UCL News


NIHR Success

4 November 2010

Three investigators from UCL's Division of Population Health have been awarded prestigious NIHR Applied Programme Grants in the latest funding round.

These competitive awards are allocated to NHS and University partnerships with programmes of research up to 5 years, and resources of up to £2M. Funding is awarded for applied health service research that is intended to show direct benefit to NHS patients.

Diabetes is one of the commonest long-term conditions in the UK causing substantial morbidity and premature mortality, and costs the NHS £9 billion per annum. Dr Elizabeth Murray (Research Department of Primary Care & Population Health) leads a team of UCL colleagues, researchers from Cambridge, York and Southampton Universities, and the Whittington NHS Trust, for the development, evaluation and implementation of a computer-based self-management programme for people with type 2 diabetes. The team will develop a theoretically informed self management programme that is linked with the electronic patient record. They will then determine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the new intervention and how to implement it in real NHS settings.

People with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia often have poor cardiovascular health. The PRIMROSE study (Prediction & management of cardiovascular risk for people with severe mental illnesses: research programme & trial in primary care) will develop better statistical methods to identify people most at risk of premature heart disease. Dr David Osborn (Research Department of Mental Health Sciences) and UCL colleagues, along with collaborators from RETHINK (the severe mental illness charity), Camden & Islington Foundation NHS Trust, Imperial College, Southampton University and the Institute of Psychiatry, will then evaluate methods to manage cardiovascular risk in NHS primary care settings.

Professor Rosalind Raine (Research Department of Epidemiology & Public Health) leads a UCL team with colleagues from Imperial, Barts and the London and the regional NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Hubs, who were awarded an NIHR programme grant for the ASCEND Project. Their programme will identify and evaluate strategies to reduce the social gradient in the delivery of bowel cancer screening within the NHS. Implementation of the most cost effective strategies will lead to improvements in bowel cancer survival overall. Professor Raine and UCL colleagues have also received £700K in the first round of the NIHR Health Services Research Programme to examine determinants of effectiveness of multidisciplinary team meetings for patients with chronic diseases.

Professor Graham Hart, Director of the Division of Population Health, said "In just one NIHR Programme Grant round UCL's Division of Population Health - along with partner NHS organizations and colleagues from Universities locally and nationally - has succeeded in attracting nearly £6M worth of funding to take forward much needed improvements in health services for chronic disease. Significant population health gain can be achieved from these innovative projects. I'd like to congratulate colleagues on their success and contribution to our ever-growing body of work in applied health services research".