GROUNDBREAKING clinical trials at Southampton's biggest hospital are set to benefit from millions of pounds worth of funding.

Clinicians and scientists at University Hospital Southampton (UHS) have been awarded £10 million to continue leading and participating in trials.

As part of a partnership between UHS and the University of Southampton, the NIHR Southampton Clinical Research Facility will benefit from the five-year funding arrangement.

It will help to support studies into a range of novel treatments.

Dr Karen Underwood, interim director of research and development at UHS, said: “Pioneering research and innovation is vital to the successful delivery of the Trust’s clinical strategy.

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“We welcome this new funding for the NIHR Southampton CRF and are committed to continue growing our research workforce and estate in the coming years.

“With hundreds of studies happening at any one time across a wide range of conditions, we want all people to have the opportunity to take part in research.”

It comes as part of a £161m national investment from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) in a bid to boost the delivery of early-stage clinical research across England.

During the last 10 years, more than 800 clinical trials have been completed in the city, overing a range of conditions including many types of cancer, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), infection and inflammation, musculoskeletal and neurological conditions in both adults and children.

Southampton has also been a crucial partner in the nationwide Covid-19 response, delivering the highest number of Covid-19 studies across all acute NHS trusts.

Professor Saul Faust, director of NIHR Southampton CRF, added: “The research delivered by our CRF since it was first funded in 1998 has provided faster access for patients to novel treatments.

“These new advances are driving better health outcomes for all and boosting our national economy.

“I am delighted that our outstanding track-record and long-term strategy have been recognised through ongoing NIHR funding in Southampton and, with support from our patients and healthy volunteers, our studies will continue to shape the next generation of healthcare.”