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​Research and Innovation


​About us

  • Dorset County Hospital is a district general hospital located in Dorchester and is part of the Wessex Clinical Research Network and Research Active Dorset. 

  • We are the main provider of acute hospital services to a population of 250,000 people living in Weymouth, Portland, West Dorset, North Dorset, and Purbeck but provide renal services for patients throughout Dorset and South Somerset - a total population of 850,000 people.

  • The research department has been operational since 2001 and has a centralised team of approximately 30 staff and 20 volunteer Patient Research Ambassadors offering flexibility.

  • Comprehensive accredited pharmacy services (with a dedicated research pharmacist) and accredited laboratory services (ISO 15189:2012).

  • Offered more patients than ever before the chance to participate in research, recruiting a record breaking 1,356 participants to 49 studies – 32 into six commercial contract studies (National Institute for Health Research' Research Activity League Table, 2017/18).

    Current priority areas/specialties

    The department is keen to offer a balanced portfolio of research to patients with studies in as many clinical areas as possible – strong existing portfolios are:

  1. Cardiology

  2. Critical care

  3. Gastroenterology

  4. Kidney disease

  5. Orthopaedics


  • Experience in phase II, III, and IV commercial clinical trials – first Trust in the country to recruit to a commercial renal trial.

  • A reputation for providing quality data resulting in repeat business.

  • Advanced feasibility assessment.

  • In-house research governance.

  • Processes run simultaneously including contract and budget approval.

  • Won 'Outstanding Achievement' award at the Wessex Clinical Research Network Awards 2018.​

The impact of our research

  • Recruited patients into a heart failure trial which led to the first new heart failure therapy in twenty years and provided another treatment option for patients.

  • Recruited to the largest ever prostate cancer treatment trial which has changed the treatment for men with prostate cancer worldwide. 

  • Recruited into a breast cancer study which will inform the duration of treatment.​

Please get in touch – we look forward to working with you!

Telephone: +44 (0)1305 253106





Postal address: Dorset County Hospital, Williams Avenue, Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 2JY, UK​

Research Department Privacy Notice

As a participant or potential participant in a research study taking place at Dorset County Hospital Foundation Trust (DCHFT) we are required to provide you with some basic information about how DCHFT uses data for research purposes.

All research studies carried out in DCHFT are conducted according to the guidelines and specifications of the Health Research Authority (HRA). The HRA is a non-departmental public body (NDPB) sponsored by the Department of Health. As the leading authority in England its role is to regulate research with a view to protecting the interests of patients and to promote public participation in health and social care research.

You can find out more about research and about the use of patient information in studies on the Health Research Authority (HRA) website.

If you are considering taking part or you are already participating in a research study which is taking place in DCHFT you can find more comprehensive information about the use of personal information in research from the Sponsor of that study. If you don't know the Sponsor of the study in which you are already a participant or considering being a participant you may ask your local investigator; you are also welcome to contact the Department of Research and Innovation at​.​

Participants or potential participants of a study sponsored by DCHFT should read this additional information related to the specific study:

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Clinical Research Performance Reports

Performance In Delivering - Quarter 3, 2019-20

​Performance in Initiating - Quarter 3, 2019-20​ ​


​​If anyone has any queries​ about how GDPR affects their data in specific studies they have been involved in at Dorset County Hospital, please email