We are in the top ten Care Trust’s in the Research Activity League Table 2018/19 for volume of research studies. Each year, the Table is published by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN), which provides details of research activity across all NHS trusts and CCGs in England.

We value research and innovation as the building block to ensuring the highest standards of care for our patients and service users. As a result, carrying out research and using research findings is encouraged and promoted across the Trust.

The National Health Service aims to provide the highest quality healthcare services possible. Research helps ensure that high-quality service provision is supported by evidence-based practice.

The Research and Innovation Team work to make sure that the research that takes place involving patients, service users and staff, is of the highest quality. 

The type of research we carry out includes:

  • NIHR CRN Portfolio studies

  • Externally funded non-commercial research

  • Smaller scale student research projects which form part of an academic qualification

See our latest Newsletter for current research activit

This inspirational film documents the impact of the Sussex Community Foundation Trust, Music and Dementia research project – ‘Planned investigation, assessment & evaluation of the use of music-based interventions in the community hospital setting’. This is an example of Research funded and led by SCFT - the study ran for 6 months and was undertaken at a Community Hospital by the Dementia Lead/Nurse Consultant. This partnership project was joint-funded and delivered by the charity wishingwellmusic.org.uk. The research project team included a film maker who made a film of the impact of the research project. The work also involved the University of Sussex with supervision from Professor Sube Banerjee the Director of the Centre for Dementia Studies.

The NHS constitution states that it is every patient’s right to be able to participate in a research study, should they wish to, and should they meet the requirements of the study.

Clinical research is not just restricted to drugs and medication, but can include a wide variety of interventions including surgical procedures, devices, systems, treatments and therapies as well as preventative care and education.

If you are a patient with us, you may be approached and asked if you wish to take part in a research study. Alternatively, you may wish to ask your clinician if they are involved in any research studies.

Useful links:

Be Part of Research - a NIHR campaign encourages patients, carers and the public to get involved in research and helps you find out about health and social care research that is taking place across the UK.

INVOLVE - national advisory group who promote public involvement in NHS, public health and social care research.

Join Dementia Research - for people with dementia or memory problems, their carers and anyone who is interested can sign up and get involved in supporting vital research studies across the nation.

NHS Friends and Family Test (FFT) - research participants are invited to give feedback on the service they receive from our research team by completing a short Friends and Family Questionnaire. Please contact the Research and Innovation Team if you’d like more information or help with completing the questionnaire.

The Health Research Authority (HRA) - sets standards for NHS organisations to make sure they protect your privacy and comply with the law when they are involved in research. The HRA Research Ethics Committees, review research studies to make sure that the research uses of data about you are in the public interest, and meet ethical standards.

Patient Research Experience Survey - if you have recently taken part in a clinical research study/trial the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Clinical Research Network (CRN KSS) would be grateful if you could complete this anonymous questionnaire about your experience, so we can improve our service.

Patient Research Ambassador - is someone who promotes health research from a patient point of view. They could be a patient, service user, carer or lay person who is enthusiastic about health research and is willing to communicate that to other patients, the public, as well as other healthcare professionals. You will have the opportunity to attend events, participate in training/learning and share your experiences

You can also check the Trust details on Patient information and how we use it.

There is evidence to suggest that research active Trusts have better patient outcomes.

We identify research as a direct contributor to improving the quality of services and implementing models of good practice.


All clinical staff are encouraged to participate in research, as it is an excellent opportunity to learn new skills. You can get involved in a number of ways:

If you are about to undertake a piece of research, it is essential that you contact the Research & Innovation Team for guidance and information about research governance.

Useful links:

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) - the research arm of the NHS and overarching entity for all publicly-funded research in the NHS. 

NIHR Clinical Research Network Kent, Surrey and Sussex (CRN KSS) - provides the infrastructure that allows high-quality clinical research to take place in the NHS in this area.

Research Design Service South East (RDS) - provides research design and methodological support and guidance to develop grant applications. Advice is confidential and free of charge.

Health Research Authority (HRA) - provides information about developing research studies and applying for ethical and governance approvals.

The Research and Innovation Operational Capability Statement sets out how the Trust plans to meet its research related responsibilities. The statement also provides researchers with an operational overview.

As a NHS provider holding National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) contracts, we are required, every quarter, to publish our performance on study initiation of non-commercial clinical trials and our performance on delivery of commercially sponsored clinical trials (from 1 April 2014).


Performance in initiating clinical research

Performance in delivering of clinical research







We have a dedicated team of research support staff to facilitate your study set up, recruitment and ongoing management.

For all enquiries please email SC-TR.Research@nhs.net or phone the team on 01273 696011 ext: 3795/1912

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