NHS trust with hospitals in Fareham, Havant, and Gosport awarded university hospital status for commitment to care, research and education

AN ‘IMMENSELY proud’ medical boss is celebrating as a Hampshire NHS trust achieves university hospital status.

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, which is responsible for Elmleigh, Fareham Community Hospital, and Gosport War Memorial Hospital, has become the newest member of the University Hospital Association.

University hospitals are specialty trusts with significant involvement in research and education.

Dr Steve Tomkins, chief medical officer of Southern Health, said: ‘I am immensely proud that the trust has achieved university hospital status.

Dr Steve Tomkins, Medical Director, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.

‘To do so means we have demonstrated high quality, holistic and evidence-based care for our patients, significant investment in research and a clear focus on the educational development and training of our current and future workforce.’

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The trust, which provides a wide range of mental health, physical health and learning disability services for people across the county, increased its commitment to research and education over the last few years.

Its work leading a study to understand the psychological impact of Covid-19 was internationally recognised and included within the WHO’s Covid-19 research repository.

Dr Katie Petty-Saphon, chief executive of the University Hospital Association, said: ‘I am delighted to welcome Southern Health as the newest member of UHA and congratulate the staff who have helped the trust achieve university hospital status.

‘University Hospitals perform an essential function in our health service, and at a time when the NHS is entering a period of major change after an unprecedented crisis, it is more important than ever that their services are recognised and supported.’

The trust has also grown its academic partnerships with the University of Southampton and other partner organisations, providing training to the next generation of healthcare professionals.

Dr Tomkins added: ‘Gaining university hospital status also gives us the opportunity to contribute to, and acquire, innovative learning from key organisations across the country, which can only benefit our staff and their patients.

‘Research and education are the foundations of good clinical care - helping us to find new treatments, adapt to change, or modify our approach to ensure the best outcomes for patients.

‘Achieving university hospital status is a clear indication of how importantly we hold these values and our commitment to improvement and excellence.’