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In Wessex, we support research across 31 specialty areas, including cancer, mental health, primary care and dementia. With expert clinical leaders working alongside our core team, we ensure the successful delivery of studies across Wessex.

Working with us

The NIHR delivers research through 31 specialty therapy areas. Each specialty is made up of expert clinical leaders and practitioners who work at both national and local levels to ensure that studies are delivered successfully and to promote awareness of research opportunities amongst patients, service users and the public.

You can visit the specialties page on the main NIHR website to find out what's happening nationally across our different specialty groups. 

Contacting our specialty teams 

In Wessex, dedicated teams support the delivery of research in each specialty area. You can get in touch with our teams using the contact details below.

Cancer 

Divisional and specialty lead- Mr Zaed Hamady 
Research Delivery Manager- Tom Simpson (interim)                                  

Team inbox- studysupport1and3.crnwessex@nihr.ac.uk         

Cardiovascular, diabetes, metabolic and endocrine, renal and stroke

Divisional Clinical Lead- Dr Damian Jenkinson 
Senior Research Delivery Manager- Rebecca Croucher 
Assistant Portfolio Manager- Jordan Black          

Team inbox- studysupport2and4.crnwessex@nihr.ac.uk

Genetics, haematology, children, reproductive health and childbirth

Divisional Clinical Lead- Dr Katrina Cathie  
Research Delivery Manager- Tom Simpson                           

Team inbox- studysupport1and3.crnwessex@nihr.ac.uk                   

Neurology, dementia and mental health

Divisional Clinical Lead- Dr Chris Kipps  
Research Delivery Manager- Rebecca Croucher 
Assistant Portfolio Manager- Jordan Black            

Team inbox- studysupport2and4.crnwessex@nihr.ac.uk

Age & ageing, dentistry, dermatology, health services research, musculoskeletal disorders, public health and primary care

Divisional Clinical Lead- Professor Nick Francis
Research Delivery Manager- Martine Cross
Assistant Portfolio Managers- Gemma Rood & Lesley-Ann Castle

Team inbox- studysupport5.crnwessex@nihr.ac.uk

Anaestheisa, peri-operative medicine and pain management, critical care, ear, nose and throat (ENT), gastroenterology, hepatology, infection, trauma and emergency care, ophthalmology, respiratory and surgery 

Divisional Clinical Lead- Dr David Pogson
Research Delivery Manager- Tom Simpson
Assistant Portfolio Manager- Katherine Shawley

Team inbox- studysupport6.crnwessex@nihr.ac.uk 

Social care

Specialty Lead- Professor Lee-Ann Fenge
Research Delivery Manager- Zoe Sheppard  

Contact information - zoe.sheppard@nihr.ac.uk

Cancer research in Wessex

Wessex is home to 2.7 million people, eight acute hospital trusts, two cancer centres, an experimental cancer medicine centre and the UK’s first cancer centre for immunotherapy. We develop and deliver world class cancer clinical trials and are passionate about offering innovative treatments to as many patients as possible.

Key achievements

  • Wessex is consistently one of the top performing Clinical Research Networks (CRNS) in the country for cancer research. 
  • In the 2019/20 financial year, we delivered over 200 cancer research studies in Wessex, with almost 4,000 participants recruited.
  • Our engaged regional multidisciplinary team and our vast research portfolio across a range of cancer sub-specialties provide many opportunities for patients to participate in research. 
  • Our web-based platform, CancerLine, increases accessibility to research opportunities for both clinical teams and patients. 

Local infrastructure

Wessex is home to:

Digital infrastructure

CancerLine is a web-based platform used to enable patient access to research opportunities. It is primarily aimed at clinical teams across Wessex, allowing them to view the real time cancer trial portfolio across all Wessex acute trusts. The site aims to enhance Network working, further engender the clinical research culture and improve patient access and recruitment to trials. 

The website is accessible to the public, informing patients and their carers of available opportunities – again a driver of increased clinical trial recruitment and engagement. This platform has many filters to help users find the appropriate study for them. The 16-24 age filter has recently been introduced to maximise opportunities for the younger population.

Contact the team

To find out more about cancer research in Wessex, please get in touch with the team on studysupport1and3.crnwessex@nihr.ac.uk.

Respiratory research in Wessex

Key achievements

  • We have a strong collaborative approach to respiratory research, working with both primary and secondary care sites.
  • In the 2019/20 financial year, 51 respiratory research studies were adopted onto the NIHR portfolio. Wessex was the top recruiting Clinical Research Network in the country for respiratory research, with almost 5,000 patients recruited to studies.

Local infrastructure

Wessex is home to:

Case studies

MISSION ABC at Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust 

The research team at Portsmouth University Hospitals NHS Trust (PHU) have been leading the delivery of a series of research projects aimed at improving the care pathway for patients living with respiratory conditions. Through a successful partnership with The Health Foundation and the Wessex Academic Health Science Network, PHU have tested and evaluated MISSION – a novel clinic model which delivers high-quality integrated care for patients.

This model is replicable by other specialist teams in partnership with their local community partners and a toolkit has been developed to allow outside research teams to deliver their own MISSION clinic. Find out more about this research project or access the toolkit.

Contact the team

To find out more about our work, please get in touch with a member of the team on studysupport6.crnwessex@nihr.ac.uk.

Hepatology research in Wessex

Wessex hosts two of the top performing research centres for commercial and non-commercial hepatology research, University Hospital Southampton (UHS) and Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust (PHU).

Across the region,  local infrastructure and strong collaboration across research teams enables the effective delivery of both early and late phase studies.  Over the last five years, local teams have consistently delivered commercial research projects to time and target.

Key achievements

  • In the 2019/20 financial year, Wessex participated in 26 hepatology research studies and recruited almost 300 participants.
  • 75% of NIHR commercial portfolio studies recruited to time and target (2015-2019).

Local infrastructure

  • MRI for non-invasive diagnosis of fibrosis and Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) within University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (UHS). 
  • Specialist hepatocellular carcinoma oncology and radiology offered at UHS
  • A dedicated clinical research facility with Phase I clinical trials capability based at UHS
  • UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC) Registered Clinical Trials Unit, based in Southampton, delivering a portfolio trials that are internationally and nationally outstanding in the priority areas of cancer, primary care, supportive care, nutrition, respiratory, critical care and liver disease.
  • Biomedical Imaging Unit at Southampton General Hospital providing research and diagnostic services in high quality and high resolution light and electron microscopy. This equipment includes state-of-the-art transmission and scanning electron microscopes, laser scanning confocal microscopes, a virtual slide scanning system, live cell imaging facilities, 2D and 3D analysis and rendering workstations and general photo microscopes.

Contact the team

To find out more about our work, please get in touch with a member of the team on studysupport6.crnwessex@nihr.ac.uk.

Reproductive health, childbirth and paediatrics research in Wessex

Introduction

Wessex is home to 2.7 million people and eight acute hospital trusts. We develop and deliver world class clinical trials and are passionate about offering innovative treatments and procedures to as many patients as possible. 

Key achievements

  • Wessex is consistently one of the top performing Clinical Research Networks in the country for paediatric research.
  • In the 2019/20, we delivered over 150 paediatric, reproductive Health and childbirth research studies in Wessex, with just over 9,300 participants recruited.
  • An increase in locally-led reproductive health and childbirth research improving care for mothers and babies in the region.
  • One of our biggest successes is having an engaged regional multidisciplinary team across both specialties as well as having vast research portfolios providing many opportunities for patients.

Local infrastructure

Digital infrastructure

Healthier Together - a web-based platform that provides useful clinical resources and advice for children, parents and pregnant women. Information about participation in research and available studies is also listed. We anticipate this will improve patient awareness, access and recruitment. 

Contact us

To find out more about our work, please get in touch with a member of the team on studysupport1and3.crnwessex@nihr.ac.uk.

Social care research in Wessex

Social care research in Wessex covers projects taking place with non-acute and community settings and groups including:

  • Long term residential facilities e.g care homes and hospices
  • Local authority, private providers and unpaid carers
  • Children and adult services
  • Charity organisations

ENRICH

Our ENRICH network brings together care home staff, residents and their families with researchers. It provides a toolkit of resources to help care homes make the most of research and researchers to set up and run studies effectively and collaboratively in care homes. Find your local ENRICH contact

Contact the team

For all queries, please contact Research Delivery Manager Zoe Sheppard on zoe.sheppard@nihr.ac.uk.