Charity funds new Harefield Clinical Research Facility

A new clinical research facility will be created at Harefield Hospital dedicated to seeing research patients at the hospital, thanks to funding from the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity

Research patients can require longer hospital appointments than regular clinical patients, which means that it can be difficult to find space for them as the same room could be used for more clinical appointments. By creating a dedicated space for research patients, the hospital will be able to create more research appointments.

Lyndon Bridgewater, associate director of research and development, said: “This will allow us to significantly expand both the quality and quantity of life-changing research conducted at this world-famous hospital.”

Harefield Hospital has a niche population of heart and lung patients, which is valuable to researchers. Harefield’s research staff want to study a whole range of heart and lung conditions and there are currently over 50 active research projects at Harefield Hospital.

“Some involve the testing of new drugs. Some are for new devices. Some are observational based. There's various different types of research, but this is about providing an all purpose facility for us to bring these patients in to see them for these visits.” Lyndon said.

Some of these studies may lead to new treatments for patients. “The new facility will support a wide range of research studies, including those that are testing new approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of heart and lung disease. Some of the studies will be looking at new drug therapies, some at new implants, and some at new blood tests that can help pick up problems earlier,” said Professor Martin Cowie, executive director of cardiovascular research at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals. “Importantly, it will also provide an environment where patients and research staff can focus on the studies, rather than trying to do this in very busy clinical areas.”

Richard Bowyer, chief executive of Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity, said: “We are very pleased to help Harefield Hospital expand its research facilities. This new centre will mean that the hospital can do more research that will help many patients in the long term and maintain Harefield’s position as a world leading cardiac and respiratory hospital.”

The architects have already drawn up the plans to repurpose an existing space within the Heart Science Centre at Harefield Hospital to create the new research facility. The redevelopment work should be completed by the end of March.

Funding research at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals is an essential part of the work of Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity. It is also a key aim of the NHS to offer patients the chance to participate in research. Lyndon Bridgewater said: “We're trying to increase those opportunities, so that when patients do come in, they are offered the potential to participate in research. It's about trying to give them more opportunities to participate in various studies.”

This new facility is part of a long-term plan to increase the research capacity of Harefield Hospital. By increasing the space available for research consultations, the hospital is taking a big step towards this goal.

“We are hoping this will lead to an increase in research participation and greater opportunities for people to do research in Harefield Hospital. We want to create an environment where research is commonplace and goes hand in hand with routine care.” Lyndon Bridgewater said.