A COUNTY healthcare provider has been ranked the top trust in England for delivering research activity to improve its services.

According to the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network, other trusts should follow the lead of Lancashire Care, which specialises in mental health services.

The trust has recently given patients the opportunity to participate in research relating to a wide range of health and wellbeing services, including dentistry and tissue viability.

And it is planning to focus on conducting research throughout its diabetes, stroke, sexual health and respiratory services in the near future.

Professor Max Marshall, medical director at Lancashire Care, said: “This has come at a time when research is high on the Government agenda and at the forefront of service users’ minds when considering treatment.

“It is a great privilege to be recognised for the hard work that staff in the trust have put into research, whether that be leading the research or supporting and encouraging studies across the trust.”

According to the National Institute, research gives rise to better and more cost-effective treatments, and creates opportunities for staff development.

Growing evidence also suggests that NHS organisations that are research-active appear to do better in overall performance.