A new look for Research & Development at LYPFT

Our Head of Research and Development, Sarah Cooper, blogs about how her department’s journey of self-discovery is going to help them deliver their new three-year strategy.

Sarah CooperHealth and care research has never been more important. We’ve all seen this with the delivery of the covid vaccinations and new antiviral drugs which were delivered in record time thanks to painstaking research by dedicated people collaborating like never before. This saved millions of lives.

The same is true in mental health. Without research, we can’t move forward. It informs how we provide care and improves outcomes for patients.

Without it, we can only continue doing the same things in the same way. Once upon a time doctors thought that we could cure all manner of ailments by attaching leeches to people. Of course, we’ve come a long way since then, but only because people took the time to conduct research on the human body and create evidence-based remedies which we’ve been refining and improving ever since.

The Research and Development Team (R&D) at LYPFT has been on a bit of a journey of self-discovery over the last two years. We’ve really thought hard about who we are, what we are here for, and how we communicate this more effectively and tell our stories better.

Why is this important? If we don’t understand it in R&D and can’t clearly describe it in ways that make sense to our audiences, then how can we convince more staff and service users to take part in research?

So, we’ve come up with a new vision for ourselves:

“We are dedicated to generating high-quality, innovative research into mental health, learning disabilities and neurodiversity and we believe what we do changes lives across the UK.

“Using our specialist expertise, unique population and a collaborative approach, we bridge boundaries, provide hope, and we’re actively shaping the future of mental health care.”

To help bring this off the page, we’ve made a short video were I and my colleagues explain a bit more about what this means.

It’s part of the strategy

The way we communicate and engage with people is so important if we are going to deliver our ambitious new three-year strategy. Put simply, success to us is more high-quality research delivered across a broader range of service areas.

And we’ve got a five-point plan to deliver it:

  1. Developing a skilled research workforce

That’s our staff, and our partners, across the NHS, third sector, universities and research centres.


  1. Creating a culture of research being core business

That means it’s not just something we try and fit in around everything else.


  1. Actively engaging a network of key stakeholders

By stakeholders, we mean everyone with an influence and interest in improving mental health practice, especially people with lived experience of mental health services. Collaboration is key, after all its how we delivered the covid vaccine so quickly!


  1. Influencing national and regional agendas

Making the case for mental health research and trying to achieve parity of esteem with other research areas.


  1. Effectively disseminating outputs and impacts of research

That means sharing what we do effectively with people who can benefit from our findings and celebrating the successes of our research heroes! We’ll be doing this in our annual Research Forum in March – find out more about it.

Our full Research Strategy is only 20 pages long, so if you want the detail, it won’t take too long!


Not just a shiny new logo

You might notice we’ve adopted a new look and feel to our communications. This is all part of our new strategy which includes understanding how the department currently operates and fits within the Trust and across system partners.

The point of rebranding isn’t about a shiny new logo (although we hope you like it). Its about the following three things:

  1. Improving our profile – especially within the Trust, to increase staff engagement in vital, top-quality research,


  1. Improving the way we communicate and engage with staff, partners and service users, so people understand our purpose and why what we’re doing is so important for society, and


  1. Recruiting more people into studies – including staff, service users and carers. Without them, we cannot achieve our goals.



Find out more about R&D and how you could get involved on our new look website.