The NIHR Clinical Research Facility (CRF) at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust has become the first NHS-managed facility in London, and the second in the UK, to be granted Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) Phase I accreditation.
The MHRA's award to Guy's & St Thomas' recognises that the Phase 1 Unit of the CRF, which is located within the Experimental Medicine Hub at Guy's Hospital, exceeds the basic regulatory good clinical practice standards. It acknowledges that the unit has adopted additional procedures that include the highest industry standards for management and safety for preventing harm to trial subjects.
The NIHR CRF at Guy's and St Thomas' provides dedicated facilities and research staff to support the NHS, universities and companies to undertake experimental medicine research, in particular first in human drug tests, across a range of diseases.
Professor Charles Wolfe, Director of Research and Development at Guy's and St Thomas', said: "The MHRA accreditation demonstrates our commitment to offering our patients access to trials testing the very latest drugs and treatments.
"It is an independent verification that our clinical research facility meets the highest industry standards for management and safety and is another significant milestone in our goal of becoming the UK's leading research Trust."
MHRA accreditation is an entirely voluntary scheme for organisations conducting Phase 1 trials, in particular for those conducting first in human trials in order to ensure trials are as safe as possible and to create public confidence in the regulation of research.
Professor Phil Chowienczyk, Director of the CRF at Guy's and St Thomas', said: "Thanks to the funding we've received from Guy's and St Thomas' and the NIHR, we've been able to develop world-class facilities for researchers working at Guy's and St Thomas' and King's College London.
"This accreditation makes us an even more attractive partner for organisations from the public and private sector and unlocks the potential for a wider range of collaborations."
Guy's and St Thomas' is one of the country's leading NHS research hospitals. In 2016/17 the Trust hosted nearly 500 research projects and recruited more than 25,000 patients and members of the public to research studies, more than at any other NHS Trust in the country. This is the third year running that Guy's and St Thomas' have been the top recruiting Trust to NIHR portfolio studies in England.
The NIHR CRF at Guy's and St Thomas' consists of four units; the MHRA Phase 1 accredited CRF unit at Guy's, and adult, paediatric and imaging units at St Thomas'. It is managed in conjunction with the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) at Guy's and St Thomas' and King's College London