Research professionals and patients from Dorset County Hospital have been praised for the efforts at an awards ceremony.

The ceremony was hosted by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN) Wessex at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton.

It saw one of the trust’s senior research nurses, Emily Beaves, presented with the Rising Star award in recognition of her leadership, drive and successful contributions to research across a number of diverse medical specialties.

The trust also secured the award for Excellence in Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement, which went to DCH’s Patient Research Ambassador group, for going the extra mile in their first year, volunteering their time to promote the benefits of research and encouraging others to get involved.

The awards represent the achievement of research teams across the trust, who have recruited around 1,300 research participants into studies in the last year, offering local patients access to better care, services and treatments.

On receiving the award, Emily Beaves said: “It was a complete surprise to have been nominated for this award, and so to win it was an absolute honour. I could not have achieved what I have without the support of my dedicated colleagues.”

Marilyn Webb, one of the volunteer Patient Research Ambassadors said: “I am so proud to think that I played a small part in the research team’s outstanding achievement.”

Patient Research Ambassador James McMahon, said: “I am delighted to have been part of the Patient Ambassador Team supporting research at DCH; being particularly pleased to have co-hosted with Zoe Sheppard, head of research, the first Digital Discovery Workshop.”

Now in their third year, the NIHR CRN Wessex Awards are designed to offer much-deserved recognition to the Wessex research community who continue to improve care through research.

In the last year, NIHR CRN Wessex supported local organisations, including NHS trusts and GP practices, to deliver over 800 research studies across the Wessex region, involving more than 47,000 patients, staff and healthy volunteers.

Professor Robert Peveler, clinical director of NIHR CRN Wessex added: “The CRN Wessex awards ceremony was a hugely successful evening celebrating a wealth of high quality research across the region, and was a credit to all the staff and patients who take part in this activity, which improves patient care and outcomes, and brings additional income to the NHS in the region. We send our congratulations to Dorset County Hospital on receipt of these special awards.”