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Investing in research to create a new Clinical Trials Unit

East Kent Hospitals is cementing its reputation for cutting-edge research with the creation of a specialised Clinical Trials Unit.

The £1.6 million project involves converting the old Reculver Ward at the QEQM into a clinical space for research studies, and investing in the research infrastructure to help bring more innovative trials to our patients.

The unit would serve the whole of Kent, meaning people would no longer need to travel to London to take part in trials of the latest drugs or medical devices.

It will benefit staff, who will be supported to carry out their own research, from concept and design to grant application and delivery, as well as patients, with opportunities to improve treatment for everyone from our youngest patients to those receiving palliative care.

The unit, which is expected to open in autumn 2021, would host both major commercial studies such as trials of new drugs, as well as home-grown research led by EKHUFT clinicians.

It would be available for staff and patients from neighbouring Trusts as well and could help attract new recruits to join East Kent Hospitals.

Data shows that there are better health outcomes in research-led institutions, and that the vast majority of patients are willing to take part in research.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, staff at the Trust recruited more than 5,000 people to take part in research studies, including 2,000 for Covid-19 research.

The new Clinical Trials Unit will allow them to deliver even more research for the people of east Kent and beyond.