Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) have created a space for research and innovation to take place within the heart of its very own hospital walls.
Healthcare scientists based at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester, will work on behalf on the NHS to conduct research that will help improve services across the country.
Staff working at the Molecular Hub are looking into infectious diseases, specifically around the sequencing of Covid-19. This enables healthcare scientists at the trust to research the genetic material found in the virus, track the spread, how it’s changing and how those changes could affect patients and staff.
Stephen Kidd, lead healthcare scientist at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, says: “The molecular hub will enable us to position ourselves at the cutting edge of research and innovation within the NHS, to help improve the patient journey and experience within our services.
“It also highlights the passion HHFT has to keep pushing the boundaries and thinking outside of the box when it comes to delivering high quality responsive tailored care for our patients.”
At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, staff at HHFT worked around the clock to develop and design a new way of testing asymptomatic patients and staff through saliva. Through this work Hampshire Hospitals became the first non-PHE hospital lab to test for Covid-19 in house. This method was soon adopted by other NHS organisations across the country.
Having the Molecular Hub at the hospital in Winchester also improves the trust’s research portfolio, allowing staff to take part in more national research calls which will benefit patients in our local communities and beyond.
Dr Lara Alloway, chief medical officer at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, says “The Molecular Hub will integrate and continue to develop learnings from the pandemic, helping us innovate for a sustainable future. Our clinicians and healthcare scientists play an important role in improving patient care and I am very excited about the contribution they will make to shaping the way we care for our local community. “