£3.1m medical research grant

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MORE than £3.1 million is to be pumped into Sheffield’s hospitals to research experimental new treatments, the Government has announced.

The NHS Clinical Research Facility, split between the Northern General and Royal Hallamshire hospitals, will use the funding to investigate diseases and potential new drugs and treatments.

Sheffield is one of 19 centres across the UK to receive the funding, which will be spread out over five years from September until March 2017.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: “These are the facilities where the best new treatments will be developed for a huge range of conditions, from cancer to heart disease.”

Experimental medicine research in Sheffield covers a wide range of specialities, with particular strengths in neuroscience, bone research, rheumatology, respiratory medicine, communicable diseases and diabetes and endocrinology.

The research includes exploring new treatments in areas such as motor neurone disease and Parkinson’s disease, looking at new ways to prevent stroke, and researching new vaccines for meningitis.

Mr Lansley added: “The public and patients think it’s important that the NHS should support research into new treatments, and we agree.

“These researchers will push forward the boundaries of what is possible.”

Dr Chris Newman, director of the Sheffield Clinical Research Facility, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive this funding.

“This represents a significant step forward in clinical research in Sheffield, and will lead to many improvements in treatment and care for patients. We have some of Europe’s leading researchers here in the city and funding such as this is vital to allow them to continue to make vital improvements for patients.”

Sir Andrew Cash, chief executive of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, added: “Sheffield has always been a pioneer in healthcare research and this is another example of excellent partnership working in the city, to forge ahead with translational research which takes important new developments from the laboratory bench to the patient’s bedside.

“Our researchers, through our Clinical Research Facility, are working extremely hard every day to find new breakthroughs for patients. People can rest assured that this funding will be used as effectively as possible in benefiting patients in this city and beyond.”