Research studies

Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust Clinical Research

Our Clinical Research Team work 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.

Autism Research: Learning about the Lives of Adults on the Autism Spectrum and their Relatives     

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 or for further information please contact Graham Spencer on 01332 623700 ext. 33650 or email 

Click to download the Information Booklet 

Bipolar Research: DNA Polymorphism in Mental Illness (DPIM)

Poster: DPIM poster


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

Clozapine Research: Molecular Genetics of Adverse Drug Reactions (ADR)

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  

Click to download the Patient Information Leaflet

Dementia Research: Alzheimer's Disease Genetics

What is the purpose of the study?

The ultimate aim of this research is to build a better understanding of the causes of Alzheimer’s Disease and in so doing, provide a platform for the development of targeted treatments and preventions.

Specifically the aim is to establish biomarkers which associate with the earliest stages of disease development, together with those which mark disease progression.

What is involved?

One-off interview with participant to establish symptoms of Alzheimer’s and blood sample, One-off interview with next of kin to obtain further detailed case history.


If you are Caucasian and have been diagnosed with probable Alzheimer's before the age of 70 you can take part.

What 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. 33266 or email us at

Dementia Research: Predictors of Progression from Mild Cognitive Impairment to Dementia in Memory Clinic Patients

What is the purpose of the study?

The study aims to determine whether a test of spatial memory (memory for computer-generated images of landscapes) can help predict whether people with mild cognitive impairment progress to dementia. The rationale for this study is that spatial memory is controlled by a region in the brain called the hippocampus, and this region is one of the first affected by Alzheimer’s disease. We therefore hypothesise that a spatial memory test may help identify those people in the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

What is involved? 

The first is a test of spatial memory called the ‘four mountains test’. This is a computerised test of memory which involves remembering the arrangement of four mountains within a computer-generated landscape.    

The second test is a group of tests assessing other memory and thinking skills, such as speed of thought.  

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

There are no immediate benefits to yourself. However, if the study is successful in its stated aims, then it will help us in the future to improve diagnostic accuracy for people with memory problems across the whole country, and not just those people attending specialist research centres


You may participate if:

  • You have been given a diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment by your memory clinic doctors and nurses 

  • You are happy to participate in the ‘four mountains test’ and other traditional tests of memory and thinking.

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

Dementia Research: Promoting Activity Independence and Stability in Early Dementia (PrAISED)

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 in 2018.

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, 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

Dementia Research: The 4 Mountains Test of Spatial Memory for diagnosis of Early Alzheimer’s Disease: Evaluation of Diagnostic Specificity

What is the purpose of the study?

The aim of this study is to determine whether a new computer-based test of spatial memory (memory for places) can help distinguish between patients with dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease and those whose dementia is not due to Alzheimer’s disease.

What is involved?

The first study test is the 4 Mountains Test, which is a computer-based test of spatial memory. In the test you will be shown a number of computer-generated landscapes, each containing four mountains. You will be asked to remember the position of these mountains. You will be shown a number of different landscapes to remember. This entire test takes about 20 minutes.

The second study test involves more detailed study of your thinking skills, such as your thinking speed. This will be similar to the tests you will already have undergone in clinic.

What are the possible benefits and risks of taking part?

There are no risks associated with participation.

Participation will not benefit you directly, since you will already have a diagnosis established and this study will not affect your clinical care. However it may help us identify more effective ways of diagnosing Alzheimer's Disease in the future.


Diagnosis of Dementia

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

Depression Research: an Open-label Long-term Extension Safety Study of Intranasal Esketamine in Treatment-resistant Depression

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

Mental Health and Neurodevelopmental Research: Exploring the Cause and Prevalence of Memory Problems in People with Mental Health, Neurodevelopmental and Neurodegenerative Disorders

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 is ;age 16+ and capacity to consent.

What next?

To complete this short questionnaire online click here or for further information or a face to face interview please contact Debbie Risorto on 01332 623700 ext. 33580 or email

Post-natal Low Mood Research: Multi-centre Trial of a Group Psychological Intervention for Maternal Low Mood in British Mothers of South Asian Origin

What is the purpose of the study?

The aim of this proposed study is to evaluate the clinical and cost effectiveness of a culturally adapted group psychological intervention (Positive Health Programme, PHP) in primary care for British South Asian (BSA) women with postnatal low mood compared with treatment as usual(TAU).  

What is involved?

If you agree to take part, we will complete a consent form and the Patient Health Questionnaire to check you are eligible to take part in the study.  You will then be asked to arrange a convenient time for a researcher to visit you at a location of your choosing to complete assessments which will take about 60-90 minutes.  You will then be randomly allocated by computer to receive either the Positive Health Programme (plus treatment as usual) OR Treatment as usual (TAU).

You will be contacted again at 4 months and then 12 months for follow up assessments. It is important that you try to complete all follow-up assessments, whichever group you are allocated to.  This ensures we have all the information we need to properly determine the effectiveness of the programme in improving outcomes.


Self-ascribed British women of South Asian origin, over the age of 16 years and living with their infants up to the age of 12 months (1Year). For the purpose of this study the South Asian groups being included are mothers who identify as Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi. 

What next?

If you are interested in participating in this study, further information and to check for eligibility please contact:

Lead Research Assistants - Manpreet Basra and Nargas Bagum

(Phone) 07917837430 (Study Central Line) 07507 844 725

(Email) or

Research Nurse – Gemma Harrison 01332 623700 ex.33474 or

Psychosis Research: Prevalence of Neuronal Cell Surface Antibodies in Patients with Psychotic Illness

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 2 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

Other Research: Enabling Research in Care Homes (ENRICH)

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 Natalie Startin at  or on 01332 623700 Ext. 33489.

End of Study Reports

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 are 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:

Tel: 01332 623700 ext 33407
Text “Interested” to 07825 935177

We look forward to hearing from you

  • Keeley Marriott, Clinical Research Assistant
  • Diane Hawksworth, Clinical Research Assistant
  • Natalie Startin, Senior Clinical Research Assistant
  • Lisa Thomson, Clinical Researcher
  • Gemma Harrison, Research Nurse
  • Graham Spencer, Research Nurse
  • Audrey Williamson, Research Nurse
  • Caroline Cheetham, Research Nurse
  • Andy Dingwall, Research Nurse
  • Debbie Risorto, Occupational Therapist

Performance information on the initiation and delivery of clinical research

The Department of Health requires, via the new National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) contracts with providers of NHS services, the publication on a quarterly basis of information regarding: the 70-day benchmark for clinical trial initiation; and the recruitment to time and target for commercial contract clinical trials. 

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