Major Liverpool health research services launched

Professor Louise Kenny speaking at the launch of LCTC and LHP SPARK

Two new services – designed to deliver world-class health research – have been launched in Liverpool.

The University of Liverpool and Liverpool Health Partners (LHP) have developed two significant new initiatives, Liverpool Clinical Trials Centre (LCTC) and LHP – Single Point of Access for Research & Knowledge (SPARK), to help increase research activity in the City Region and, ultimately, make a positive impact on the health of the area.


The Liverpool Clinical Trials Centre (LCTC) is a leading UK clinical trials unit and methodological research group that aims to Improve lives through the design and delivery of innovative and high-quality, world-class clinical trials. The Centre is based in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at the University of Liverpool.

The Centre brings together a wealth of expertise built on the experience of the Liverpool Trials Collaborative which has held full registration status with the UK Clinical Research Collaboration CTU network since its establishment in 2007.

Working with the NHS and commercial partners, patients and the public, the Centre will contribute to the identification and evaluation of new and innovative treatments and devices. Staff at the Centre have particular expertise in personalised medicine, surgical interventions, and repurposing of and establishing evidence for existing treatments used within the NHS.

In partnership with other trials methodologists, LCTC will contribute to the advancement of methods to improve the design and delivery of clinical trials.


Liverpool Health Partners has created LHP SPARK; a ‘single point of access for research and knowledge’, to draw together eight NHS organisations and four Higher Education institutions and create a single focus for efficient set up and delivery of health research in the city region.

The creation of SPARK follows an independent review which highlighted the need to execute world-leading discovery science, linked to the specific population health needs of Liverpool and Merseyside. An effective joint research service was seen as key, and for the last year LHP and its partners have been designing an effective joint research service.

LHP SPARK has a dedicated research management team that can provide facilitation and guidance during the course of a research project, with the aim of delivering a streamlined research support service and a clear single destination for industry and researchers.

SPARK is based alongside the LHP offices at Liverpool Science Park, which is at the heart of Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter.

Core mission

The launch, which was attended by more than 380 delegates, provided a platform for researchers to showcase the development of brand new and exciting ventures in clinical research for the area.

Dr Michael Mosley

Keynote speakers at the event included; Professor Louise Kenny, Executive Pro-Vice Chancellor, University of Liverpool; Dr Neil Goodwin, Chair, Liverpool Health Partners; Mr Tony Reeves, Chief Executive, Liverpool City Council; and Dr Michael Mosley, British TV journalist, producer and presenter.

Speaking at the event, Professor Louise Kenny, said: “Simply put, research saves lives and it is therefore a core mission of ours, as a civic university and us, as a health partnership, to ensure that every Liverpool citizen has the opportunity to participate in research, as a given right and not as an exception, from the minute they enter the health system in Liverpool.

“The University of Liverpool and LHP have developed these major initiatives to open up research opportunities, harmonising the services that support and underpin clinical research, so patients will have access to innovative and life-changing new treatments.

“The priorities, values and missions of the nine NHS organisations and three Universities have been aligned around a research focus for the first time ever. This means that we can provide more opportunities for people in Liverpool to participate in clinical trials in a way that we have never been able to previously. This also means that we can provide more effective and timely support for researchers submitting grant applications, thereby increasing research activity and research funding to Liverpool.”

Important initiatives

Dawn Lawson, Chief Executive of Liverpool Health Partners, said: “It is not an understatement to say that these are hugely important initiatives, which promote collaborative working with the aim of delivering high quality health research to benefit people not only here but across the world.”

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: “The city region is home to some of the world’s leading health and academic organisations, and this joint service will help to bring together all their knowledge and talent to deliver significant benefits for the health of people in the region.”

The NHS organisations which are collaborating are: Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust; Liverpool Heart and Chest Foundation Trust; Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust; Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group; Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust; The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust; The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust.

The Higher Education Institutions involved are: University of Liverpool; Liverpool John Moores University; Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine; Edge Hill University.

More information about the LCTC can be found here.

More information about LHP SPARK can be found here.