The government has today announced a new round of funding to tackle key issues facing the health and social care system, including increasing demands on services due to an ageing population.
Health Minister Nicola Blackwood said £135 million will be invested in research that could “transform the lives of millions of people” living with a range of conditions, including dementia, mental ill health and obesity.
It will be used to support fifteen partnerships across England, made up of NHS organisations, social care services, academics, practitioners and local authorities who will work together to improve health and shape how care is delivered.
The partnerships have been awarded funding through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) for new projects that will address the increasing demands on the NHS and give patients greater independence and choice about how they manage their healthcare.
Projects will focus on the prevention of poor health, staying healthy with long-term conditions, integrating health and social care for physical and mental health difficulties, inequalities across communities and using new technology and information to improve lives.
Blackwood said: “As the population grows and demand on the NHS increases, it is paramount we develop the next generation of technologies and improve the way we work to ensure the NHS continues to offer world-leading care.
“The UK has a proud history of cutting edge health research and by supporting the great minds in health and social care, this funding has the potential to unlock solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing healthcare and revolutionise the way patients access treatments in the future.”
The extra funding follows a number of successful projects funded by NIHR in the past, including an online tool to help people manage their long-term conditions from the comfort of their home, saving the NHS £175 per patient, reducing hospital stays and improving patient outcomes.
Professor Chris Whitty, chief scientific adviser to the Department of Health and Social Care, said:”The unique local collective approach at each NIHR Applied Research Collaboration will support applied health and care research that responds to, and meets, the needs of local patients, and local health and care systems. The network will also be able to tackle health priorities at a national level.”