UK Government announces £4 million investment in NIHR-Wellcome Trust King’s Clinical Research Facility

The UK Department of Health has today announced that it is investing nearly £4 million in the NIHR-Wellcome Trust King’s Clinical Research Facility.

The King’s Clinical Research Facility provides cutting-edge research facilities to Europe’s largest mental health institution, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, and is embedded in one of the NHS’s largest and most diverse acute care Trusts, King’s College Hospital, London.

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) supports a network of Clinical Research Facilities (CRFs) across the UK to help speed up the translation of scientific advances for the benefit of patients.

The funding, announced today as part of a renewed nationwide investment in CRFs, will allow the NIHR-Wellcome Trust King’s CRF to continue providing support for experimental medicine across the Maudsley and King’s College hospitals until at least 2022.

Professor Peter Goadsby, Director of the NIHR-Wellcome Trust King’s Clinical Research Facility, said: “Our renewed funding will enable us to continue our crucial work bridging the gap from laboratory to clinic in common and disabling diseases. Our integration with both the Maudsley and King’s College Hospitals facilitates the study of a wide range of illnesses, including mental health conditions, brain disorders, and liver, kidney and chest diseases. Our work has already had impact across the NHS, and the investment announced today will allow us to build on this, providing real hope for patients across the NHS.”

The NIHR-Wellcome Trust King’s CRF was opened in 2014 and provides purpose-built facilities where specialist clinical research and support staff from King’s College London and Maudsley and King’s College hospitals can work together on commercial and non-commercial experimental medicine studies. It was designed to specifically meet the needs of people with mental health conditions, and as such represents a unique collaboration between the Maudsley and King’s College London hospitals.

Current work taking place at the NIHR-Wellcome Trust King’s CRF includes accelerating the development of new treatments for patients with mental health, brain and physical disorders, and understanding better the mental-physical health dimensions of disorders including diabetes, leukaemia, kidney, liver and heart disease.

In addition to continuing this work, the new funding will allow the facility to expand its Cell Therapy Unit to deliver cutting edge cell and gene therapies for diseases such as leukaemia, and to deploy its Experimental Medicine Facility, which includes advanced brain imaging, a virtual reality behaviour suite and an intensive care unit for brain-injured patients, to develop new treatments.

The NIHR-Wellcome Trust King’s CRF is closely integrated with the NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), which itself received a record £66m new investment from the government in September 2016. King’s is also home to NIHR South London Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) which works closely with the NIHR Maudsley BRC and NIHR-Wellcome Trust King’s CRF.

As part of King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre, the investment will play a key role in these organisations’ continued mission to ensure that lessons from research are used more swiftly, effectively and systematically to improve healthcare services for people with physical and mental health care problems.

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By NIHR Wellcome King's Clinical Research Facility at 18 Nov 2016, 14:34 PM

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