CPFT clinician wins national award for mental health studies | Research news

CPFT clinician wins national award for mental health studies

CPFT psychiatrist Dr Emilio Fernandez-Egea has received a prestigious national research grant to learn more about schizophrenia and how best to treat this complex mental health condition.

The coveted Clinical Academic Research Partnership award offered by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) is open to senior NHS staff in the UK, with protected time and funding to enhance their research skills and experience. Over three years, the funding will cover 50% of Emilio’s time to define, understand and treat negative symptoms of schizophrenia, such as problems with motivation.

Dr Emilio Fernandez-Egea has been a consultant psychiatrist for 18 years and is the clinical lead for CPFT’s Clozapine Clinics and the Cambridge Psychosis Centre, with one of the largest caseloads.

Over an extensive research career, he has become a world-renowned expert on schizophrenia with over 120 publications, and he is the regional lead for mental health research at the NIHR Clinical Research Network East of England. Emilio is also a deputy editor for the British Journal of Psychiatry, and is leading a themed issue on negative symptoms for publication next year.

Emilio said: “I am so grateful to receive this support to realise mental health research projects I have been planning for years. I think this award highlights how top-quality research can be delivered at the grass roots level, in frontline NHS services with health professionals, turning observations in clinics into widely published findings to improve care and treatments. Thank you to all CPFT colleagues making research in our specialist mental health services possible, and most of all - the people using our services who participate!”

CPFT is one of the top research-active NHS Trusts in the country for delivering mental health studies. Our staff are investigating how to identify and diagnose conditions as early as possible, exploring risk factors for and testing new treatments. Research - with care - is integrated with clinical services and translates the latest scientific discoveries to benefit people using the Trust’s services.

CPFT Chief Executive Anna Hills said: “I’m delighted that one of our most senior consultants has been recognised for their significant contributions to mental health research. Support from national bodies is vital and hugely appreciated to help our staff conduct ground-breaking studies to augment their clinical skills, and the care we provide. I would encourage anyone eligible to apply for this support every year the programme runs. Research and new evidence drive improvements to our services, and we thank Emilio for everything he and his team are doing to help people receiving specialist mental health care.”

There is still time for NHS health professionals to submit a research proposal and apply for the 2023 programme by Thursday 17 November 2022.

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