NHS Fife has officially launched a new clinical research facility at Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy.
The clinical research centre, located in Phase 1 of the hospital, was formally opened by Professor Andrew Morris, Scotland’s chief scientist for health and Professor David Crossman, Dean of the Medical School at St Andrews University, yesterday afternoon (Wednesday).
It means medical research and clinical trials which previously would have taken place in Edinburgh and Dundee, can now be done in Fife in a dedicated facility.
The new centre provides the space, equipment and staff to deliver high-quality research and brings opportunities to collaborate with scientists and biotech companies to develop therapies and treatments for various conditions and diseases to benefit patients across the Kingdom.
It is also hoped the new facility will significantly increase the health boards’ income from commercial research.
NHS Fife is the seventh health board to open a dedicated on-site clinical research facility and it follows the opening of the Research and Development Department at Queen Margaret Hospital in Dunfermline in the summer.
Professor Andrew Morris, Scotland’s chief scientist for health, said: “I was delighted to be involved in officially opening this new clinical research facility at Victoria Hospital and I am sure it will be a fantastic asset for patients and provide opportunities for collaboration across Scotland and beyond.”
Dr Amanda Wood, research and development manager, said: “This new facility is yet another step forward for clinical research in Fife and will play a key role in improving treatments, delivering significant benefits for patients across the region in years to come.
“Moving research out of clinical areas and into a dedicated space not only avoids competition for resources in the event that clinical activity increases, it also provides free access to medications as part of clinical trials, access that NHS Fife would otherwise have to fund.”
She continued: “From the very start the participation of patients from across Fife has been central to this project and they continue to be central to its success. Research facilities such as this are vital and we will be looking to maximise the number of opportunities for local patients to participate in local, regional and national research projects.”
Dr Brian Montgomery added: “This facility further enhances NHS Fife’s growing reputation as a centre of research and innovation excellence and in the recruitment and retention of high quality clinical research staff.”