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New Research Hub launches in Weymouth

Weymouth Research Hub logo for launch article

The Weymouth Research Hub is now open. Guests were invited to a special event on 13 June which saw the facility officially opened by the Mayor of Weymouth Cllr Kate Wheller. 

This new NHS-backed centre offers people in Weymouth, Portland and across West Dorset the chance to take part in vital, life-saving clinical trials.

Set up in the renovated Linden Unit, the hub is a joint venture between two NHS Trusts, Dorset HealthCare and Dorset County Hospital. The team will receive ongoing support from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Wessex.

The first volunteers to take part will be involved in helping research COVID-19 vaccines. Future trials are likely to include seasonal influenza studies, research into respiratory vaccines and vaccines developed for babies and children.

“We really want to see this hub become a focus for bringing new NHS vaccines, treatments and tests to the people of Weymouth,” said Professor Saul Faust, Clinical Director of the NIHR Clinical Research Network in Wessex. “We’d really like people from all backgrounds, ages and way of life to take part. The more people who take part in research, the better the results and the more relevant it is to our whole population. So please do all you can to help us spread the word.”

The hub joins three others set up by NIHR Wessex and running very successfully - Southampton, Bournemouth and Portsmouth. The hubs are part of Wessex Health Partners, the new pan-regional partnership of NHS and academic organisations across the region. Together the hubs work in collaboration with the NIHR Clinical Research Facility in Southampton. These centres played a frontline role during the COVID-19 pandemic in helping with the development of new vaccines. Thousands of people across the south came forward to volunteer and without their contribution it would not have been possible to set up the national vaccination programme.

Watch this short video which captures what the Hubs are trying to achieve. It introduces the newest one in Weymouth and shares the stories of Brian and Jayne, two trial participants.