Research and development

Research is built into the NHS Constitution which says that the NHS has a “commitment to innovation and to the promotion and conduct of research to improve the current and future health and care of the population."

We have a dedicated Research and Development Team who undertake national and local research projects. These projects are conducted with the support of service users, their carers, friends and family alongside our staff and allow us to establish important research outcomes that improve future support and treatment of people with mental health difficulties and learning disabilities.

Our Trust aims to give service users, their carers, friends and families and our staff the chance to find out about research and actively encourage people to take part.

You can find out more about the research studies currently underway on our current projects page. This includes a list of National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Portfolio projects.

What does the Research and Development Team do?

We are keen to encourage service users, their carers, friends and families to support research not just by taking part but by using their knowledge and experiences. More information about how to get involved can be found on our how to get involved page.

Our Research and Development Team also assists both internal and external researchers to conduct research and service evaluations within our Trust.

To find out more about conducting research in our Trust please visit our conducting research page. Further information on conducting research including the roles of chief and principal investigators, intellectual property and NHS research is available in our information leaflets in the downloads section of this page.

Reporting the outcomes and results of projects is as important as conducting the research itself to ensure learnings are shared. Visit our publications page to see a list of publications by our staff members and read our Research and Development Team newsletter – Innovation.

Each edition of our Innovation newsletter includes abstracts of completed research projects, details of upcoming projects, and helpful information for researchers.

If you’re a member of Trust staff or another professional interested in finding out more about research opportunities at our Trust you may find our Annual Research Forum a useful event to attend.


Our research strategy

Our research strategy sets out how our Trust is working to ensure that research and service evaluation are a core part of Trust business.

Read our Research Strategic Plan 2018-2021

Research Annual Report

Our Annual Report sets out our achievements in building the Trust’s reputation for high quality research.

Download a copy of our Research and Development Annual Report 2020-21.

Our performance in clinical research

The government monitors the performance of research conducted at our Trust through the Department of Health (DoH) and this forms part of our contract with the DoH.

We publish information on our performance in both initiating and delivering clinical research, such as clinical trials or interventional research.

Our performance is monitored against two national benchmarks:

  1. Initiating clinical research
    For this benchmark we report on recruitment to clinical trials, namely whether we have hit the 70-day benchmark for recruiting our first service user onto a trial.
  2. Delivering clinical research
    For this benchmark we report on recruitment to commercial clinical trials, namely whether we have recruited our targeted number of participants, within our targeted time frame.

We report on these benchmarks every quarter and our latest reports are available on the NIHR CTP Submission Portal.

You can also find reports on our performance from the previous year 2018/19 below:

Performance reports on ‘delivering research’

We are not currently recruiting to commercial clinical trials within our Trust, therefore our reports for the ‘delivering clinical research’ benchmark show a nil return.

How we use your information for research

As an NHS organisation we use personally-identifiable information to conduct research to improve health, care and services. As a publicly-funded organisation, we have to ensure that it is in the public interest when we use personally-identifiable information from people who have agreed to take part in research. This means that when you agree to take part in a research study, we will use your data in the ways needed to conduct and analyse the research study.

Your rights to access, change or move your information are limited, as we need to manage your information in specific ways in order for the research to be reliable and accurate. If you withdraw from the study, we will keep the information about you that we have already obtained. To safeguard your rights, we will use the minimum personally-identifiable information possible. We will honour choices expressed through the National Data Opt-Out Programme, to prevent use of patient data for planning and research purposes.

Health and care research should serve the public interest, which means that we have to demonstrate that our research serves the interests of society as a whole. We do this by following the UK Policy Framework for Health and Social Care Research.

If you wish to raise a complaint on how we have handled your personal data, you can contact our Data Protection Officer who will investigate the matter. If you are not satisfied with our response or believe we are processing your personal data in a way that is not lawful you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

You can also contact our Data Protection Officer at

For more information on how your information may be used for research, you can download our Patient data and research leaflet.

Please see specific information about the use of patient data in the research study Clinical Characterisation Protocol for Severe Emerging Infection.