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Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW)

Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust was formed in 2019 when the mental health and learning disability services in North Cumbria were transferred to Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust.

In August 2016 we were rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission, one of the first mental health Trusts in the country to achieve this. In 2018 we were again awarded an Outstanding rating, one of very few trusts with this accolade.

In 2015, the Health Service Journal named us as one of the top 100 NHS Trusts to work for.

More recently, the Trust was chosen by NHS Improvement to lead the way in mental health care, picking us as its strategic partner in developing its mental health improvement programme.

CNTW is one of the top half dozen research active mental health Trusts in the UK. There is a long history of research in a range of areas, including affective (mood) disorders, dementia (especially Lewy Body disease), Huntington’s disease, autistic spectrum disorder and neurodevelopmental disorders, drug and alcohol misuse and psychosis.

Our new Research and Innovation Strategy will be launched in early 2022 and will focus on delivering our vision of being one of the best places to do research in mental health and learning disability.

For more information about CNTW visit this link.

Key investigators include:

Prof. Hamish McAllister-Williams, Professor of affective disorders & Consultant psychiatrist. As CNTW Deputy Medical Director for Research, he plays a key role in developing University-NHS collaborative links, including NHIP. He leads Newcastle’s mood disorders groupand co-leads of the NBRC Mental Health, Dementia and Neurodegeneration Theme. He leads the internationally renowned Regional Affective Disorders Service and is a member of the NIHR Mental Health TRC.

Prof. John-Paul Taylor, Professor of translational dementia research & Consultant old age psychiatrist, is ranked in the top 5 world experts in Lewy body disease (LBD; He is a leading member of International and European DLB Consortia and CI of the £2.5M NIHR/NHMRC COBALT study in LBD. His research focuses on precision medicine approach to LBD treatment, identification of predictive response biomarkers and clinical outcome surrogates to facilitate therapeutic development.

Dr. Stuart Watson, Clinical senior lecturer & Consultant psychiatrist, has expertise in pathophysiology of severe psychiatric disorders particularly mood disorders. He is CI/Co-I on several large NIHR-funded clinical studies in unipolar depression, psychosis, and bipolar depression. He is national lead for commercial mental health studies and NENC-CRN lead for investigator-initiated trials.

Dr David Cousins, Director of Newcastle Magnetic Resonance Centre, leads a research team investigating the prediction of response to lithium by directly determining its distribution in the brain in vivo. This novel, locally optimised 7Li-MRI technique ( has leveraged additional EU funding (R-Li+NK), a multinational network of expert centres.

Dr Adi Sharma, Clinical senior lecturer & Consultant in child and adolescent psychiatry, is an expert in Early Onset Mood Disorders (EOMD). He was CI for the first Surveillance study of Narrow Phenotype Bipolar I Disorder in the British Isles and the first UK paediatric bipolar disorder trial (NIHR-funded). He has also co-produced digital health technologies (CALM) to improve outcomes of EOMD. He chairs the Paediatric Psychopharmacology Trials Steering Group to facilitate industry sponsored and investigator-led psychopharmacology trials.

Dr Suresh Komati, Consultant neuropsychiatrist & Clinical senior lecturer. He is PI on multiple observational and interventional Huntington Disease (HD) trials (academic & industry) and is the Lead Consultant for the HD Service North East which is accredited by the European HD Network and Cure HD Initiative USA, providing improved visibility and recognition for sites with HD patients and interest and capability to run clinical trials.