Our Clinical Research Team works with clinicians to promote, facilitate and deliver national studies within the Trust. The aim of the team is to make it easier for NHS staff and service users to get involved in research. We are always on the lookout for individuals that have an interest in research and want to find out more about taking part in research projects.

The studies currently running within the Trust are listed below. All have had stringent checks and ethical approval from research committees across the country.

Coronavirus Update

Many of our research projects have had to pause recruitment to ensure our participants stay safe and well. We will be starting to re-open our studies soon with changes to procedure. If you have any questions or concerns please get in touch with us via our contact details further down the page

Our online research projects are still ongoing and accessible below

What is the purpose of the study?

The GLAD Study is a project set up to explore genetic risk factors in individuals who have suffered with or been diagnosed with depression and/or anxiety. The GLAD Study is a way for those who have experienced depression and/or anxiety to join the NIHR Mental Health BioResource, an NHS NIHR funded project which is part of the NIHR BioResource for Translational Research. The NIHR BioResource is a national initiative with the aim to collect genetic and clinical data from volunteers to build up a central library of information about people’s health. It offers you the chance to take part in ground-breaking research aimed at improving the lives of those not only with depression and anxiety, but other health conditions. 

What is involved?

Register on the GLAD website www.gladstudy.org.uk

Step 1: Giving consent to take part
The consent form includes a description of each of the types of activity you might be invited to take part in. It is up to you which ones you consent to.
We will request access to your medical records. Your data would only be provided to the GLAD and NIHR BioResource teams and, having been anonymised, to researchers approved by the GLAD Study, and/ or NIHR BioResource Steering Committee. We will also ask for your consent to be contacted in the future about other ongoing research studies that may be unrelated to anxiety and depression.
Step 2: Questionnaire data
We will ask you to complete some questions which will ask about your demographics (e.g. age, gender, and employment situation), emotional wellbeing, health and lifestyle, personality and experiences of depression and anxiety. This will take around 30-60 minutes to complete.
Step 3: Saliva sample
We will ask you to provide a saliva sample by spitting into a specially designed collection tube. This will be sent to you at home and you can send it back to us using a freepost envelope which we will provide.
We will extract DNA (i.e. genetic material) from this sample.
Samples will be stored without any of your personal details (e.g. name, date of birth, NHS number). 

Can I take part?

You can take part if you:

Are aged 16+
Are living in the UK
Have received treatment or experienced depression and/or anxiety now or in the past

Potential benefits of the study...

Once you are a member of the resource, you will be able to see information about further optional questionnaires, as well as a number of research studies that you are eligible to take part in. You may also be contacted about studies you may be eligible for that are not only related to anxiety and depression. We may assess your eligibility for these studies based on information you have provided (i.e. questionnaires), or information we have accessed from your medical records (i.e. diagnosis, treatment outcome) or samples (i.e genetic information). If you choose to do so, you can sign up to be a participant in up to four studies per year.
There may be no immediate benefit to you in terms of treatment, but you will contribute to knowledge about some of the causes of depression and/or anxiety. This knowledge may lead to better treatment guidelines and improve future care for patients.
The GLAD Study is an information resource for members as well as researchers. With this in mind, you will have access to pages dedicated to providing useful information to members.

Possible disadvantages
Some of the questionnaires ask about topics which some people might find sensitive, and about experiences of anxiety and/or depression. You do not have to complete any questions that you do not wish to.
Providing a saliva sample is a very low risk procedure but some people find it unpleasant.
Your participation is strictly confidential and the risk of identifiable information being accidentally disclosed is extremely low.

What next?

If you are interested in participating in this study you can join up online at www.gladstudy.org.uk or for further information please contact Rochelle Rhodes on 01332 623700 ext. 33266 or email DHCFT.Research@nhs.net

What is the purpose of the study?

The aim of this study is to collect information from adults on the autism spectrum, and update the information from time to time, to see how people’s lives change.

What is involved?

You will be asked to fill in a consent form and a questionnaire which will ask questions about your autism spectrum diagnosis and other information – like the types of support you receive, your employment opportunities, home, and information about aspects of your daily life. We will then contact you from time to time to ask you to give further information about your life.

Potential benefits of the study...

By taking part, you will help us with research that might lead to improvements in the services offered to people from the autism community. We will make sure our findings are shared with voluntary sector organisations and government to make sure we reach the people who can make these improvements.  No personal information will ever be released to researchers or anyone else. Any information that is published will always be anonymised.

What next?

If you are interested in participating in this study you can join up online at www.autismspectrum-uk.com or for further information please contact Graham Spencer on 01332 623700 ext. 33650 or email DHCFT.Research@nhs.net 

Click to download the Information Booklet 

What is the purpose of this study?

To evaluate the clinical effectiveness of pramipexole versus placebo alongside standard mood stabilising medication, over 12 weeks, in the management of patients with treatment resistant bipolar depression.

What is involved?

• The study will look at the use of a drug called pramipexole for treatment of people with bipolar disorder who are currently depressed.

• In stage 1 your doctor will help you stop taking any antipsychotic medication that you are already on, and start taking mood stabiliser(s), if you do not already.

• In stage 2 you will be randomised to either the placebo group (a ‘dummy’ drug) or the treatment group (pramipexole). You will have an equal chance of being in each group.

• Your study doctor and the study team will not know which group you are part of or which drug you are taking until the end of the study.

• You will be asked to complete online questionnaires about your mood and behaviours throughout the study.

• You will have regular phone calls with the study research assistants, who will ask about your mood, behaviours, symptoms and medication.

• You will be asked to complete a participant diary to help track your medication use.

• If, at the end of the study, you find out that you have been taking pramipexole and this has helped with your bipolar depression, you may be able to continue to take it outside of the study by speaking with your doctor.  


Inclusion Criteria

1. Currently under the care of secondary care mental health services at screening with a plan for them to remain in secondary care throughout the period of the trial

2. A decision made by patient’s clinical team that a change in medication is indicated

3. A current diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder (type I or II)

4. Currently depressed and experiencing a Major Depressive Episode

5. Current episode of depression failed to have responded to adequate trials, or lack of tolerability or patient refusal, of two different medications (quetiapine, olanzapine + fluoxetine, lamotrigine) or lurasidone

6. Aged 18 or over at the point of consent

7. Willing and able to provide written informed consent prior to any trial procedures taking place

8. In the opinion of the investigator, is able to follow the trial prescription instructions and is able to manage eight weeks supply of trial medication without risk of overdose

9. The patient, if female and of child-bearing potential, must have a negative pregnancy test

10. Women of child-bearing potential are required to use a highly effective contraceptive
method during the trial.

Exclusion Criteria:

Patients must not meet any of the following criteria to enter the pre-randomisation phase:

1. Severe substance use disorder.

2. Current psychotic symptoms.

3. History of retinal disease.

4. Current cardiovascular symptoms or significant concerns around cardiovascular disease.

5. History of renal disease.

6. Any known sensitivity to trial drug including its excipients.

7. Current pregnancy or planned pregnancy during the trial period, or breastfeeding.

8. Starting specific psychotherapy from four weeks before randomisation through to Week 12 post-randomisation.

9. Currently taking part in another clinical trial that would interfere with the outcomes of PAXBD.

10. Confirmed diagnosis with potential confounding factors such as Parkinson’s disease, restless leg syndrome.

11. Clinical concern of previous impulse control behaviours including harmful alcohol or drug use, binge eating, gambling or sexual behaviours, or regarding significant suicidal risks.


What should I do next?

If you are interested in participating in the study, further information and to check for eligibility please contact Lisa Thomson, Clinical Studies Officer on 01332 623700 ext. 33677 or email lthomson9@nhs.net

For more information on the study visit the PAX-BD trial website



Recruitment Temporarily Suspended

Poster: DPIM poster

Website:  http://www.ucl.ac.uk/molecular-psychiatry/bipolar-recruitment/about

If you are interested in participating in the study, further information and to check for eligibility please contact Gemma Elliott on 01332 623700 ext. 33474 or email us at DHCFT.Research@nhs.net.

What is the purpose of this study?

Mood disorders sometimes run in families but in other cases only one member of a family is affected. Unfortunately no-one understands enough about the illnesses to know what causes particular individuals to become unwell.

The main aim of our research is to look for genes and other factors, such as stressful life events, which make some people more likely than others to become ill. We hope that our study will improve understanding of mood disorders and help other workers find better treatments in the future.

What is involved?

Taking part would involve an interview in person in your own home or by telephone (lasting about 30-45 minutes), completion of some questionnaires and provision of an optional blood sample if this is feasible (two standard blood tubes). If you do decide to participate, we would like to assure you that all the information you provide will be strictly confidential. Also, you do not have to take part in the study. If you decline, it will not alter the care you receive.
If you are pregnant, we will also ask you to complete an additional questionnaire about your pregnancy (which will take around 10 minutes). With your permission, three months after you have had your baby, your researcher will then contact you by telephone for a brief interview. Your researcher will ask about any symptoms you may have experienced in relation to childbirth.


We are hoping to invite individuals who have experienced one or more episodes of high
mood (often called mania, hypomania or bipolar disorder) at some point in their lives to take part.

What next?

If you are interested in participating in the study, further information and to check for eligibility please contact Audrey Williamson, Research Nurse on 01332 623700 ext. 33489 or email us at  DHCFT.Research@nhs.net

For more information visit the Bipolar Disorder Research Network website 

Molecular Genetics of Adverse Drug Reactions

This is a DNA study, recruiting people who have experienced an Adverse Drug Reaction to Clozapine.

To find out more please read the Patient Information Leaflet or contact:        

Audrey Williamson on 01332 623700 ext. 33398 or email  DHCFT.Research@nhs.net  

Click to download the Patient Information Leaflet

What is the purpose of the study?

People with memory problems can struggle with everyday activities and may stop doing things they want to do. They are more prone to accidents. We have designed some therapy programmes to help maintain activity, independence, and balance. We need to try out different versions in a ‘feasibility study’, before we do a trial.

What is involved?

  • We will visit you at home to do an interview. We will ask about memory, general health, medicines you take, the activities you do and your motivation.

  • We will allocate you (at random) to one of three therapy programmes:

  • ­Assessment and advice with 1-3 visits from a therapist

  • ­Moderate-support with 11 therapist visits over for 3 months

  • ­A lot of support, with 50 therapist visits over 12 months

  • We expect that you will continue with the programme for at least a year

  • We will ask you to record activity, exercise, and falls, and we will telephone you monthly to ask some further questions and interview you again after a year

  • We will ask if you are continuing with the programme after 2 years

  • We may ask you, and a family member, to do an interview on what you thought about the programme


People taking part need to be 65 years or older and be known to Memory Assessment Service or JDR (Joint Dementia Research)

For further information please contact Gemma Harrison, Research Nurse on 01332 623700 ext. 33474 or email us at DHCFT.Research@nhs.net

Closed to Recruitment

What is the purpose of the study?

The primary objective of this study is to assess the safety and tolerability of intranasal esketamine in subjects with Treatment Resistant Depression, with special attention to the following:

  • Potential long-term effects on cognitive function

  • Treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs), including TEAEs of special interest

  • Post-dose effects on heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate and blood oxygen saturation

  • Potential effects on suicidal ideation/behaviour


To be considered for this study, you must be:

  • 65 years of age or older

  • Diagnosed with depression

  • Experiencing depression symptoms despite having taken two antidepressant medications in the past

  • Comfortable with using a nasal spray

  • Able to provide written consent to participate in the study

Recruitment to this study is now closed

What is the purpose of the study? 

It is known that people with mental health, neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders may have more problems with memory and concentration. It is not understood why this happens. The CAPMEM study would like to know if the autonomic nervous system works differently in people with mental health, neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. Therefore people with and without (healthy volunteers) such disorders are being invited to take part in order to evaluate whether the autonomic nervous system is affected by the severity of the disorder or by medication use.

What is involved? 

The study involves completing a short questionnaire about nervous system symptoms such as dizziness. This takes approximately 10 minutes.


As this study includes both people with a known mental health diagnosis and healthy volunteers the only inclusion criteria are: age 16+ and having capacity to consent.

What next?

You can complete this short questionnaire online or for further information contact Andy Dingwall on 07771 873068 or email DHCFT.Research@nhs.net

What is the purpose of the study?

A baby using their voice and reacting to voices is important for their speech and language development. This study will explore different brain patterns of babies whose mums have experienced mental illness. We want to examine how the brain processes voices and to understand how different factors may affect a child’s responses to sounds and voices.

What will happen to me if I take part?

The study involves assessments at three sessions when your baby is around nine months, 12 months, and 18 months old. Before the first session we will ask you to complete a series of short questionnaires about your background (age, education, occupation, number of children), as well as your own childhood experiences and how you are feeling in your mood. We will ask you to provide us access to your medical records so that we can accurately document your post-natal mental health illness and treatments.  
We will ask you for access to your child’s personal health record or Red Book so that we can record your infant’s growth charts and medical history. 
What will happen to my baby if he/she takes part?

We will ask you to play with your child for about 10 minutes while we video record this activity and we will provide toys and a play mat for you to use. The video recordings are used to measure the interaction between you and your baby. These videos will not be shown publicly or images used in publications and are for research purposes only. 

Finally, we would like to carry out with your baby a very simple and very safe assessment called functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). This will allow us to record your baby’s brain responses to sounds. We will ask you to sit your baby on your lap and we will place a soft cap on your baby’s head. Your baby will listen to some sounds (human voices, non-human sounds) and watch some video clips (cartoons) while his/ her brain responses will be quietly collected. The cap placed on your baby’s head is made from soft material and is positioned to be as comfortable as possible on your infant’s head. 
During the fNIRS assessment we will also video record your baby so that we can later remove the effects of any head movement on the data we collect. This video will not be shown publicly or the images used in publications, it is for research purposes only. Altogether this first session will take about an hour and a half of your time but we can take regular breaks as required for you or your baby. Or if it is more suitable we can split this session in to two parts.

The second session, which will be about three months after the first, is shorter and will only require us to carry out the fNIRS brain-imaging assessment exactly as before, together with a short developmental assessment for your baby. This should only take one hour.

The final session will follow around six months after the second, and will only require us to carry out the fNIRS brain imaging assessment, together with the developmental assessment for your baby. At this final session we will go through a short interview with you to discuss how you felt about taking part in this study. This should only take one hour.

Can I take part?

Inclusion criteria:
Mums must have:
Capacity to consent to study
Proficiency in English
A baby 10 months or younger

Exclusion criteria:
Primary diagnosis of substance/alcohol abuse
Primary diagnosis of anorexia/bulimia nervosa
Primary diagnosis of personality disorders
Infants with congenital malformations, severe chronic illnesses, or developmental disorders

Potential benefits of the study

By taking part in this study, you will help us understand how a baby’s brain development may be influenced by different factors. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide individual information on brain activation because scans will be averaged across all participants for research purposes.

What next?

If you are interested in participating in the study, further information and to check for eligibility please contact Andy Dingwall on 01332 623700 ext. 33398 or email us at DHCFT.Research@nhs.net

What is the purpose of the study?

The aim of the NEON trial is to understand whether reading, watching or listening to the stories of people who have recovered from mental health problems can help people who have experienced mental health problems or their informal carers.

What is involved? 

You will be asked to fill out an online consent form, through which you must provide a working email address. You don’t have to provide your name. You will be asked to provide a password for an online account. You will also be asked for some basic information about yourself using an online survey. You will be asked to fill out the online survey again after one week, 12 weeks and 52 weeks. You can claim a £20 shopping voucher for completing the surveys. Either immediately, or after one year, you will be able to access the NEON intervention website on smartphone, tablet or computer. The NEON intervention tries to match you to stories which might help you, using information about yourself that you provide. It also allows you to browse stories based on a range of categories, or to return to stories that you have previously accessed. Stories are presented in a mixture of text, video, audio and images.


You must be over 18 years of age and have experienced mental health problems or have provided informal care for someone who has experienced mental health problems, such as a family member.

What next?

If you feel you would like to take part please go to www.https://recoverystories.uk. 

When asked How did you find out about NEON? please choose Through a hospital or mental health service and select Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

What is the purpose of the study? 

The aim of the Hearing Nasty Voices study is to discover why negative and threatening voices can be so believable and difficult to ignore. To do this the study team is developing two specific questionnaires: 
1.    A questionnaire that measures the degree to which people i) believe the things that nasty voices say; ii) listen to nasty voices.

2.    A questionnaire that measures the reasons why people listen and believe nasty voices.
To do this, the team needs to test which questions are the best questions to ask. This is what this study is designed to find out.  

What is involved? 

You will be invited to complete a series of questionnaires which should take 30-40 minutes. The questionnaires cover information about you (e.g. your age, gender), details about your experience of hearing voices, your experience of listening to and believing nasty voices and how you feel emotionally (experiences of depression and anxiety). They can be completed over the phone, via web-meeting/internet or by post. 


You must be over 16 years of age and experience hearing unpleasant voices at least once a week.

What next?

To find out more contact Andy Dingwall on 07771 873068 or email DHCFT.Research@nhs.net.

What is the purpose of the study?

The study aims to understand if some cases of psychosis are caused by immune system problems in some people. The immune system normally controls our ability to fight infection. If the immune system goes wrong it may cause diseases called ‘autoimmune’ diseases. We can diagnose some of these immune diseases using blood tests.  

Inclusion Criteria

  • Male or Female, aged 18-70

  • Diagnosis of first episode psychotic illness, or relapse after a period of wellness

  • Symptoms for less than two years

Exclusion Criteria

The participant may not enter the study if ANY of the following apply: 
Any other neurological disorders including multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, cerebrovascular disease, hydrocephalus, traumatic brain injury, meningo-encephalitis, systemic lupus erythematosus, CNS vasculitis or primary drug-induced psychosis

What will I have to do?

You will spend 15 minutes of your time with a member of the research team discussing your illness. You will have a sample of blood taken. We will pay you £10 to compensate for the time and inconvenience.

If you are interested in participating in the study, further information and to check for eligibility please contact Graham Spencer on 01332 623700 ext. 33650 or email DHCFT.Research@nhs.net.

ENRICH is an initiative set up by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) to encourage more research in care homes. The Research Ready Care Home Network aims to bring care home staff, residents and researchers together in order to facilitate the design and delivery of research with the hope of improving quality of life, treatments and care for older people living in care homes.

If you are interested in finding out more information about the benefits of joining your local network in Derbyshire please contact Rochelle Rhodes at DHCFT.Research@nhs.net  or on 01332 623700 Ext. 33266

Caregiving HOPE study: How being obliged, prepared and willing influences family carer wellbeing.

HOPE - Study Summary

HOPE - Carers Booklet


Antidepressant Controlled Trial For Negative Symptoms In Schizophrenia (ACTIONS): a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised clinical trial.

Click here to read the full report

Click here to view in NIHR Journals Library


LABILE - The Clinical Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of Lamotrigine in Borderline Personality Disorder: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial

Click here to read the full report

Click to view in The American Journal of Psychiatry

If any of the studies currently running is of interest to you and you think you may be eligible, you can register your interest by completing the Expressions of Interest form. One of our Research Team will make contact; you are under no obligation to take part and can pull out of the study at any stage.

Alternatively you can contact us on:

Telephone: 01332 623700 ext 33407
Email:  DHCFT.Research@nhs.net
Text or call 07825 935177

We look forward to hearing from you

  • Keeley Marriott, Clinical Research Assistant
  • Shejmin Akhtar, Senior Clinical Research Assistant
  • Gemma Harrison, Research Nurse
  • Graham Spencer, Research Nurse
  • Audrey Williamson, Research Nurse
  • Caroline Cheetham, Research Nurse
  • Andy Dingwall, Research Nurse
  • Amanda Rice, Research Nurse
  • Debbie Risorto, Occupational Therapist

Other ways to get involved... 

National Institude for Health Research - Your NHS needs you. Helps us find a vaccine for COVID-19. Join the NHS COVID-19 vaccine research registry today: nhs.uk/researchcontact

What is a Research Ambassador and what are their aims?

A Research Ambassador is a volunteer who promotes research from their perspective. They are enthusiastic about health research and are willing to explain more about research and participation to patients, staff and the public.
A Research Ambassador aims:

  • To help service users gain easier access to research
  • To help develop a research culture within our Trust and to embed and take research forward
  • To bridge the gap between patients, staff and the research department
  • To give personal experience and views.

Who can be a Research Ambassador?

We are always looking for Research Ambassadors - they can be patient, carer or staff. They should have experience of taking part in research and be passionate. These roles are flexible and will develop with each individual Research Ambassador's strengths.

What sort of things does a Research Ambassador do?

Take part in the Trust induction for new staff

  • Promote research projects
  • Share personal experience of taking part in research and reassure potential participants who may have concerns
  • Speak to staff about the importance of offering research to patients
  • Talk to friends, family, patients, staff and the public about research
  • Take part in events including International Clinical Trials Day
  • Support local engagement teams to raise awareness of opportunities to participate in research studies.

Marc Riley                             Click HERE to listen to Marc's Statement

Marc Riley, Research Ambassador

To learn more about becoming a Research Ambassador please email: keeleymarriott@nhs.net or call 01332 62377 ext 33407 for an informal chat.

What sort of things does a Research Volunteer do?

  • Data entry
  • Feasibility assessments
  • General administration duties
  • Service user perspective on new initiatives
  • Information visits.

These are just a few of the tasks a volunteer may undertake. The role will be adapted and draw on each individual's strengths and areas of interest.

Volunteering in Research - Statement

Volunteering is a good way of occupying spare time as well as gaining valuable work experience and transferable skills. I applied to volunteer in the Research and Development department because I wanted to do something interesting and engaging. Research is very important to the NHS and the wider community as it enables medical professionals to deliver the best treatments based on real-world data which is performed in a scientific and non-biased way. I enjoy working in R&D as it gives me a wide range of opportunities to help support the rest of the team as well as learn new skills.

Karl Ryan, Research Volunteer


For more information on our volunteering opportunities please click HERE to visit our volunteering page.



Performance information on the initiation and delivery of clinical research

The Government wishes to see a dramatic and sustained improvement in the performance of providers of NHS services in initiating and delivering clinical research. The aim is to increase the number of patients who have the opportunity to participate in research and to enhance the nation’s attractiveness as a host for research. Providers of NHS services are required to publish information on recruitment to clinical trials and delivery to time and to target for commercial clinical trials. 

Useful links:

Join Dementia Research logo