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£67m cash injection for trust providing specialist mental health services for young people across Kent and Medway

10:36 14 September 2016

Mental health

Mental health

AlexRaths

The funding will allow research into ground-breaking treatments and care for mental health and dementia

A health trust which provides specialist services for young people in Kent and Medway has received a £67 million cash injection to fund further research.

The South London and Maudsley NHS Trust offers services for those require hospital admission for serious mental illness and outpatient treatment for adults with ADHD across the county, as well as substance misuse services for residents in Bexley.

The funding from the Department of Health will be spread across five years and will allow research into ground-breaking treatments and care for mental health and dementia.

Maudsley’s expanded Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) will bring together scientists, clinicians, mental health professionals, service users and carers, to improve clinical care and services across the field of mental health.

Following National Institute for Health Research’s (NIHR) decision to discontinue the specialist Biomedical Research Units established in 2011, the work of the Maudsley Dementia Biomedical Research Unit (BRU-D) will be continued and expanded upon in the NIHR Maudsley BRC as a theme dedicated to dementia and related disorders.

Dr Matthew Patrick, chief executive of the trust, said: “Research at the Maudsley BRC has already resulted in real changes for patients, including talking therapies for psychosis, remote seizure detection in epilepsy, reducing harmful antipsychotic prescriptions for dementia.

“By 2021, we aim to involve 50,000 patients in new treatment studies, trialling new treatments, and introducing new digital interventions into routine NHS use.

“For too long mental health treatments have lagged behind the rest of medicine – our agenda will allow us to narrow the gap.”

Professor Matthew Hotopf, director of the NIHR Maudsley BRC, said: “We are delighted that the Department of Health is showing its commitment to improving the mental health of the nation through this substantial investment in our Biomedical Research Centre.

“Our work addresses some of the most distressing and debilitating health problems which affect people in the UK today, with a correspondingly high social and economic cost.”

Announcing the nationwide funding, health secretary Jeremy Hunt, added: “The UK has so often led the world in health research – from the invention of the smallpox vaccine to the discovery of penicillin and the development of DNA sequencing.

“Today, we are making sure the UK stays ahead of the game by laying the foundations for a new age of personalised medicine.

“We are supporting the great minds of the NHS to push the frontiers of medical science so that patients in this country continue to benefit from the very latest treatments and the highest standards of care.”

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