A new clinical research facility (CRF) has been officially opened at Northwick Park Hospital.

Doing the honours was Dame Kate Bingham, who was chair of the government's vaccine taskforce in 2020.

The CRF further cements the hospital’s status as one of the UK’s leading research centres.

It is currently involved in more than 150 studies a year, testing the safety and effectiveness of new treatments on volunteers before they are approved for the marketplace.

Research manager Sunder Chita said: “Clinical research provides answers to whether particular treatments are safe and how they help work when given to patients.

“The hospital has a long history of research, and the new facility provides our diverse population with an opportunity to help find solutions and future treatments. We’re keen this is preserved for future generations of the NHS.”

Dame Kate said: “The hospital trust’s research and development department was the second largest recruiter in north-west London in 2020/21 and has secured more than 8,000 participants into research studies. This included playing a leading role in delivering Covid-19 vaccine trials and urgent public health studies during the pandemic.”

Christiana Dinah, director of research and development, said: “The CRF was built during the first wave of the pandemic, led by Dr Ayesha Akbar, and played an outstanding role in the Covid-19 vaccine trials. I’m delighted to see the important research undertaken since acknowledged at today’s official opening. This facility at Northwick Park will help secure our Trust’s place as one of the leading research centres in the UK.”

Cllr Ketan Sheth, chair of the NW London Joint Health Scrutiny Committee, said: “I was delighted to celebrate the opening of this fantastic new facility.

“The research teams at London North West University Healthcare are making a huge contribution to the care of the future, and this dedicated space will help them on their way.”

Research at the facility covers more than 15 specialties, ranging from infectious diseases and cardiology to genetics, diabetes, and neurology.