From its inception, the Trust has invested in research and innovation. The Trust regards research activities not as an appendix of service delivery, but as a core part of the Trust’s work.

In spring 2018, ELFT appointed Prof Frank Röhricht to the new role of Medical Director for Research/Innovation and Medical Education created to support the research culture and the interface between medical education and research. He has implemented a 5-year plan to:

  • explore and develop the synergism between research, innovation & education for the benefit of service users
  • link effectively QI and Research
  • reinforce the notion of academic psychiatry and ‘psychosomatics’ in education & services
  • promote Collaboration, Coproduction & Inclusion (across all dimensions, groups, stakeholders)



A significant part of research at ELFT is conducted in international collaboration with a range of academic partners, mainly but not exclusively in Europe.

ELFT has developed strong links with academic partners:

  • The Unit for Social and Community Psychiatry (USCP, now part of the new Population Health Institute) was originally established with QMUL and the Strategic Health Authority to improve the reputation of mental health services in East London, attract staff, and support service evaluation and development. By any measure, the Unit has attained these goals (research success in the form of grants, clinical success developing new and innovative treatments, and international recognition as a World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaborating Centre.
  • The Centre for Psychiatry (CfP, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, QMUL) has a significant track record on cultural and environmental aspects of public mental health research as well as psychological medicine (association of chronic physical disease and mental illness); CfP is leading on schemes providing high quality teaching for under- and postgraduate medical education.
  • ELFT is furthermore benefiting from a close collaboration with City, University of London; the Centre for Mental Health Research (CMHR) is leading on research on the delivery of recovery-focused care planning, peer support and conflict resolution in inpatient settings. The CMHR has an international reputation for involving service users and carers in research and is also at the centre of the Joint Institute of Nursing (JIN), The JIN’s primary aims are to ensure evidence-based practice is at the heart of community and mental health nurse education and to enable nursing staff to maximise their potential in practice, research and teaching expertise.

With the increase in Trust provision of community health and the move towards more integrated care there is work on looking to develop partners to develop research in this field. A stronger emphasis on population health research has been initiated linked to the new Bart’s Institute of Population Health Sciences which is being formed within QMUL. The Unit for Social and Community Psychiatry is a major part of the new Institute which also features strong research in Primary Care. Professor Priebe, who leads the Unit for Social and Community Psychiatry, is also the Research Director of the new Institute which underlines the links with ELFT. 

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