UCB has launched of a new personalised phone service for healthcare professionals and patients that offers 24/7 advice on queries relating to UCB products.

The new initiative, called UCBCares, will give patients and doctors direct interaction with key internal UCB advisors, as the firm strives to work closer with the NHS and patients in developing treatments and delivering care.

R&D scientists at the firm's global immunology research centre in Slough will work alongside the UCBCares team by directly answering questions around treatments or therapy areas, taking customer feedback and using this to drive innovation in the development of new medicines.

"UCBCares is an important service for making sure that those taking or prescribing our treatments get the most out of them," noted Steve Turley, managing director for UCB British and Irish Isles.

"Greater patient involvement in their own care has grown but this has been coupled with increased pressure on the NHS and so there is a natural role for industry to better support patients; and UCBCares is just one way we are opening our doors so that we can achieve better outcomes for patients and design innovative new medicines for the patients of tomorrow."

The initiative has already been successfully launched in the US and Germany, the firm said.