Patients across Reading and the Thames Valley have early access to a range of new treatments thanks to a new clinical trials unit partnership with the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust.
The Thames Valley Clinical Trials Unit (TVCTU) will be used for a range of trials including developing new medicines as well as bringing together existing work in dementia care and mental health.
The unit has been set up in a partnership between the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Reading, and Emily Moore has been appointed as the first executive director to lead the unit.
Dr Atul Kapila, Consultant Anaesthetist at the Royal Berkshire Hospital explained:
“We have established the Thames Valley Clinical Trials Unit to provide access to the latest therapies and new treatments for patients across our region where previously the nearest facilities were in Oxford or London. The TVCTU is a unique collaboration between the University of Reading, Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust and Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust to support clinical research which will benefit patients now and in the future across in-patient settings and community based services.”
Emily Moore, executive director of the Thames Valley Clinical Trials Unit said:
“I am very excited to be joining this innovative collaboration. The involvement of all three partner organisations in providing expert support through the TVCTU provides researchers with a unique opportunity to expand existing areas of expertise into a wide range of clinical settings. TVCTU will facilitate an increasing number of clinical trials, meaning that patients in the region will have more opportunity to access new therapies at an earlier stage, and ultimately produce results which will change clinical practice for all patients nationally.”
Professor Adrian Williams, Research Dean for Health at the University of Reading said:
“The University of Reading has world-leading expertise in areas such as mental health, cardiovascular disease, dementia, neurological disorders such as epilepsy and the development of new medicines.
“In partnership with our local NHS colleagues, the TVCTU will help our researchers to translate their innovative scientific discoveries into therapies and medicines that will benefit patients not only in the region, but globally.
“The partnership brings together academia, primary care and secondary care and will utilise the significant research, medical and clinical expertise in the region to improve quality and wellbeing of patients.”
Dr Minoo Irani, Medical Director, Berkshire Healthcare, said:
“We are strongly committed to research that contributes to enhancing patient care. This partnership will make a huge difference to the both patients in Berkshire and the wider medical research community.”
The University of Reading works in collaboration with the local community and acute NHS Trusts and houses NHS clinical facilities onsite on both its Whiteknights and London Road campuses, with the latter located next to the Royal Berkshire Hospital.
The three partners have already worked successfully on studies such as PoMeT (a randomised trial on positive memory training for the treatment of depression in schizophrenia – link to paper http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12888-015-0453-6) and ARCS (assessing recovery of comprehension and speech post-stroke).
Professor Laurie Butler, Head of the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences at the University of Reading, who was also a co-founder of the new unit, said:
“Reading University has a very strong track record of developing and evaluating therapies in areas including child and adolescent anxiety and depression in collaboration with our NHS partners. The establishment of the TVCTU now represents a real opportunity to expand this work to other areas, helping us to improve the lives of patients and their families across the Thames Valley.”