Publish date: 14 August 2023

Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP) has a long and proud record in clinical research and we are fully committed to taking part in, or leading, trials and studies which will enhance the treatments available to people experiencing a wide range of mental health conditions.

Our Research and Development Team are currently engaged in a number of national and international research studies including in the field of dementia, substance misuse and neurodivergence, and we have exciting plans for further work over the coming years as we strengthen this commitment to research across the organisation.

The Kingshill Research Centre in Swindon is part of our Research and Development Team, supporting commercial dementia research with pharmaceutical companies. Over recent years it has operated at a significant loss, despite the very best efforts of the dedicated and valued staff who work there and a wider effort from the leadership team at AWP to explore options to make the model more sustainable. While our commitment to dementia research remains, we also have to balance that with a duty to ensure our services are viable, especially in the context of the wider financial challenges and pressures we face.

As a result, we have taken the really difficult decision to close the Kingshill Research Centre. This has not been taken lightly and we will now be working with patients, staff and partners on a closure timeline which is safe and reasonable for everyone. We are also working with other local research organisations to ensure ongoing studies can be safely transferred. We currently have a number of participants in two related trials which RICE have agreed to support and we will work with the participants and study partners to ensure a smooth transition so that they can all remain in the trial if they wish.

AWP will continue to engage in, and lead, clinical research across the many areas of mental health and this remains a key part of our long-term strategy. We will be also working with partners to ensure there remains a wide range of opportunities for patients and the wider community to take part in dementia trials and studies.

There have been significant breakthroughs nationally and internationally in dementia research and working with our partners we will continue contributing to this important work.