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  • Writer's pictureChrissy Sturt

Portsmouth Research Hub Opens to Public

More than a hundred residents attended our first ever open day - keen to find out more about taking part in NHS-backed health research.

Stallholders from a range of local organisations set up a health fair in the John Pounds Centre, offering a range of advice and information. These included The Hepatitis C Trust, NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, Portsmouth Healthwatch and Portsmouth City Council. 

Student nurses from the University of Portsmouth enjoying the free tote bags!

Cressida Lee, NIHR CRN Wessex Communications Manager, explaining how to Join Dementia Research 

A range of speakers offered information on a variety of studies currently open to the public. Seventy health checks were carried out on the day by a combined team from Portsmouth City Council, Health & Care Portsmouth Pharmacy Team and Alton Primary Care.  

The team at Portsmouth Research Hub is focusing hard on encouraging people of different ethnic backgrounds to take part in clinical trials.

Professor Anoop Chauhan, Chief Research Officer at Portsmouth

Hospitals University NHS Trust (PHU), said: “It was great to see so many people interested in finding out more on why health research is important and how they can take part. There are so many different opportunities for people to get involved and it's important that our communities are represented. Research is at the heart of every medical breakthrough, and key to improving the future of NHS care.”

Shipa Ahmed Khan, Health Inequalities Lead at PHU, said: “For many people this was the first time they came into Portsmouth Research Hub and their first opportunity to start to understand more about research in general. I am hopeful that there will be more diversity in research going forwards and am looking forward to tackling health inequalities through this sort of meaningful engagement with our local communities.”

Bev Longhurst, Senior Research Nurse at PHU, said: “Lots of the visitors were previously unaware of our existence and excited by the thought of taking part in research closer to home. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and most people said they would visit again.

“We are so proud that Portsmouth Research Hub is the city’s first NHS-backed clinical trials unit in a community setting. To date we've been focused on developing nationally important COVID-19 vaccines. In the future, we’ll be focused on combating infectious diseases such as norovirus and flu. 

“A major ambition is to expand into cancer vaccines, asthma and diabetes studies - bringing our work into alignment with the health needs of the population and offering vital access to innovative treatments and interventions which will help address health inequalities in the city.

“Oh, and as Reuben proves - you are  never too young to #BePartOfResearch!”

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