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2gether NHS Foundation Trust has celebrated the official opening of the Fritchie Centre, its Research ²gether centre and Managing Memory base.

The existing Trust building at Charlton Lane, Cheltenham, has been refurbished to provide the Trust with a dedicated base for research, and also to respond to increased demand from those affected by dementia and other long-term mental and physical health conditions. 

The new centre is named in honour of former Trust chair, Baroness Rennie Fritchie, whio performed the official opening.

The Research ²gether Centre provides a base for the Trust’s research team, who support and deliver research opportunities for patients and carers across all our services in mental health and learning disabilities, both at the centre and in the community.

The primary focus of our current research will be into Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The Trust wants to help understand the causes of dementia and find ways of diagnosing it earlier and more accurately.

The Trust also wants to contribute towards research that helps to develop more effective treatments, as evidenced by the recently announced partnership between ²gether and Cobalt Health. The partnership will contribute to improving standards of care for dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease at a local level, while also contributing to the wider health research environment nationally and internationally.

Genevieve Riley, Head of Research and Development, Research ²gether, said: “The development of the new Fritchie Centre is an exciting time for research services in ²gether NHS Foundation Trust.

“For many years, we have had a skilled, dedicated group of clinicians who work on national research studies, as well as developing their own ideas. The Research Centre will give us a fantastic opportunity to expand our clinical trial portfolio and help us work towards our vision of being a world-class centre of practice-based research.

“We want to provide more opportunities for patients and carers to be informed about research they can participate in locally that could make a difference to their lives and the lives of others, and we will be doing this in partnership with Cobalt Health and our primary care colleagues.”

Research ²gether will be working closely with the Trust’s Managing Memory service, which provides an assessment, dementia diagnosis and treatment service, and will be based at the Fritchie Centre.

Peter FitzPatrick, Managing Memory Together Team Manager, said: “The new base for Managing Memory will give us a greater presence and also a better carer and service user experience. It will also enable us to have an enhanced and closer working relationship with the research team, which will allow us to improve our collaboration.”