The announcement is a continuation of the Trust's long-term programme to build upon research partnerships to drive innovation and will further help the organisation develop new treatments and practices more quickly, as well as supporting development of its future workforce.
Keele has a strong history of partnership working with the local NHS and care partners, delivering a wide-ranging and world-leading research, education, and collaborative portfolio, and the award-winning partnership between our Trust and Keele University has been recognised for its contribution to improving health and care services across a broad portfolio.
This includes joint work between MPFT's rheumatology clinicians and Keele University's Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences to improve the understanding and management of common musculoskeletal conditions and chronic pain.
In the field of mental health, the partnership between MPFT and Keele University has conducted research on themes such as the physical health of people with severe mental illness, dementia, and perinatal mental health (mental health conditions which occur during pregnancy or in the first year following the birth of a child).
The partnership with Keele University has secured funding to develop and sustain research interest, research engagement, and research activity for all social care and social work staff. MPFT's social care teams, commissioned by Staffordshire County Council, are leading the way in bringing together academics and practitioners to increase research activity in this field and help extend the knowledge base around supporting adults to live independently for as long as possible.
Neil Carr OBE, Chief Executive of Midlands Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We are very proud of our relationship with the university and its people, our collective achievements to date, and the commitment to strengthening the relationship further in the future.
"Research and education are the cornerstones of good clinical care and being awarded this status by the university is testament to our commitment to continuous improvement and clinical excellence."
Professor Trevor McMillan OBE, Vice-Chancellor of Keele University, said: "Our partnership with Midlands Partnership University Foundation Trust is a fantastic example of how universities and healthcare providers can work together to improve the health and the lives of people throughout the region and the country, through excellence in teaching and research. I'm therefore delighted to see the Trust receiving University status and look forward to working even more closely with them going forward."
To further develop the strategic links between the Trust and the University, Keele University's Professor Elaine Hay, who is an internationally renowned researcher in arthritis research, has been appointed to the Trust as an Associate Non-Executive Director.