NIHR “Thinking differently about Dementia” call



The Department of Health, under its policy research programme, invites tenders for an evaluation on thinking differently about dementia education and training. The tenderer will carry out a research project to inform policy development in relation to dementia training, and evaluate the three tiers of training set out by Health Education England. The major part of the project will be primary research to evaluate in formative terms the HEE dementia education and training programme. Outputs should include whether and how this is having a positive impact on staff attitudes, skills and behaviours and if it is delivering better outcomes for people living with dementia.

The budget for this call is approximately £450,000 over three years. Costings can include up to 100 per cent full economic costs but should exclude output VAT.

See the web page:

or Email

or Telephone
+44 20 8843 8027

NHS England plans to boost research awareness



Plans to increase the research capacity and awareness of NHS staff have been outlined in NHS England’s draft R&D strategy, which is open for consultation.

The draft strategy, published in December, contains plans to analyse research activity and awareness across NHS England and to identify any gaps in research.

The strategy also plans to support a boost in NHS research activity across England through staff training and development, and to develop a clearer and consistent policy on excess treatment costs. Other objectives in the strategy include prioritising research topics, ensuring commissioning is based on the best available evidence, involving patients in the design of NHS research, improving the availability of research outcomes, and increasing research impact. Respondents have until 30 January to comment on the draft document. – See more at:

Do you make a difference to people with dementia?

The NHS Innovation Challenge is looking to identify best practice in health, care and support for people with dementia and their carers.  The Challenge is looking to identify partnerships across support sectors delivering positive increased patient and carer satisfaction. Winners and shortlisted applicants will receive local and national recognition, prize funds of up to £150k and good ideas spread.  Applications can be submitted until 4th September 2013 and further information is available from

Digital NHS conference

Digital NHS – Delivering 21st Century Healthcare
19th September 2013, The Barbican, London

At the Digital NHS – Delivering 21st Century Healthcare event, the impact on services of moving the NHS into a digital era will be explored. Case studies will share best practice initiatives, allowing delegates to assess how digital services may both enhance their professional roles and the patient experience

Confirmed speakers to date include;
Dr Charles Gutteridge, National Clinical Director for Informatics, Department of Health
Jon Lindberg, Associate Director, Intellect Healthcare Programme
John Cruickshank, Consultant Director, 2020 health
Rachel Neaman, Deputy Director for Digital, Department of Health
Dr Jeremy Wyatt, Leadership Chair in eHealth Research, University of Leeds

Further information is available at the conference website:  Fees are £395 plus VAT.

Academic Health Science Centres competition 2013

The Department of Health has launched a new, open, two-stage competition to designate Academic Health Science Centres (AHSCs) in England.

The role of the newly designated AHSCs will be to increase strategic alignment of NHS providers and their university partner, specifically in world-class research, health education and patient care, in order to improve health and healthcare delivery, including through increased translation of discoveries from basic science into benefits for patients. AHSCs will be able to realise their potential as drivers of economic growth through research partnerships with commercial life science organisations.

The characteristics of the AHSCs will include:

  • strategic alignment of NHS provider and university objectives;
  • the highest volume, critical mass and world-class excellence in basic medical research;
  • the ability to translate findings from basic research into excellent translational, clinical and applied research across a range of interests;
  • ability to translate scientific advances into patient benefit, in order to improve patient care and healthcare delivery;
  • excellence in patient care;
  • excellence in health education;
  • strong partnership governance;
  • strong clinical informatics platform to underpin the delivery of AHSC objectives;
  • strong track record of, and capacity for, productive research collaborations with the life sciences industry and contribution to economic growth;
  • strong patient and public involvement and engagement.

The AHSC designation will be for five years, commencing 1 April 2014.

The NIHR Central Commissioning Facility (CCF) is managing the call and designation process on behalf of the Department of Health.

The closing date for submission of the Pre-qualifying Questionnaire by NHS provider/ university partnerships in England that are interested in being considered for AHSC designation is 31 May 2013 at 1.00pm.

The guidance document is available here.

The AHSC Pre-qualifying Questionnaire Application Form will be available from Wednesday 17th April 2013.

People Powered Health could save the NHS £4.4bn a year

Involving patients, their families and communities in the management of long term conditions could lead to better health outcomes and savings to the NHS, show Nesta findings.

The NHS in England could save at least £4.4bn1 a year if it adopts innovations that involve patients, their families and communities in the proven management of long term health conditions. The findings from the two year People Powered Health programme led by Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation, involved teams from hospitals, GPs practices, community organisations and patients groups across England. 

The People Powered Health programme looked at innovations that have been developed over many years – from peer support networks to expert patient groups, doctors prescribing exercise to group consultations and timebanking. The programme asked what would happen if these became a standard part of long term condition management.

Working with front line health practitioners, community organisations, patients and their families, Nesta has generated recommendations grounded in practical experience and backed up by a robust analysis of research in the UK and internationally. 

A third of the UK population currently lives with a long term condition, like diabetes, heart disease or mental health problems, accounting for half of GP appointments and two thirds of outpatient appointments2.  Long term conditions are one of the biggest challenges facing global health systems, which were originally designed to deliver care for acute and infectious disease, not manage chronic conditions that can’t be cured by drugs or surgery.

The People Powered Health approach: 

  • Mobilises people and recognises personal strengths as well as family, friends, communities and peer networks that can work alongside health professionals.
  • Redefines the relationship between patients and health care professionals focusing on the needs and aspirations of patients, but expects more from the relationships.
  • Blurs the artificial boundaries between health, public health and social care, and between formal and informal support for patients.

In the People Powered Health: health for people, by people, with people report published today, Nesta and the Innovation Unit argue for widespread changes to the way that patients are involved in shaping their own care and the services that are commissioned to support them.  At a time of change for health services in England, the report argues that there is an unparalleled opportunity to implement this approach to managing long term health conditions at scale. 

In a second report also published today, The business case for People Powered Health, Nesta describes the specific investments required to create services with a People Powered Health approach based on a literature review of studies.

Halima Khan, director of Nesta’s Public Services Lab, explains, “The People Powered Health approach holds the key to the long term financial sustainability of the health system – the potential cost savings are very significant and could have a major impact on the quality of life for people with long term conditions.  This approach challenges the traditional roles of patients and professionals so that people are supported to take more control of their own health.  Ultimately, people do more with and for each other and with health services to stop being about institutions and focus on individuals and communities.” 

Paul Corrigan, senior associate at the Innovation Unit, comments, “People Powered Health is about creating new sources of value for the NHS. Patients are valuable assets and, with the right support, they can become develop more control over their health – this is good for them and good for the NHS”.

Over the next few weeks, Nesta will be publishing a series of guides for practitioners on how to implement the People Powered Health approach, including how GPs can use social prescribing to get patients engaged in exercise and reduce isolation, the role of peer support to help people living with long term health conditions and how commissioning of health services needs to change to ensure a wider range of services than drugs and medical procedures. These will be available at

Funding Opportunities with the Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) Programme

 *Commissioned call for proposals*

Applicants are invited to submit proposals on the following commissioning brief by 1pm on 30 May 2013.

13/07 – After Francis: Research to strengthen organisational capacity to deliver compassionate care in the NHS

The commissioning brief, application form and guidance notes for this topic are all available on the HS&DR Programme website.

Contact us
023 8059 4304

Life Sciences Summit – Free W Midlands Event



Monday 18th & Tuesday 19th March 2013 Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham

Join high profile speakers, leading clinical and academic experts and business leaders from across the UK at the inaugural Life Science Summit.

 Attend this FREE 2 day event and benefit from a unique opportunity to hear about major developments taking place in the region’s Life Science sector.

 Featuring a keynote speech from the Office of Life Science, delegates will also hear from representatives of the University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, University of Birmingham, Health Technology Co-operative, West Midlands Academic Health Science Network and the pioneering NIHR Surgical Reconstruction & Microbiology Research Centre. 

 In addition, presentations from key business leaders will provide a unique opportunity to learn, understand and discuss where the future of healthcare business lies.   Discover what’s new and meet with those who can help you innovate, improve effectiveness and build competitive advantage.

 The final summit programme will be released soon, however themes to be covered include:

  • Translating research into business
  • Digital Health
  • Academic Health Science Networks – changing the way academia, industry and the NHS engage
  • Marketing the Business of Healthcare
  • Incubation and start up for life science business
  • Evidence based innovation
  • Trauma medicines and technologies – the opportunities for industry

The event will also incorporate the launch of the Edgbaston Medical Quarter – which provides a focus on and recognition of the world-class medical and healthcare provision Edgbaston, Birmingham has to offer.

 This event is FREE to attend and will attract at least 250 delegates each day.   With over 100 bookings taken already, register today to avoid disappointment.

 For more information on exhibition and sponsorship opportunities please contact Lucy Watkins on 0121 452 5630 or email

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.

For more information go to: