HOSPITALS in Oxford have won £3.7m in funding to develop better treatments for patients with a range of mental health problems.

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been awarded the five-year funding for its Cognitive Health Clinical Research Facility [CRF] based at Warneford Hospital, John Radcliffe Hospital and Oxford University.

The money will be used to fund research into innovative treatments for people suffering from Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s, as well as anxiety, movement and mood disorders.

The facility also works to research the health of the brain as we age and also how sleep patterns may affect mental health.

The latest funding comes two months after £12.8m was pledged for the new Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), one of only two BRCs across the country dedicated to mental health and dementia, following a joint bid by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Oxford.

Professor John Geddes, who is Head of the Department of Psychiatry, as well as Director of Oxford Health’s Research and Development department, said:: “This is a great result for translational neuroscience in Oxford.

“Along with the awards for Oxford’s BRCs, the clinical research facility is fundamental to our ambitious plans for Oxford neuroscience.

“We look forward to working with the relevant BRC themes, the National Institute for Health Excellence [NIHR] Clinical Research Network and our Oxford Academic Health Science Network partners to extend CRF capability and capacity in neuroscience and other clinical areas.”

One of the most recent successes of the facility has been the development of the Oxford and P1vital-Emotional Test Battery, a technique to assess the suitability of new anti-depressants and potentially for individual patients, which means doctors and patients could know if drugs are working within days rather than two weeks as in the past.

Dr. Bruno Holthof, Oxford University Hospitals Chief Executive, said: “The new NIHR CRF funding will bring together state-of-the art neuroscience research and imaging capabilities across our two trusts’ hospital sites."

Stuart Bell CBE, Oxford Health’s Chief Executive, said: “We’re delighted to announce the continued funding of the NIHR Oxford Cognitive Health Clinical Research Facility on our Warneford Hospital site.

“The award recognises the ongoing work by NIHR Oxford Cognitive Health Clinical Research Facility and the close partnership of Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford University Hospitals Trust and Oxford University to bring innovative and better treatments to patients and the NHS.

“We’re extremely proud of the range and diversity of research taking place in Oxford to benefit the lives of our communities and progress medical understanding and knowledge nationally.”

The latest £3.7m funding was awarded by the National Institute for Health Research.