Research is an exciting and fascinating process that is forever changing our future at Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust (LSCft). The Trust recognises that research contributes considerably to quality, encourages innovation, and promotes clinical excellence. NHS Trust participation in higher levels of research activity is linked to better clinical outcomes and the Trust wants high quality research to be culturally embedded in all aspects of clinical service delivery.
The Research Department actively encourages staff to participate more fully in research by enhancing and promoting opportunities for staff to develop their research skills and experience. The development of Principal Investigator roles will be supported through training in collaboration with local partners at the Clinical Research Network: North West Coast (CRN: NWC).
Research and Development have an experienced workforce comprising clinical and non-clinical support staff who will assist Principal Investigators in research embedded within Trust services. We provide skilled support and facilitation for the development of grant applications and will advise staff at all stages of grant development and horizon scan to promote funding opportunities to researchers. We will signpost to key external partners, Higher Education Institutes (HEIs), the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Research Design Service where appropriate.
LSCft is part of the North West Coast region and works closely with key local research partners, including HEIs such as Lancaster University, the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and the University of Manchester. The Trust is a member of the Lancaster Health Hub, a cluster of the local NHS organisations and Lancaster University working collaboratively to develop business around research and innovation.
We commit to:
- Encourage and support new consultants to be co-Investigators on research studies.
- Develop Research Mentoring schemes with Clinical Academics for structured assistance to intermediate researchers wishing to apply for grants.
- Promote UCLan / Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) internship opportunities for novice researchers to develop skills and experience and define next steps in a research career.
- Define and develop a career pathway for post-doctoral staff within the Trust.
- Ensure provision of appropriate training is available for staff from various professions.
- Ensure completion of Good Clinical Practice training by staff members involved in, or wishing to become involved in, research.
- Provide a platform for professionals to share research experience and training via regular research forums.
Publication of research performance
The Trust is contractually bound to publish the results of clinical trials for a period of 12 months. Each quarter we provide data to the NIHR to support their aims of monitoring value for money.
Although this has been a difficult year, and new trials were very few and far between from March 2020, we were able to restart 85% of trials that were suspended due to Covid-19 by Mrch 2021. We aim to do as much remote assessment and delivery as possible, and when we see patients, we do so in a safe way - to protect our patients, families and carers, and, of course, our staff.
Our staff have worked in partnership with other trusts to deliver Covid-19 trials, as well as a number of our own. We were proud to be part of several trials mentioned in the news, particularly the RECOVERY and ISARIC studies. We continue to work on Covid-19 research, with a new trial repurposing a listed drug with the aim of finding a treatment that reduces symptoms and preventing hospitalisation, which opened in December.
Details of our performance and delivery of clinical and commercial trials in the last 4 financial quarters are available online.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, some of the publication requirements were put on hold, but these have now restarted and the results can be seen by accessing the link below.
We recognise the growing impact of research and the use of social media as a tool to disseminate valuable information. We share regular updates on Twitter and on the LSCFT staff Facebook page.