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The UK has the world’s largest integrated health system, and a world-renowned research, test bed and delivery partner in the National Health Service (NHS).

A number of highly regarded healthcare providers which seek to utilise innovative research can be found in the Thames Valley. These include:


  • The Royal Berkshire Hospital
  • The National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital
  • Oxford University Hospitals
  • Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation

The Royal Berkshire Hospital, located in Reading, is a National Health Service hospital which provides acute hospital services to the residents of the western and central portions of Berkshire, and is managed by the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust. The hospital was one of the first in the UK to  use the Da Vinci robot for multi-specialist surgery on the NHS.


The clinical trials unit at the hospital is a collaboration between the University of Reading, the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust and the Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. It provides dedicated expertise to ensure clinical trials can take place at the university and NHS trusts. This includes advising on the design of trials prior to an application for research funding; providing support to ensure trials run smoothly and analysing results.


The National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Buckinghamshire, has a global reputation and is the first unit in the UK to achieve international accreditation for excellence in the treatment of adults and children with spinal cord injury. It is one of the largest specialist spinal units in the world, and the pioneering rehabilitation work carried out there by Sir Ludwig Guttmann led to the development of the Paralympic Games. The concept of very early admission to a spinal cord injuries centre was pioneered here and this, along with many methods of treatment, has been adopted by spinal cord injuries units around the world.


Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) is a world-renowned centre of clinical excellence and one of the largest NHS teaching trusts in the UK. The Trust is made up of four hospitals – the John Radcliffe Hospital (which includes the Children’s Hospital, West Wing, Eye Hospital, Heart Centre and Women’s Centre), the Churchill Hospital and the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, all located in Oxford, and the Horton General Hospital in Banbury, north Oxfordshire.


The hospitals provide a wide range of clinical services, specialist services (including cardiac, cancer, musculoskeletal and neurological rehabilitation) medical education, training and research.  Most services are provided in these hospitals, but over six percent are delivered from 44 other locations across the region, and some in patients’ homes. The OUH’s collaboration with the University of Oxford underpins the quality of the care that is provided to patients, from the delivery of high-quality research, bringing innovation from the laboratory bench to the bedside, to the delivery of high-quality education and training of doctors.


Existing collaborations include the ambitious research programmes established through the Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), located on the John Radcliffe Hospital site and at the Biomedical Research Unit in musculoskeletal disease at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre. These set the standard in translating science and research into new and better NHS clinical care.


Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation (Bracknell) is a digital pioneer, having been named by NHS England as a ‘Global Digital Exemplar’– one of only seven mental health trusts in the country to gain this status. This will allow them to transform patient care through new technologies.  The Foundation runs a number of specialist clinics and services aimed at young people, adults and older people to support and treat mental and physical health.  It works in partnership with Berkshire’s two acute hospital trusts, Royal Berkshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, as well as with Berkshire’s six local authorities and a diverse range of community and charitable organisations.


The Rutherford Cancer Centre Thames Valley, providing some of the UK’s first proton beam treatments for cancer, has recently opened at Thames Valley Science Park, Reading. The centre will offer high energy proton beam therapy (a specialised type of cancer treatment that, until recently, has not been available in the UK) as part of a comprehensive range of cancer treatments, including chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy and imaging services.