Research and development

Research is an vital part of improving care for the people we serve. As one of the largest mental health and disability trusts in England, we have a significant research profile.

In 2015/16, the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) ranked us as the fourth most research active Trust of our kind. Research and development (R&D) is a core part of what we do.

What do we do?

There are three main roles we have in the research and development department:

  • Support for staff, students and researchers working with the Trust
  • Involvement for staff, service users and the public
  • Ensuring the quality of research within the Trust

Research can help improve treatments and services for everyone. Some recent research we have been part of includes helping to develop the Blue Room, an immersive virtual reality experience to help children with autism to overcome fears and phobias. We also contributed to a study that found up to one in 11 cases of psychosis may stem from antibodies attacking the brain. Our work with partners established that early intervention to help autistic children and their parents with communication can help reduce symptoms in the long-term.

Read about our latest research

You can help us with research. Why not participate in a study and help us find out more about different conditions and how we can treat them? We are committed to promoting opportunities for service users and other members of the public to get involved with our research and contribute to new, more effective treatments. There are contact details for the research department below.

We regularly publish a Research Bulletin. Wewelcome submissions from any research successfully registered in the trust and wishing to promote recruitment. To find out more please email us.

How do we research?

Public involvement in research is a key priority of both NTW and the Department of Health more generally. We are committed to promoting opportunities for service users and other stakeholders to have a say in services.

Our Trust has a board-approved Research and Development Strategy that promotes the involvement of our staff and service users. This includes taking part in high profile, national and international research. It also encourages us to embed studies into clinical services and to develop a workforce whose culture and behaviours demonstrate the value of research in improving patient care.  By putting findings into practice, we aim to make sure the services we provide are underpinned by robust evidence of effectiveness and the latest research.

NTW aims to deliver world-class services and participating in research is a key part of doing that.

John LawlorChief executive

As an NHS organisation in receipt of NIHR funding we are required to achieve certain standards for the approval and delivery of research and make available reports on our progress against these standards. NTW’s performance against the standards (Performance in Initiating and Delivering Clinical Research – PID CR).

As a research-active NHS Trust we believe that, in line with the NHS Constitution, our service users should be offered the opportunity to take part in research that is relevant to their care and treatment. Many of our clinicians are involved in studies aiming to improve the care we provide. The Trust’s R&D department reviews and approves all such work within the Trust.

Who are our research partners?

In 2015, we formed the Newcastle Academic Health Partners with Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Newcastle University. This partnership, through the Academic Clinical Collaborations (ACCs) scheme, harnesses world-class expertise to ensure patients benefit sooner from new treatments, diagnostics and prevention strategies.

ACCs aim to promote the development of multidisciplinary work and education between local health Trusts, mental health Trusts, academic institutions and other external partners. This group aims to continue to improve the quality of work done in the region.

We have close links with the Academic Department of Psychiatry (Institute of Neuroscience) and the Institute for Ageing and the Institute for Health and Society at Newcastle University. The Department of Psychiatry’s main research interest is affective disorders, with smaller groups in forensic psychiatry and cognitive therapy. The Institute for Ageing has a strong focus on dementia research (linked with a Biomedical Research Centre on Ageing and a Biomedical Research Unit on dementia). The other main strength linking us with Newcastle University is investigating autism in children and young people.

How can I find out more?

You can contact the research and development team through the details given below.

Professor Paula Whitty

Director of Research, Innovation and Clinical Effectiveness

Tel: 0191 246 7222
Mobile: 07557012803

Simon Douglas

Senior manager for Research, Innovation and Clinical Effectiveness

Tel: 0191 223 2338
Mobile: 07833057560

Lyndsey Dixon

Research Funding Development Manager

Tel: 0191 246 7221
Mobile: 07773979269