Health Minister Nicola Blackwood has announced multi-million-pound funding for research that could transform the lives of millions of people living with a range of conditions, including dementia, mental ill-health and obesity.
Fifteen partnerships or Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs) – including one for the Yorkshire and Humber region – have been set up across England, made up of NHS organisations, social care services, leading academics, innovators, and local authorities who will work together to address a specific health or care issue in their region.
A £9 million fund will enable the Yorkshire and Humber ARC, hosted by the Bradford Institute for Health Research (BIHR), part of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and its partner organisations – including the University of Sheffield – to prioritise research into a number of health issues including older people with frailty, healthy childhood, urgent care and mental ill-health.
The funding has been awarded through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) for ground-breaking new projects that will address the increasing demands on the NHS and give patients greater independence and choice about how they manage their healthcare.
As one of the partner organisations for the Yorkshire and Humber ARC, the University of Sheffield will lead on research projects in urgent and emergency care providing locally and nationally deliverable solutions to demand for ambulance, emergency department and hospital services.
The University will also co-lead on research projects with the University of York addressing mental and physical multimorbidity which will include developing learning health systems to provide rapid research led intelligence relating to local service use and needs, and in health economics, evaluation and equality, to improve health outcomes for patients and members of the public and ensuring sustainability for the NHS.
Deputy Director of the Yorkshire and Humber ARC is Professor of Emergency Medicine, Suzanne Mason, from the University of Sheffield’s School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR). She said:
“The award of this NIHR funding for the Yorkshire and Humber ARC will encourage strong research collaborations across Yorkshire and the Humber. Working together with the Universities of Bradford, Leeds and York, the NHS, social care, third sector and industry across the region, the funding will allow us to apply health research projects to transform health services, improve people’s health and wellbeing and reduce health inequalities through strategically important research themes.
“ScHARR at the University of Sheffield is playing a lead role in three of the ARC’s research themes, and will lead nationally on research projects in urgent and emergency care; a reflection of the excellent reputation Sheffield has for the impact of its high-quality health research.”
Director of Yorkshire and Humber ARC, Professor John Wright, of BIHR said: “We are delighted that the Yorkshire and Humber region has been awarded this important programme of applied research. Medical research can often seem remote from everyday life.
“Our ARC will support people-powered research that aims to improve the health and well-being for our communities. Our themes of healthy childhood, mental health, older people and urgent care are the priorities that have been identified by our NHS partners and the public and will ensure our patients benefit from cutting-edge innovation.”
Health Minister Nicola 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.”