SOUTHAMPTON experts battling to win the war against mental health diseases have moved into a bigger and better home equipped to give them the edge for future medical breakthroughs.

Southern Health’s research and development team celebrated their move to the newly refurbished Tom Rudd unit at the former Morgreen Hospital site in West End.

For years the team has been dedicated to conducting research into dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia, but the size of their new base means they can expand to look into physical conditions such as stroke and diabetes.

Southern Health’s chairman Simon Waugh was on hand to cut the ribbon at the new facility, which is housed next to the trust’s learning and training facilities for staff and doctors.

The team is currently running more than 27 research projects, looking at exciting new ways to treat conditions and expect to be working with more than 650 patients volunteers.

Dr Shanaya Rathod, director of research and development and a practising psychiatrist, said: “I don’t think people generally realise how close research is to the care they get in the NHS.

“We are always looking at new treatments, therapies and medicines that can improve people’s lives.

Sometimes the research can be a step along the way to understanding more about a condition or illness.

“Ultimately, we work to bring the results of research to the frontline where people can benefit from them.

This new facility helps us to grow and look at new areas for research.”