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Health research partnership launches to tackle major health challenges

26 February 2014

A new collaboration of health researchers across the NHS, world-leading universities, local authorities, clinical commissioning groups, industry and charities is launching today to lead and join up innovative research that will tackle some of the major health challenges in the north Thames region. 

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) North Thames aims to ensure that the health and public health services in the region and its population of six million people benefit from the latest developments in health research, through new interventions and models of care. Its aim is to improve health outcomes and reduce health inequalities. People in the diverse local population will be at the heart of the strategy 2 and themes of the NIHR CLAHRC North Thames, helping to ensure that work focuses on changes and improvements that are deemed to be most important to patients and the public. 

The NIHR CLAHRC North Thames covers north central and north east London, south and west Hertfordshire, south Bedfordshire and south west and mid Essex. Over five years, it will receive nearly £44 million in funding or equivalent support from the NIHR, NHS trusts, higher education institutions, clinical commissioning groups, the Greater London Authority, local authorities, industry and the voluntary and community sector groups. The funding will be invested in researching innovative interventions and models of care and speeding the uptake of these to benefit patients and the public in the region. 

Research teams, including members of CORU, will collaborate across five themes: child and adolescent health, mental health, behaviour change, organisational research, and a theme focusing on novel ways of carrying out research to increase its direct usefulness for the NHS, patients and the public. Examples include the design and testing of a school based asthma intervention, improving dementia care and early recognition of dementia for ethnic minority groups, testing an on-line intervention to reduce harmful alcohol intake, and improving the identification and management of domestic violence by the NHS. 

Professor Rosalind Raine, Director of the NIHR CLAHRC North Thames, UCL, said: “The CLAHRC brings together Europe’s largest concentration of leading applied health researchers for the first time to deliver world-class research. We are eager to work together to improve services and reduce health and care inequalities.” 

Professor Jonathan Grigg, Deputy Director of the CLAHRC, Queen Mary University of London, said: “The investment will help us to develop new links both within our existing partners and between us and our local population. It will directly address the barriers to improving the health of children and adults with long-term conditions.”

The NIHR CLAHRC North Thames formally came into practice in January 2014 and is funded for five years.

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