Information for Researchers

Multi-site/portfolio studies

Somerset Partnership is a partner organisation in the NIHR South West Peninsula Clinical Research Network (CRN: SWP) that is responsible for providing a range of primary care and secondary care health services across the administrative county of Somerset (population: 550,000).  We welcome any approach from commercial research organisations or researchers whose study has been adopted onto the NIHR portfolio.

We have experience in running commercial, non-commercial and academic studies and clinical trials in a range of specialties including mental health, dementia, palliative care, stroke, diabetes, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy and dietetics. As well as both medical and non-medical clinicians experienced in acting as Principal Investigators, there is a dedicated team of study coordinators, trial administrators and research nurses/practitioners from both a Mental Health and General Nursing background who are all GCP trained.

The Research and Development team has proven expertise in assessing the feasibility of both commercial and non-commercial studies (including contracts and costing review) and facilitating the set-up of a study site efficiently and effectively. Studies can be taken from approach to initiation in less than three months and the team regularly issue approval of studies within 30 days from receipt of the document set.

If you have any questions about research in Somerset Partnership, please contact the Research team:


Non-portfolio studies

Our priority is to support NIHR portfolio and commercial research studies, but the Trust will consider supporting other research projects that meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • The researcher is a member of staff undertaking a research study as part of an academic/professional qualification or professional development already approved by the Trust
  • The researcher is a student or trainee on placement within the Trust
  • The study is initiated by an operational service of the Trust
  • The study will be of benefit to the Trust in its development of services, as well as of benefit to the patient or staff population

Any study not meeting one or more of the above criteria will be assessed on merit.

Is my study “clinical research”?

To help you decide whether or not your study is defined as clinical research you can use the Health Research Authority's decision tool.  You will be presented with a short series of YES or NO questions and once you have answered these questions the tool will let you know if your study is defined as clinical research.  Any study that is not defined as clinical research will still require approval before staff/patients are contacted.

All research involving staff or patients of Somerset Partnership must be approved before anyone is invited to participate. For further advice and/or details of the approval procedure, please contact the team on:

If you are in the early stages of a research idea you can also consult the Research Design Service for advice and guidance.