Research and Innovation

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Since establishing the Research and Innovation (R&I) department in 2006, research leadership,
awareness and activity has grown significantly. There is recognition across the organisation that research activity can enhance clinical practice improve staff and service user satisfaction as well as promote innovative practice. To support staff and service users within the Trust to develop their research and education activities, a number of strategic initiatives were developed and summarised in the SSSFT R&I strategy.

The Research strategy focus is on research that aligns with the Trust strategic aims, that research will become part of core business rather than limited to a small subset of staff or service users. We aim to ensure that research is accessible to all professions, service users, carers and family members and we hope to support all staff at each level to become involved.

Keele University Joint Research Strategy

We have an expanding R&I academic psychiatry unit in partnership with Keele University led
academically by Professor Athula Sumathipala. In late 2015 we finalised a joint research strategy that sits within the wider Trust research strategy, to formalise the research partnership. The Trust has invested in 5 posts to grow capacity and strengthen this partnership further. As part of the joint strategy we are shortly appointing a number of honorary joint clinical academic positions and also have an academic clinical fellow ACF post. We aim to create new areas of research and increase the research output. Future research themes are:

  • Medically unexplained symptoms

  • Mental disorders

  • Physical health of people with SMI

  • Dementia

  • Perinatal

This partnership with Keele is aimed at contributing to the growing knowledge of research evidence and to make a significant difference by converting research evidence to practice and bring benefit to the service users.


Worcester University

Our partnership with Worcester University involves a collaborative working relationship between the Institute of Health and Society and the Research and Innovation team at SSSFT. A number of research projects are currently underway in areas including:-

  • medicines optimisation

  • the role of non-medical prescribers

  • family involvement and shared decision making

  • experiences of inpatient admission and inpatient care

  • the mental healthcare experiences of military veterans. 

Our research aims to enhance the experiences of those in contact with mental health services, with a particular focus on the information exchange between service users, family and staff members. In January 2017, a full-time PhD student will start a 3 year, full time collaborative research project between SSSFT and the University of Worcester, in the area of perinatal mental health (project to be further defined on appointment).


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