A new era of medical research and clinical trials has started, with the team from the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, known as the Min, joining colleagues already based at the RUH.
The teams are joining together in a refurbished and extended centre on the RUH’s Combe Park site.
The Min research team is the latest to relocate from the Mineral Water Hospital site to the RUH, ahead of the building being vacated and handed over to new owners later this year.
The refurbished and extended Research and Clinical Trials Centre provides office and clinical accommodation for the RUH and RNHRD research teams.
Facilities include five new spacious and clinic/examination rooms for research patients and volunteers, new consulting and resource rooms and refurbished patient waiting space.
Dr Kelly Spencer, Research Manager Operations said: “It is great to see all of the years of hard work and planning come together to create this space, which will support the continuation of high quality research across all of RUH.”
It is acknowledged that there are benefits to patients at hospitals undertaking research projects.
Outcomes are better, irrespective of whether the patients themselves participated in research. Similarly, patients being treated in hospitals that undertake research may have access to new drugs or treatments that might not otherwise be available to them.
Research also benefits the Trust in helping to attract and retain high calibre staff, enhances the Trust’s reputation and is an important source of income.
The research and clinical trials teams work collaboratively with universities, other NHS Trusts and the pharmaceutical industry to run around 300 different research studies at any given time.
These studies range from trials into new treatments for diseases such as cancer, rheumatology and stroke through to studies that support patients with rehabilitation or chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease, and many others that simply involve a blood test or data analysis.
All research undertaken at RUH is externally funded through partnership with the National Institute for Health Research, research grants, charitable funds and commercial companies.
Other staff moving from the Min to the Research and Clinical Trials Centre are from the Bath Institute for Rheumatic Diseases and the Bath General Practice Educational and Research Trust.
Moving staff and services from the Min has been many years in the planning, working closely with staff and patients to create the best new home for each service to allow the Trust to continue to provide high-quality care into the future.
The final service to transfer, the Bath Centre for Pain Services, will move to its new home in the refurbished Bernard Ireland House at the RUH site later this month.