Celebrating one year of university hospital status

Front entrance of Queen Alexandra hospital

For the past 12 months, the two institutions have been working collaboratively for the benefit for the local community.

  • 29 July 2021
  • 3 min read

A COVID genetic research laboratory, the launch of a community research vaccine hub and being ranked as the top recruiting Trust for clinical trials for the second year are just some of the achievements of the past 12 months thanks to the partnership between the University of Portsmouth and Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust (PHU).

Today (29 July 2021) marks one year since PHU was awarded university hospital status and its research and innovation team have been working collaboratively with University researchers and staff on a range of initiatives.

Ranked as the top recruiting Trust for the second consecutive year from 42 other large acute NHS organisations, PHU has over 170 open studies including 20 joint research projects in progress with the University.

With a focus on COVID research this year, a genetics research laboratory was established at Queen Alexandra Hospital to detect how infections are spread. Data analysts from both institutions joined forces to create new research groups to provide more information on how COVID can be transmitted and find new treatments.

Professor Graham Galbraith, Vice-Chancellor, University of Portsmouth

It has been exciting to see the incredible work that has been done in collaboration over the past 12 months, such as our game-changing Covid genome sequencing work and community testing programme, which has helped keep our local communities safe in the midst of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Professor Graham Galbraith, Vice Chancellor of the University of Portsmouth

The Portsmouth Technology Trials Unit, a partnership between PHU and the University set up in 2018, has continued to support local companies to find new opportunities within the NHS for trials through the SIGHT (Supporting Innovation and Growth in Healthcare Technologies) programme, in areas including asthma and cancer.

The programme provides guidance and expertise to businesses and works with industry partners, patient groups, clinicians and academics to provide quicker access to ground-breaking healthcare technologies.

As part of furthering education and training, a cohort of medical school students on placement from the University of Nicosia, in Cyprus, will be joining PHU to gain further experience in their chosen medical fields.

University researchers also helped launch the Portsmouth Research Hub earlier this year with its first trial on COVID booster vaccinations.

Penny Emerit, PHU Chief Executive, said: “I am delighted that today we are marking one year of university hospitals status.

“Our partnership with the University of Portsmouth continues to be an exciting opportunity to further embed research, education and training across all that we do so that we can continue to drive improvements and ensure that our patients receive the best possible care.”

Cementing the partnership, the Trust appointed Professor Graham Galbraith, Vice Chancellor of the University, to the Trust as an associate non-executive director. In return, Penny Emerit joined the University of Portsmouth as an external governor.

Our partnership with the University of Portsmouth continues to be an exciting opportunity to further embed research, education and training across all that we do so that we can continue to drive improvements and ensure that our patients receive the best possible care.

Penny Emerit, PHU Chief Executive

Professor Graham Galbraith, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Portsmouth, said: “Our long-term partnership with Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust continues to go from strength to strength.

“It has been exciting to see the incredible work that has been done in collaboration over the past 12 months, such as our game-changing Covid genome sequencing work and community testing programme, which has helped keep our local communities safe in the midst of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

“I look forward to further collaborations and innovation across research, education and training that continue to improve the health, wellbeing and opportunities for the local population.”

Director of the University’s Health and Wellbeing research theme and Professor of Bioengineering, Gordon Blunn, said: “The university status for the hospital has significant beneficial implications for research and innovation in both of our institutions.

“Through ongoing and future collaborations, we will address significant issues in health care through joint research projects and knowledge exchange. This will mean that our research and innovation will have more impact and will benefit patient care in the Portsmouth region, nationally and internationally.”

Professor Anoop Chauhan, Executive Director of Research at PHU, said: “Achieving university hospital status was the first step in a long-term programme to enhance our research partnerships and drive innovation to develop new treatments quickly that will benefit our patients, as well as investing further in academic partnerships to strengthen the future workforce.”

Future plans for the partnership include joint academic posts for research in key areas, exploring new medical technology and digital healthcare and improving emergency care.

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