People with mental health conditions are set to benefit from a £42.7 million research programme across the UK to develop new treatments, improve the speed and accuracy of diagnosis and use technology more to save time for health staff.
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) is a major partner on this Mental Health Mission (MHM), bringing specialist expertise in mental health research and leading investigators working with the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).
One of these NIHR experts is Dr Graham Murray (pictured), a consultant psychiatrist in CPFT’s CAMEO early intervention service and associate professor at the University of Cambridge Department of Psychiatry. He is jointly leading the national MHM workstream to improve clinical decision making and digital tools to deliver better care for early psychosis.
Graham said: “This new investment in mental health research is very welcome and I am delighted that early psychosis is a key priority area for the Mental Health Mission. Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust is leading the national early psychosis research workstream, collaborating with colleagues across the UK to use new digital technologies, electronic health records and genetic data to improve mental health care and treatment. We will also be exploring how data and advanced clinical profiling can help us tailor more personalised treatments for individuals and empower them to recover.”
The Mental Health Mission launched last year as part of the Government’s plan to grow the UK life sciences sector with funding announced today to accelerate new mental health treatments and technologies, building on the vaccine taskforce approach which responded to the pandemic.
One in four adults and one in 10 children are reported to experience mental illness by NHS England and this investment in mental health research can potentially help millions of people across the UK.
CPFT is one of the top UK NHS Trusts for mental health research and has also been leading the field of health data research with a Clinical Research Database for staff to track the progress and outcomes of mental health conditions and how they affect large populations. This will support the MHM work and help integrate other data sources to understand who is at risk of early psychosis and how best to target preventative treatments. CPFT is also playing an important role in the Children and Young People’s workstream of the mission, researching how better use of health data can drive better care.
Dr Helen Macdonald, Chief Operating Officer for the NIHR Clinical Research Network East of England said: “We’re pleased to see a research-active NHS Trust in our region lead on delivering this programme workstream. CPFT has an excellent track record in patient-centred research performance to help deliver this programme to benefit the UK population and others worldwide. We look forward to working with Graham and his team to offer opportunities for people to be part of this ground-breaking work for early psychosis.”
The funding will be distributed through the NIHR Mental Health Translational Research Collaboration (MH-TRC) to researchers and organisations forming a world-leading network to rapidly translate scientific discoveries into NHS clinics to benefit patients and the public.
Find out more about the Government’s investment in life sciences announced today.