HAMPSHIRE patients have been given more access to better care, services and treatments following a significant increase in research activity last year, says the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

The 2018/19 NIHR Research Activity League Table shows that Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester, recruited 3,813 participants into research studies between April 2018 and March 2019 –more than a 100 per cent increase on the same period in 2017/18.

The League Table also places Hampshire Hospitals in the top ten trusts in England for recruitment to commercial research studies, having recruited more than 1,000 extra participants into commercial studies in the last year.

This performance means the trust is ranked as the second most improved in England for their recruitment to commercial studies.

Dr Sarah Clarke, research and development manager at the trust, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for everyone at Hampshire Hospitals.

“Our staff are committed to providing high quality research opportunities for our patients, and along with a first global participant in 2018/19, demonstrates our capability to successfully deliver commercial research.

She added: “We know from feedback how much our patients appreciate being offered research opportunities, and our staff have worked exceptionally hard to ensure as many as possible are given this opportunity.”

Promoting, conducting and using clinical research to improve treatments, care and services for patients is part of the NHS England Constitution.

The NIHR Research Activity League Table provides a picture of how much clinical research is happening, where, in what types of trusts, and involving how many patients.

Jonathan Sheffield, chief executive officer of the NIHR Clinical Research Network, said: “It’s been a fantastic year for health and care research across England, with 100% of trusts supporting research studies, providing patients with more opportunities than ever before to take part in vital research which improves future treatment and care.

“There’s a growing body of evidence which suggests that research-active hospitals have lower mortality rates, and better patient outcomes, so the NIHR Clinical Research Network will continue to work closely with the NHS organisations to ensure that research continues to be offered to people as part of quality patient care.

The NIHR Research Activity League Table is accessible to anyone, and can be found online.