Published on:

29th July 2022

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust joins the University Hospital Association

University Hospital Association (UHA) welcomes Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust as its newest member.

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust provides a wide range of mental health, physical health and learning disability services for people across Hampshire and is one of the largest community providers of such services in England.

Improving health and wellbeing through innovation and research is a key strategic priority for the Trust. Becoming a university hospital demonstrates the Trust’s commitment to invest and grow through research and education, evidenced by its expanding portfolio of physical and mental health studies.  The Trust continues to play an important role in understanding the psychological impact of COVID-19. Its work in this area was internationally recognised and included within the WHO’s Covid-19 research repository.

Through its growing academic partnerships with the University of Southampton and other partner organisations, Southern Health provides training to the next generation of healthcare professionals. Its undergraduate medical placements have been positively reviewed by students and governing bodies, performing highly on measures of learning and interest. Being a University Hospital Trust will strengthen these partnerships and further collaborations, research, education and healthcare innovations.

On joining the University Hospital Association, Dr Steve Tomkins, Chief Medical Officer of Southern Health, said:

“I am immensely proud that the Trust has achieved University Hospital status. To do so means we have demonstrated high quality, holistic and evidence-based care for our patients, significant investment in research and a clear focus on the educational development and training of our current and future workforce.

“As a Trust we have developed and strengthened our relationship with academic institutions over a number of years. Not only through our work with students, who rotate through our services, but also through vital research in key areas such as COVID-19 and dementia through our longstanding partnership with Southampton University.Gaining University Hospital status also gives us the opportunity to contribute to, and acquire, innovative learning from key organisations across the country, which can only benefit our staff and their patients.

“Research and education are the foundations of good clinical care – helping us to find new treatments, adapt to change, or modify our approach to ensure the best outcomes for patients. Achieving University Hospital Status is a clear indication of how importantly we hold these values and our commitment to improvement and excellence.”

Dr Katie Petty-Saphon, Chief Executive of the University Hospital Association said:

“I am delighted to welcome Southern Health as the newest member of UHA and congratulate the staff who have helped the Trust achieve University Hospital status. University Hospitals perform an essential function in our health service, and at a time when the NHS is entering a period of major change after an unprecedented crisis, it is more important than ever that their services are recognised and supported. Post-pandemic, policy makers are looking at ways to future-proof our health service; an essential part of this will be ensuring that research and education are prioritised so that current and future patients are able to benefit from advancements in treatments, ever-improving high quality care and a workforce committed to continuing education. University Hospitals are playing an active role in delivering these goals.

“I look forward to Southern Health joining our growing membership as we continue to advocate on behalf of university hospitals in the NHS and promote the importance of fostering education and research in healthcare.”


Notes to editors:

1. The University Hospital Association is the key leadership body across the UK, promoting UK university hospital trusts in their tripartite mission of service, teaching and research. For further information about the work of UHA, see

2. For more information about this press release, contact Fahmida Yasmin, Senior Communications Officer, at or on 020 7419 5430.