Our clinical research staff are highly skilled professionals who ensure that all studies are carried out safely and efficiently.

We follow strict safety and quality guidelines, including the International Conference on Harmonisation Good Clinical Practice (ICH-GCP) guidelines and the EU directive.

The research service is led by Dr Samantha Scholtz, who is also a consultant psychiatrist specialising in the management of obesity and related disorders.

Seven research leads support the unit, some of whom are also principal investigators on their own research projects in areas including:

  • Forensics
  • Older adults
  • Mood and psychosis
  • Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
  • Ealing Community Partners
  • Personality disorder.

Names of research leads here

We also work with NOCLOR, a research support service that works with research sites across London. Find out about NOCLOR

Research is about generating new knowledge in areas where there’s no knowledge or very limited knowledge available. It can be designed in many different ways, according to what it’s trying to find out.

Research studies might involve looking at existing data, or contacting patients or members of the public to take part in the study.

One type of research we carry out at West London NHS Trust is clinical trials. These aim to test whether different treatments are effective and help us to develop new medications, and to study the effects of current medications on different illnesses.

Taking part in clinical research can be of great benefit to patients and carers. Patients contribute to medical advances and also get the opportunity to be involved in testing the most advanced in new treatments for their condition.

Our research unit is currently divided into 2 teams:

  • Research and development (R and D): Manage the administration of all research projects.
  • Research delivery service (RDS): Responsible for recruitment on a range of studies. This could be anything from completing questionnaires with staff to visiting research participants to taking surveys or following up on how effective a treatment we’re trialling is. The RDS ensures that studies recruit the right sample of people and are managed correctly to ensure an effective piece of research and usable data.

Our reputation is built on a programme of high-quality studies conducted by some of the lead researchers in their field. We strive to ensure that studies are set up and delivered quickly, effectively and ethically.

Research is one of the most important ways we can improve the quality and effectiveness of patient care.

We know that being active in research results in better quality of patient care and better health outcomes.

We also know that staff working in trusts where research is part of everyday life are happier and tend to stay in the trust for longer, which in turn reflects positively on patient care.

Our aim is to take research back into the clinic to improve patient experience and create more positive outcomes.

We want to take the questions patients bring to the clinic and turn them into research questions, which we can then study. This kind of research not only leads to improved quality of care for our patients, but can also inform national guidelines.

We aim to be leaders in research.

A key part of our strategy at West London NHS Trust is to improve our infrastructure to support research, so that clinicians and patients can take part more easily. This will break down barriers, reduce the time spent on bureaucracy and allow more time to do the work of research.

We have the clinical expertise and the patients ready to engage in the following areas of research:

  • The interface between physical and mental health – or where physical and mental health meet
  • Dementia
  • Personality disorder
  • Forensics
  • Mood and psychosis
  • Patient safety.

We need clinicians to be at the centre of our research

We want to encourage all clinicians to get involved with research.

We’re committed to supporting clinicians of all disciplines to be leaders in research either by being principal investigators or by offering support with fellowship and grant applications. We also provide apprenticeship and training opportunities in research.

We want to engage with the already active quality improvement (QI) initiatives in our Trust. Where there are  areas in common, we want to take the ideas generated in QI and use them to develop research to disseminate learning.

Anyone who’s interested in participating in a specific research project, whether a research study or clinical trial, will need to sign a consent form.

Participation in research is entirely voluntary. You can withdraw consent from a research project at any time without being obliged to provide a reason for doing so.

Clinical trial consent

In the case of clinical trials involving a product, the consent process will always be conducted by a clinician to make sure that any medical or treatment related questions are answered satisfactorily.

Research study consent

If the study in which you’re taking part is a survey, or an observational study, then the consent process may be conducted by a research assistant or nurse. In this case, they’ll also ensure the study is explained to you and will answer any questions you may have.

If you would like to take part in a research study, but we don’t have one suitable for you at the moment, you can ask to be added to our research register and we’ll contact you if a more suitable one starts.