09 August 2013
Local health research to benefit from national investment to tackle major health challenges
Health researchers in the West Country have been given a share
of £124 million from the Government to enable them to tackle the
area's most pressing health problems.
This investment, from the National Institute for Health Research
(NIHR), will help ensure patients benefit from new treatments and
techniques which could revolutionise future healthcare. It is hoped
the financial boost will stimulate the research economy and attract
more research funding in the future.
The money has been awarded over five years to 13 pioneering
research teams across the country. Each team, now known as NIHR
Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care
(CLAHRCs), is working on a number of innovative projects designed
to address long term conditions and public health challenges.
The team in the West of England, known as CLAHRC West, which has
been awarded £9 million, is hosted by University Hospitals Bristol
NHS Foundation Trust and brings together our universities, local
authorities, NHS Hospital Trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups
to focus on improving health and healthcare for local people.
Director of CLAHRC West, Jenny Donovan, Professor of Social
Medicine at the University of Bristol, said: "This is a fantastic
boost to health research and healthcare in this area and an
acknowledgement of the collaborative work that we are doing.
"Together we aim to ensure that the health of people in our area
is as good as the best anywhere, and that the care they need is
provided fairly and at the right time and place. We will do this by
conducting the highest quality and most relevant health-related
research in health integration teams made up of public health and
NHS specialists working with applied health scientists,
commissioners and patients."
Health integration teams (HITs) have been established in the
West to tackle important issues in public health, such as reducing
childhood injuries and infections, and creating healthier
environments, and to improve care for chronic health
conditions, such as dementia, painful joints and eyesight
Health Minister, Lord Howe, who announced the significant
investment from the NIHR, said: "This is great news for patients -
this funding could potentially help the development of ground
breaking treatments which could revolutionise care. With a growing
elderly population, the need for innovative and effective solutions
has never been more important.
"We want the UK to lead the world in terms of health research
and this announcement underlines that commitment. It is vital that
we invest in health research, not only to create the opportunities
for health research to grow - but also to help our economy thrive
so we can compete in the global race."
Professor Dame Sally C. Davies, Chief Medical Officer and Chief
Scientific Advisor at the Department of Health, said: "I'm
delighted we have today announced the successful schemes and I'm
very much looking forward to hearing updates on how patients will
benefit from this research.
"The teams are following a strong tradition of success as the
National Institute for Health Research has a proven record track
record of world-class health research in the NHS. Supporting our
leading researchers is so important and these NIHR CLAHRCs will
link the NHS, universities, and other relevant organisations
providing care for patients in what will be ground-breaking work to
improve the lives of thousands of patients across the country."
Organisations collaborating on CLAHRC West are:
Higher Education Institutions:
University of Bath
University of Bristol
University of the West of England
Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucester Clinical Commissioning
North Bristol NHS Trust
Public Health England (Avon Gloucester and Wiltshire)
University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust
Local Authorities (for public health):
Bath & North East Somerset Council
Bristol City Council (BCC)
Gloucester City Council
North Somerset Council
South Gloucestershire Council
Bristol Health Partners (Bristol HP)
West of England Academic Health Science Network (WEAHSN)
Find out more about research at
BACK TO NEWS