Current visiting times

We know how important it is for patients and families to be able to see visitors. Please help us keep our patients and staff as safe as possible by checking the guidance below before you visiting. 

Read more on visiting times...

Messages for loved ones and keeping in touch

We recognise the impact that a long stay in hospital can have on families and the importance of maintaining strong communication.  Our ward staff are keeping in touch with patients’ next of kin directly and our Voluntary Services team can help pass on personal messages from family and friends.

Read more information about messages for loved ones…

Current visiting times

After suspending visiting earlier in the year, we are now able to offer limited visiting to some wards at the discretion of the nurse in-charge.”

Read more on visiting times...

Messages for loved ones and keeping in touch

We recognise the impact that a long stay in hospital can have on families and the importance of maintaining strong communication.  Our ward staff are keeping in touch with patients’ next of kin directly and our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) can help pass on personal messages from family and friends.

Read more information about messages for loved ones…

During your stay in hospital you will meet a number of different members of staff.  All members of staff wear name badges, but if you are not sure who someone is or what they do, please feel free to ask them to introduce themselves and explain what they do. 

If you have any questions about your treatment, please ask a doctor or a nurse.

There are lots of opportunities for you to get involved with the Trust, from volunteering to attending our public meetings, our Annual General Meeting or our hospital open day which is held every year.


PHU celebrates International clinical trials day 2021

Date: 20 May 2021

International clinical trials day 2021

Over the past year the COVID-19 pandemic has bought into focus the importance for clinical research and trials to find the best treatments and therapies to treat the virus. Recognised as the top recruiting Trust from 42 other large acute trusts with over 170 open studies, Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust (PHU) were the eighth highest recruiting site for the REMAP CAP study nationally, using a novel trial design to evaluate a range of simultaneous treatment options for patients admitted to intensive care with acute Covid-19.

To help recognise the importance of clinical research, International Clinical Trials Day celebrates the anniversary of the first trial led by James Lind in 1747 into the causes of scurvy on board the Royal Navy’s HMS Salisbury. Although the trial only lasted six days there was a noticeable improvement in the group eating the fruit during that period and provided Lind with the evidence and link between citrus fruits and scurvy.

International Clinical Trials Day continues to raise the importance of clinical trial awareness and honours clinical research professionals across the globe.



Anoop Chauhan, executive director of research at PHU, said: “Clinical research in healthcare is vital in order to gain a greater understanding of diseases and viruses and how they behave. With this knowledge we can identify new and more effective methods of detection, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention — all of which benefit patients and help save many more lives.

The research and innovation team here at PHU have made an incredible contribution to a range of COVID-19 studies at a national level over the course of this past year, and I am delighted we are now leading on some really exciting, innovative and vital research using state of the art technology to identify and treat early signs of sepsis.

We continue to be incredibly grateful for the support and enthusiasm from our patients who volunteer and get involved in research to help identify the best treatments in the fight against Covid-19 and many other diseases to benefit others.”


It isn’t just patients who can get involved in research, colleagues at PHU are also encouraged to take part. Currently 317 PHU staff members are recruited to the SIREN study looking at whether prior infection with COVID-19 protects individuals against future re-infection. Zoe Daly, research nurse at PHU, explained a bit more about why she got involved.


Zoe Daly, research nurse

“I chose to take part in the SIREN study initially as I was interested in the benefit it would have personally, but also understood how important it would be to collect data to help answer a range of questions such as the infection rates amongst staff and whether people could be re-infected and if so, how often?

“The personal benefit from being involved in this study is the fortnightly reassurance that I am not an asymptomatic carrier. Before the availability of the lateral flow tests, I was really worried about working in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and potentially taking COVID-19 home to my family.”

With 10 per cent of the research nurse workforce trained as ICU nurses, Zoe was redeployed to help support colleagues in ICU, looking after some of our sickest patients, while also continuing to carry out her research work where possible.

“We had a lot of new information to assimilate quickly in order to open research studies in record time and meet the demands of the pandemic. A lot of our usual working practises had to be changed. For example, because we were unable to allow visitors, we were having to build relationships with families and gain their consent over the phone.

“When we called families for consent conversations, they were understandably extremely anxious, so we were able to offer them reassurance and a compassionate ear at the end of the phone.

“Due to the extensive research taking place, it was a real privilege to be able to offer new treatments to patients which could potentially be life-saving. We received regular updates from the trial centres about all the effective treatments and fed this back to the clinical team, changing our practises to provide patients with the best possible outcomes to recover from COVID-19.”



Erin James, degree research apprentice

“I joined the Trust research and innovation department back in 2018 as a research business support degree apprentice. I’m now in my third and final year of my degree and I have gained so much workplace research experience, which has been amazing.

On a day-to-day basis, I am responsible for providing administrative support for recruiting to clinical trials, processing research studies and contributing to research projects across the department.

More recently, I have been involved in the Portsmouth Research Vaccine hub. This has been a really exciting and fast-paced area of research to be involved with, as it has focused on delivering COVID-19 vaccination research trials to the general public. I have also been leading a project which focuses on the PHU’s research and innovation department becoming a registered Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) which is an internationally recognised registry, and if successful, could significantly boost PHU’s research status and funding opportunities. 

“I really enjoy working in research and I’ve found it to be a fascinating and stimulating department to work within. Clinical trials are so key to the continuing improvement of treatments and patient care, not only for the UK but potentially around the world. On completion of my degree, I hope to stay working within research and innovation, as it’s a really valuable and rewarding department and environment to work in.”


Laura Marshall, research trials manager

I have worked in the research department at Queen Alexandra Hospital for eight years. I initially started as a clinical trials assistant before progressing to my current role as a research trials manager. I manage a variety of locally (PHU) developed research studies and support the chief investigators and their research teams from the development stage right through to closing the study and sharing the results.

I help support the protocol development, ethics application and submission, setting up the study both locally and at multiple NHS sites across the UK and internationally. I am often the main point of contact for all sites and oversee the day-to-day management of a wide variety of studies across different departments such as observational and interventional, randomised controlled trials and large data registry’s for specific conditions. It has been particularly interesting to see how new technologies are being developed to support research here at QA.

“Research is essential in healthcare for developing new treatment methods, medications and changing clinical practice to enhance patient’s treatment and care. Being a trial manager and working within the research department is very rewarding as it plays a key role in this and I have a passion for making a difference”


Toni Baker, Research Facilitator

With a background in science and with previous experience working in the microbiology labs for a pharmaceutical company, I was looking for a change when I seized the opportunity to join the research and innovation team at PHU as research governance officer. Portsmouth has an excellent reputation in research that was growing fast, and the team is incredibly friendly and welcoming.

I had a lot of transferable skills and the role has allowed me to explore a different field of science. More recently I became a research facilitator which has enabled me to learn more about setting up research studies here at PHU.

One of the highlights of my job is working with a wide range of teams and departments across the Trust. Each team has their own style which makes supporting them fun and interesting. My role is really varied and often challenging as problem solving is required daily.

“Working in the research department is a great way to get involved with a wide variety of clinical teams across the trust. If you are looking for a non-clinical role in healthcare that will challenge you every day then consider working in research and development.”


Patient story

Samantha Emmonds

Samantha Emmonds returned home after being cared for at QA for one month having been seriously ill with COVID-19. With continued support from physiotherapy for her ongoing breathing difficulties, Samantha wanted to say thank you for the amazing care she received at PHU and volunteered to take part in the Genomic study post discharge.

Samantha shared: “I was contacted by the research team soon after returning home and it was great to learn I could still participate in the study. They sent a kit to my home and then one of the research team visited and helped me with the process of donating my saliva for genetic sequencing.

“I would be more than happy to get involved with research again, as I wouldn’t want anyone to suffer from COVID-19 and go through what I did. I have now been vaccinated which I cannot recommend more highly, it was so easy and straightforward – it’s better to be vaccinated than end up in hospital seriously ill.” 


Patient research ambassador (PRA)


Vicky Sharples- young PRAs

“I have been interested in studying medicine since she was young and recently I was invited to join the young patient research ambassadors (PRAs) group, where we look at the many different facets of research and help overcome the obstacles that often prevent patients getting involved, for example access to travel and transport.

“It was great to take part in research myself and in May/June of last year I was invited to participate in the Welcome Trust’s national ‘Covid Living project’ which collected and recorded young people’s experiences during the crisis.

“The study was really fascinating and used smartphone technology to create diaries, record photos to describe our day, writing a journal and discussing our experiences with the researchers via WhatsApp, where they were really careful to build in the right safeguarding processes.

“As a result of the being involved in the study, I got involved and became a volunteer with the hospital bag drop team at QA. It was a real privilege to help provide such an important service which was found to be valuable and often very emotional, as we became the link between patients and their families. I am now volunteering in the emergency department helping to triage new admissions.”

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