See our latest Quarterly Bulletin - March 2018

A Feasibility Study of Virtual Reality as a Therapeutic Intervention in Children with Ambulatory Cerebral Palsy

This research will explore the potential of using a widely available computer console (the Nintendo Wii Fit) within the home to deliver regular, tailored physiotherapy schedules of Virtual Reality Therapy (VRT) for children with Cerebral Palsy.

For more information and why to get involved please see our project page.

Research at 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 Trust values research and development 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 Trust’s Research and Development strategy (currently being updated) identifies research as a direct contributor to improving the quality of services, implementing models of good practice and addressing clinical risk.

There is also a Research Centre at Chailey Clinical Services 

Types of research

  • Involvement in NIHR CRN Portfolio studies 
  • Leading externally funded non-commercial research 
  • Smaller scale student research projects, which form part of academic courses 

The Trust’s Research and Development Team holds quarterly meetings called the Strategic Governance Meeting. It meets to discuss the strategic aims and objectives about Research and Development within the Trust. 

Undertaking research

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust takes every step to make sure the research that takes place involving its patients, service users and staff, is of the highest quality and ethically sound. This governance process is known as the Research Governance Framework available on the  Department of Health website. 

Read a brief introductory leaflet for the public which has been produced by Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust.

The Trust is part of the Sussex NHS Research Consortium. The Consortium checks and approves all research on our behalf.

See an overview of gaining approval as an external researcher to carry out research. Trust staff can find research information on the staff intranet (the Pulse).

If you are about to undertake a piece of research at Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, it is essential that you contact the Research& Development team at for information about research governance. 

See also: 

RDOCS - The Research and Development Operational Capability Statement

The RDOCS sets out how the Trust plans to meet its research related responsibilities. The statement also provides researchers with an operational overview.

Performance on initiating and delivering clinical research

As an NHS provider holding National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) contracts, we are required, every quarter, to publish the 70-day benchmark for clinical trial initiation and our performance on recruitment to time and target for commercial contract clinical trials (from 1 April 2014).

Performance on study initiation of clinical trials since 1 April 2014:

Performance on initiating and delivering clinical research:



Performance on delivery of commercial trials:



Current Research

Contact Us

Contact the Research& Development team at if you would like more information about research in our Trust.

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Research participant feedback

The NHS Friends and Family Test (FFT) was created to help service providers and commissioners understand whether their patients are happy with the service provided, or where improvements are needed. It is a quick and anonymous way for patients and carers to give their views after receiving care or treatment across the NHS. The FFT has been rolled out across most NHS services, including community care, hospitals, mental health services, maternity services, GP and dental practices, emergency care and patient transport.

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust Research participants are invited to give feedback on the service they receive from our research team by completing a short Friends and Family Questionnaire. We’d like all our volunteers to have a positive experience of participating in clinical research and for their views to shape the way we deliver research in the Trust. The Friends and Family Test helps us to understand more about the experience of taking part in research and how we can improve the care we deliver.

There are also questionnaires designed for young children, people with visual impairment and learning disabilities – and participants can be supported to offer their feedback by a relative, carer or staff member. Please contact the Research and Development team if you’d like more information on the Friends and Family Test or help with completing the questionnaire.

Patient and Public Involvement in Research

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 of Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, 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 part of any research 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.

However, there are other ways to get involved other than taking part in a study; we have a database of patients and carers who have expressed an interest in being involved in research so do contact us to let us know you are interested and to find out more information.


  • The National Institute for Health Research website where there is a lot of useful patient and public information.
  • The UK Clinical Trials Gateway provides easy to understand information about clinical research trials running in the UK and gives you and others access to a large range of information about these trials
  • INVOLVE is a national advisory group who promote public involvement in the NHS, public health and social care research.
  • The University of Brighton have a Masters in Clinical Research available to apply for which also involves funding.