Government invests £120 million to boost health research

January 9, 2013

Health Secretary invites researchers to help tackle the country’s biggest health challenges

Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, announced today that £120 million will be invested in health research to benefit millions of patients and tackle some of the country’s biggest health problems over the next five years.

The £120 million National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) scheme is part of the Government’s commitment to put the UK at the forefront of health research. Jeremy Hunt is calling for researchers to make a real impact on patients’ lives, whether this is through revolutionary new treatments to tackle the biggest killer diseases or better joined up care for patients with long-term conditions to make their lives easier.

The new funding builds on previous successful NIHR health research that has led to improvements in treatments for patients and now widely used in the NHS. This includes a new blood clotting drug that reduces the risk of death in patients by 30 per cent. In another example, research is leading to better follow up care for stroke survivors through a simple questionnaire to make sure their needs are being met and that support is available in the community. This new system is now being provided across 15 services across England, covering 1000 patients. 

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said

“Britain is one of the best research centres in the world and it is important that we harness the skills and creativity in this sector to really improve the lives of those who use the NHS.

“If we can have better tests, better technology and make better use of the skills of NHS staff, we will be in a better position to tackle the changing needs of our population and ensure patients get the care they deserve.”

Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Advisor at the Department of Health, said:

“This National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) supports world-class research in the NHS, and ensures patients benefit from the latest advances in healthcare treatments.

“This new funding will support the best health researchers around the country. The collaborations will conduct the very highest quality research across universities, the NHS and in other relevant organisations. They are therefore ideally placed to play a key role in ensuring that advances in treatments for a wide variety of diseases reach our patients, so that thousands of people will benefit right across the country.” 

The new £120m investment will support up to 12 National Institute for Health Research Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (NIHR CLAHRCs) around the country, tasked with ensuring the best evidence gained from research is applied directly to the NHS to make the lives of millions of patients better.

The investment, part of the Government’s plans to secure the NHS as a world leader in health research, as well as helping to ensure patients get the best treatment possible.

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