At the Warneford CRF site we have eight clinic rooms, two of which are adapted for sleep studies, a pharmacy, lab facilities and office space. Our flexible workforce provides expertise to support a collaboration with the Oxford Centre for Human Brain Activity (OHBA), Brain Health Centre.
The Warneford Hospital site hosts three separate units used to deliver studies: the main unit (NIHR Oxford cognitive health CRF building), the Oxford Centre for Human Brain Activity (OHBA), and Neurosciences.
The Warneford Hospital site hosts three separate units used to deliver OH-CRF studies: the main unit (OH-CRF building), the Oxford Centre for Human Brain Activity (OHBA) and Neurosciences.
NIHR Oxford cognitive health CRF
The main Warneford unit (with wheelchair access) contains:
- Eight research rooms with beds that are equipped to allow interventional procedures (skin biopsy, lumbar puncture, IV infusions) as well as close physical monitoring (electrocardiogram, blood sampling) and computer-based tasks (cognitive testing and neuropsychological assessments) with trial participants. Two rooms are equipped with Philips Healwell lighting for overnight circadian rhythm studies.
- A laboratory where there are: (a) a biological sample fridge plus back up, (b) a -20°C freezer plus back up, (c) a -80°C freezer plus back up and (d) 2 refrigerated centrifuges (a Connected Automated Monitoring System is used to continuously monitor the environment including ambient temperature, fridges, sample storage).
- Two staff offices equipped for data entry, data storage and call handling.
- On-site dispensing pharmacy.
- Additional available specialist equipment includes an EyeLink 1000 Plus Eyetracker.
The two sleep rooms are opposite each other allowing a carer to stay overnight (e.g. for studies involving adolescents), and this 4-bedded annexe with shower room can be separated from the main entrance to allow a self-contained unit for participants who require a low stimulus environment or sleep monitoring. Participants have access to a private self-contained garden, bathroom facilities including a shower, a small kitchen with fridge, kettle and microwave, and laundry facilities.
All staff are ILS trained with AED and emergency drugs box on site. The main unit has also access to a portacabin, which comprises two rooms (plus a bathroom for participants) and is equipped for the delivery of clinical research and high intensity studies (with also research couches, space for staff, IT equipment, and storage space).
OHBA is an experimental facility providing multiple methods for measuring neural activity with high temporal/spatial resolution; equipment includes Magnetoencephalography to measure the magnetic signature of brain activity with millisecond precision (TRIUX™ NEO system from MEGIN), a Siemens 3 Tesla Magnetom Prisma Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Electroencephalography. OBHA has testing rooms for cognitive tests. Additional equipment is available for non-invasive brain stimulation (such as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and Transcranial Electrical Stimulation), and for measuring different types of behavioural outputs (e.g., eye tracking and motor response strength). The facility has access to PET scanning at the Churchill Hospital nearby and to 7 Tesla MRI at the Oxford Centre for Functional MRI of the Brain at the John Radcliffe Hospital.
Neurosciences houses basic science and clinical researchers who study the mechanisms of new and existing psychopharmacological treatments in psychiatry using techniques such as pharmacological challenge, neuroimaging, neuropsychological testing and drug repurposing. They also provide expert genetic/molecular/biochemical expertise to inform and advise on studies and explore the ways in which the brain processes emotional information and how this is affected by neurotransmitters such as serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine. Three clinical testing rooms are used for OH-CRF studies.
Satellite activities in the form of staff and training opportunities are provided at the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust (OHFT) Whiteleaf centre in a clinically adaptable facility. We are working with OHFT to identify further sites where fully operational satellite CRF facilities can be put in place thereby improving research opportunities outside of Oxford city.
► Whiteleaf Centre site (Aylesbury)
The Whiteleaf Centre is shared space with the Buckinghamshire ECT Service. There is one clinic room, plus a more informal area that can be used as a breakout room or ratings area, or for interviewing a carer or study partner. The suite is wheelchair accessible. There is pharmacy storage in a locked cabinet in a temperature-controlled room, and access to OH standard resuscitation equipment, including AED. The lab is equipped with a temperature-controlled centrifuge, fridge, -20 freezer, and primary and secondary -80 freezers. All consumable and sample storage spaces, including equipment, are temperature monitored via the 24/7 Connected Automated Monitoring systems. The facilities for research are available 3 days/week.
► Community Hospitals in Abingdon, Didcot and Wallingford
Two ad hoc clinical rooms are available 7 days/week in Abingdon and two rotating clinical rooms (one in each community hospital) are available 1 day/week in Didcot and Wallingford. These rooms are mainly dedicated to recruit patients with cognitive impairment/dementia or multiple long term conditions in low intensity studies. All rooms have a sink, couch and desk. Staff have access to a consultation room, a fridge (to store lab material) and also a kitchen.
► Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (Reading)
Four rooms are located at the Clinical Research Unit of the Harry Pitt building in Reading and are equipped with research beds, workspace, fridge and IT equipment, with a dedicated bathroom for participants. Plans are underway to convert this space and accommodate also a laboratory. Extra offices are available for staff on the first floor of the Harry Pitt building.
► Avon and Wiltshire Partnership (Swindon)
At the Victoria Centre in Swindon, space is available on the ground floor (with the interview rooms, waiting area/reception, clinical rooms, kitchen, physiotherapy gym and a meeting room) and also on the first floor (clinical room where it is possible to store medication and spin bloods, two offices with desks, a meeting room and a staff rest area).
Our nursing, medical and research facilitator staff are trained to undertake early phase experimental medicine protocols. Staff are experienced in study set-up, delivery, study coordination and participant recruitment.
We can undertake specialist procedures such as lumbar punctures and IV infusions, as well as a variety of standard and specialised diagnostic and outcome rating scales for mental health and cognitive disorders.
As a specialist mental and cognitive health CRF we provide unique training opportunities for staff from a variety of professional backgrounds and disciplines.
The CRF is underpinned by state-of-the-art imaging facilities from the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging, which includes the onsite Oxford Centre for Human Brain Activity (OHBA).