The facility based at the Royal Preston Hospital is due to a collaboration between Lancaster University with Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust.
It is an innovative collaboration providing both physical and mental health research expertise. The CRFy provides people in the community with the opportunity to take part in early-phase clinical research trials for dementia, neurosciences, oncology and many more.
Professor Hedley Emsley, Professor of Clinical Neuroscience at Lancaster Medical School, said:
“This is a major development in clinical research and for the Lancashire and Cumbria population because it allows more people to participate in research studies.
“The ageing population will see an increase in dementia and neurodegenerative disorders over the next one to two decades, but effective treatments are largely lacking. Clinical research to develop treatments for these conditions has never been more important. An example of important work within the CRF is the development of potential new treatments for dementia and neurodegenerative disease. This includes work on targets for drug discovery, identifying patients who may benefit, contributing to the development of new drugs (and re-purposing of existing drugs), and clinical trials."
Max Marshall, Medical Director at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said: “The CRF is situated in the grounds of Royal Preston Hospital meaning that people are coming to take part in trials in a partnership setting between a local community wellbeing provider, Acute Trust and university. Partnership working is extremely important to us, as working together means we can include a combination of expertise and provide the highest quality service for the people that we serve.
“The facility is funded through the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) and is particularly special as it is the only one in Lancashire. The facility has been recently refurbished and includes modern artwork and its own garden for both patients and staff in the facility to use.
“We are extremely proud to be playing a key part in this forward-thinking partnership. We are really excited for the official opening of the facility and to showcase this state of the art, modern facility and all of the fantastic research that is taking place to improve care for patients now and in the future!”
Karen Partington, Chief Executive at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to have this state of the art research centre at our hospital and we are extremely proud to play such a big part in innovation and developing ground-breaking treatment for the future. This is the only NIHR CRF in Lancashire so it means people across the county can be involved in revolutionary research studies which will help us develop new treatments for future generations.”
The NIHR Lancashire Clinical Research Facility is located at Royal Preston Hospital, Avondale Unit.