancashire Care Chief Executive, said she was “absolutely delighted”, adding: “At Lancashire Care, we are committed to improving outcomes for the people that use our services through research activity, and this status and associated funding will enable us to further build on the activity that we already undertake in line with the mission of the NIHR.”