A UCLH investment of £20 million will fund training for healthcare assistants and major new research facilities which will benefit patient care.
The investment will be made through grants to UCL and UCLH Charity and will improve clinical outcomes, patient safety and patient experience and support the workforce at UCLH through developing new technologies for implementation in the NHS.
UCLH has a close strategic partnership with UCL in research. UCL hosts clinical research leads and typically takes on the responsibility of sponsoring research studies.
Grant money will pay for new cancer research facilities and an expansion of UCLH and UCL’s digital research capabilities. In addition, it will pay for the training of healthcare assistants to registered nurse status.
The investment in research will strengthen UCLH’s position as a research hospital. It will be spent over the next five years to 2027, and major new infrastructure and projects are as follows.
Cancer Clinical Research Facility
Grant money will pay for a new Cancer Clinical Research Facility (CRF) with dedicated research beds for inpatient stays co-located with existing inpatient beds and nursing support.
The Cancer CRF will increase capacity for cancer research at UCLH including ‘first in human’ trials.
Investment will also progress leading research at UCLH and UCL in the use of advanced imaging and blood biomarkers to develop and evaluate new tests to detect cancers or their recurrence much earlier, in order to dramatically improve chances of survival.
Advanced Therapy Centre
A new Advanced Therapy Centre will aid the development of advanced cell and gene therapies for patients with neurological disorders and other conditions.
At the centre UCLH and UCL researchers will determine if potentially revolutionary new therapies being developed for motor neurone disease, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis deliver better outcomes for patients with these conditions.
Data and digital
The pandemic illustrated how the safe use of routine patient data helped speed up insights into better understanding the disease, who was at risk, and aided the rapid development of new treatments.
This investment will enable UCLH and UCL to extend this work to many other disease areas, safely using data at scale. Grant money will be used to create a digital innovation hub within UCLH to show how data can be used to drive forward care.
Preventing ill health
The investment will enable UCLH to be at the forefront of using genomics to predict and prevent disease. Grant money will enable significant expansion of cutting-edge research at UCLH and UCL into links between genes, the environment, health and disease.
Investment in staff
Grant money will support NHS staff who lead or support research, and will fully fund 55 healthcare assistants and nursing associates to train as registered nurses over the next five years
UCLH Chief Executive David Probert said: “I am delighted we can announce this investment today which will be game changing in terms of the research we are able to do, and which will directly support the training and development of our workforce. Our patients stand to benefit hugely from both.”
Professor Bryan Williams, Director of Research, UCLH, said: “Investment in research like this directly contributes to improvements in clinical care. This is through new and innovative approaches to care, and indeed, in some cases, the treatments that will be enabled by this investment will be treatments of last resort that have the potential to be life-saving or life changing.”
Professor David Lomas, Vice-Provost Health at UCL, said: “This investment is testament to the importance of the partnership between UCLH and the world-leading clinical research carried out at UCL, which is helping transform patient lives.”