A research van, which is only the second of its kind in the UK, has been designed to bring research conveniently to local communities in Greater Manchester, East Cheshire and East Lancashire. This project spun out of the initial concept of a mobile Advanced Therapy unit proposed by Cytiva within the iMATCH consortium and across the ATTC network.

The Research Van was funded by a £200,000 grant from the UK government Vaccine Task Force following a successful bid from NIHR Clinical Research Network Greater Manchester (CRN). It includes a pharmacy and clinical area that contains all the equipment necessary to run clinical trials and bespoke clinical projects out in the community, along with a patient waiting area and disabled toilet facilities.

This will enable research to become accessible and inclusive for residents, decreasing the need for people to travel to a hospital or other NHS sites.

Professor Andy Ustianowski, Clinical Lead for the Research Van at MFT and Deputy Clinical Director of NIHR CRN Greater Manchester, said: “We are delighted to have secured funding for this new resource which is a key part of our strategy to increase opportunities for people in all parts of our area to be part of clinical research studies.”