Enquiries: 01305 251150

Updated 3 August 2021

Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (DCHFT) is a district general hospital located in Dorchester and is part of the Clinical Research Network Wessex. The Research and Innovation Department has been operational since 2001 and has a centralised team of approximately 25-30 staff. We are based in the Trust Headquarters building on Bridport Road. In line with the vision for the future of UK clinical research delivery being patient-centred, we also have an active group of volunteer patient research ambassadors (PRAs).

The department includes comprehensive accredited pharmacy services (with a dedicated research pharmacist) and accredited laboratory services (ISO 15189:2012). The team has experience in phase II, III, and IV commercial clinical trials and was the first Trust in the country to recruit to a commercial renal trial.

What is research?

Clinical research is crucial to the discovery and development of new drugs, technologies and practices in healthcare in the NHS and, indeed, the world. Clinical research is a key focus within the Trust, and we strive to turn research findings into new or improved clinical practice for our patients.

The below video produced by the University of Leeds for the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) provides a comprehensive overview of what research is.

What do we do?

We host research funded by external organisations including the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and the life science industry. Conducting research studies helps the Trust realise its vision to be a beacon of the NHS, delivering 21st century healthcare. We also encourage research led by the hospital and can help with the design, set-up and delivery of this research.

Our strategy

Our mission
Quality and relevant research to deliver outstanding care for people in ways which matter to them.

Our vision
Research and Innovation at Dorset County Hospital Foundation Trust, working with our research and health and social care partners, will be at the heart of improving the wellbeing of our communities by delivering quality and relevant research.

Our objectives

  • To deliver outstanding research
  • To integrate research into clinical services
  • To collaborate with patients, staff and research partners
  • To enable staff to engage in research
  • To be a sustainable department

Our research portfolio

We have research happening in most clinical areas.

Well-established areas

  • Cardiology
  • Critical care
  • Gastroenterology 
  • Kidney disease
  • Orthopaedics

Discipline-specific areas with more development potential

  • Ageing and frailty (including end of life care)
  • Cancer (and haematology)
  • Dermatology and rheumatology
  • Diabetes and respiratory medicine
  • Ophthalmology
  • Orthodontics
  • Paediatrics
  • Reproductive health and gynaecology

Cross-cutting areas with more development potential

  • Health services delivery and patient safety/quality of (person-centred) care
  • Mental health and dietetics
  • Public health, self-management and digital health
  • Workforce


Please click here to see a list of the publications of staff employed by DCHFT between April 2020 and March 2021.

If you would like to see full text versions of any of the articles, please email library.office@dchft.nhs.uk

Contact us

Telephone: 01305 253106

E-mail: research@dchft.nhs.uk

Address: Research and Innovation, Dorset County Hospital, Williams Avenue, Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 2JY, UK

Twitter: www.twitter.com/dchft_research

Facebook: www.facebook.com/DCHFTResearch

Useful links

National Institute for Health Research 

Clinical Research Network (CRN) Wessex

Be Part of Research (find out about health and social care research that is taking place across the UK)

Scan Medicine (open access to medical date sources)

Join Dementia Research (register your interest in taking part in vital dementia research)

Become a Dementia Research Champion (information on what this involves)

People in Research (opportunities for public involvement in NHS, public health and social care research)

​Bournemouth University (Clinical Research Unit)

Bournemouth University (Centre of Postgraduate Medical Research and Education)