The NHS Constitution pledge to all patients: “to inform you of research studies in which you may be eligible to participate”

Mersey Care is committed to delivering and sustaining quality research which improves care and treatment, contributes to better services and health for people with physical and mental health related problems, their carers or our staff

Research helps turn interesting theories into real benefits and is often the only way to develop better treatments and interventions. People receiving care now benefit from research that has already taken place and will continue to benefit from it taking place today and in the future. The NHS has made great progress in developing new treatments but there is still a lot that is unknown. Research can answer questions, fill gaps in knowledge and change the way treatment is delivered.  Research results in improved treatment and care for you and your family.​

Most research projects need the help of those people living with a particular health condition to ensure they are effective. We are proud of our record of involving service users and carers in our research and the contribution their lived experience brings to our work.  Our studies range from genetic studies and questionnaires, to highly complex, randomised controlled trials testing drugs and therapies.​

We hope you find this site helpful in introducing the Research Team and highlighting the processes and associated governance for undertaking research and evaluations in Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust. We very much welcome working in partnership from the earliest opportunity in your research or evaluation journey and therefore welcome you to contact us for discussion and assistance as appropriate.

We are a research active organisation; many of you will already be involved in delivering or supporting research. As you might be aware, there is a lack of research on the needs of our local population and the organisation of health services based on these. This is why we are interested in promoting research to ensure that future services are developed based on a local evidence base. We are therefore committed to continuing to involve and support clinicians to develop as researchers and to support our service users, patients, carers and staff to be offered the opportunity to take part in research.

Information about conducting research and current open studies is available on this site and you are urged to visit that page.  Anna Pearson ( is the Head of Research and Karen Bruce ( Research and Development Assistant, will be able to provide additional advice and support to you.

The Deputy Medical Director for Research and Innovation and the Head of Research are responsible for the management and oversight of all research planned or taking place in Trust.  This includes reviewing, in advance, capacity and capability to deliver studies and the authorisation of all research.

The Research and Development team, on behalf of MCFT, are the first point of contact for national research funding bids such as the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Wellcome Trust and Medical Research Council (MRC) etc. and for issuing formal Trust support for any proposed bids. No statement of intent or agreement to support research studies or bids can be made on the Trust’s behalf unless this has been reviewed and approved by the Head of Research.  

The Research and Development team always take the lead in reviewing and, where necessary, liaising with clinical and support services to agree capacity before any expression of interest is made or a study approved. It is therefore imperative that all approaches for research projects or bids that involve the Trust’s service users, staff, carers or resources are always shared in advance with the Head of Research and that support to proceed is confirmed in writing. This process is important for governance, compliance and financial reasons to protect the reputation of the Trust.

Is my project research and does it need ethical approval?
Not all projects are research. For example many service evaluations and service improvement initiatives also generate important and useful information which contributes to better services.
If you are not sure if your study would be classed as research this link may help:


If your study is research you may also need external ethical approval, this link will help you decide​:


If your study is service evaluation please follow this link​:


If you need any further advice please email a member of the Research and Development team; for any research related issues and any service evaluation issues or contact the generic email for other general help:​ Research&


If your project is Research you will need to follow a number of set processes for review and approval.​

The Trust has a range of different research and innovation projects that service users, carers or staff can participate in.

Here is a list of our most up to date open studies. Please note this list is subject to regular change, to make sure you are accessing the most up to date list of current open studies, please email a request to Research&​

Latest Studies open to recruitment can be found on the link below.

“Evaluation provides practical information to help decide whether a development or service should be continued or not.  Evaluation also involves making judgements about the value of what is being evaluated” - NHS Research and Development Forum (2006)

Service Evaluations are designed and conducted to appraise the effectiveness or efficiency of an individual service with the intention of providing information to inform local decision making.

For information regarding differentiating between service evaluations, clinical audit and research please refer to;

The Trust encourages and supports many different types of service evaluations via its review process which can be found here; 

In the first instance, you will be asked to complete the MCFT Service Evaluation Registration Form SE Registration Form v4 13.05.2022.pdf.

For a word template of this document, please contact 

 The submission will then be reviewed to ensure it is of a high standard, feasible, supported by the relevant service and demonstrates clear benefit to the Trust. Evaluators must provide;

  1. Evidence of service support
  2. Evidence of academic institution support (if applicable)
  3. Copy proposal/outline (if for an academic project)
  4. Copy HRA decision tool certificate confirming the study is an evaluation or other correspondence from the HRA confirming the study as an evaluation (if applicable).
  5. Copy of all associated paperwork which may include:  information sheet(s), consent form(s) (MCFT templates available upon request) and questionnaire (if applicable).

The application will then be logged and issued with a Trust reference number. Following review, the evaluation will be assigned a Trust reference number and recorded on the Service Evaluation database. Once reviewed and approved, a Confirmation to Commence email will be sent to the lead reviewer with relevant and informative attachments including a SE Summary report MCFT v2 03.12.2020.pdf which we request to be completed and sent back to


There are a number of templates you are free to use which include:


 Here is a list of our recently completed and ongoing Service Evaluations

Would you like to know more about what’s happening in Research and Innovation?

Would you like to become involved in research or innovation projects that could improve services for you and others in the future?​

Service users and carers can register their interest after reading our Consent for Contact form​, an easy read version​ is also available. 

This is a secure register of people who would be willing to be contacted by a member of trust staff to be offered the opportunity to take part in research or innovation projects. If contacted you will be provided with information on projects that may interest you and you’re then free to agree to take part or not, without giving a reason.​

If you want to know more about joining Consent for Contact or to know more about service evaluations email us: Research&​

The RFF meet quarterly to discuss an array of research and evaluation related topics including:

  • current research and evaluation updates
  • any pending studies / funding bids
  • service user and carer research and Co-production updates
  • any other research and evaluation related issues/topics.

The forum acts in an advisory capacity to influence the development of research and evaluation ideas and conducting of such. RFF member’s support and endeavour to find solutions for practical and procedural barriers that researcher’s may be encountering within the Trust. This may include sourcing training or university academics to link in with to facilitate research and associated ideas.

If you would like to attend the RFF to present your research or evaluation results, the dates are below.

2021 RFF dates:

  • 4 Jun - virtual meeting, 3pm to 4.30 pm
  • 16 Sep - virtual meeting, 3pm to 4.30 pm
  • 16 Dec - virtual meeting, 3pm to 4.30 pm


2022 RFF dates:

  • 10 March  - virtual meeting 3pm to 4.30pm.

This meeting will include a feedback session by Julie Owens Mental Health Nurse and Consultant Psychotherapist, Course Director Post Graduate Certificate in Applied Psychological Interventions.

Evaluation of the Post Graduate Certificate in Applied Psychological Interventions and the Impact on Routine Clinical Practice.   

  • 16 June Guest speaker / presentation TBC
  • 15 Sept Guest speaker / presentation TBC
  • 15 Dec Guest speaker / presentation TBC


Q. Does all research need trust approval? 

A. Yes. Click here for guidance.


Q. Do all evaluations need trust approval? 

A. Yes. Click here for guidance.

Q. Who should I initially contact with research queries? 



Q. Who should I initially contact with evaluation queries?  



Q. How do I know what research is taking place? 

A. Visit the above tab 'Research study recruitment' and click on the latest open studies


Q. How do I know what evaluations are taking place?  

A. Visit the above tab 'Research study recruitment' and click on the latest open studies


Q. Are there any research related volunteering opportunities?

A. Yes, we actively encourage and support research volunteering opportunities where possible. Click here, for our process for supporting research volunteers.


Contact our Research Team whose mission it is to deliver and sustain quality research which improves care, treatment and contributes to better services and health.  All contacts are listed below:





Professor Nusrat Husain

Director of Research & Innovation and Director of Global centre for Research in Mental Health Inequalities

Professor Ashley Baldwin

Assistant Medical Director Medical Education & Research

Dr Anna Pearson

R&D Manager

Dr Duncan Swiffen

Clinical Research Fellow


Karen Bruce

R&D Assistant

Emma Chard

Advanced Clinical Research Practitioner

Angela Brown

Centre for Perfect Care Facilitator

Shaheen Patel

CSO/ Advanced Clinical Research Practitioner

Will Henderson

Research & Innovation Practitioner

Catherine Snape

Research & Innovation Practitioner

Kelly Palethorpe

Research & Innovation Practitioner

Michaela Thomson

Research Practitioner

Anna Harden

Clinical Research Practitioner

Ashley Bruen

Clinical Research Practitioner

Sarah Anderton

Clinical Research Practitioner


Team email address: Research&

Telephone: 0151 471 2638

Most research projects need the help of those people living with a particular health condition to ensure they are effective. We are proud of our record of involving service users and carers in our research and the contribution their lived experience brings to our work.  Our studies range from genetic studies and questionnaires, to highly complex, randomised controlled trials testing drugs and therapies.

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust is a partner of the: