By Charlotte Webster-
The British government has announced a huge funding of £135m investment in health research to help tackle the biggest challenges in health and social care over the next 5 years, including dementia, obesity and mental health.
All three challenges have for years posed serious challenges to the National Health Service, with obesity and mental health ranking high as one of the most troubling.Dementia is widespread amongst the elderly in England, with an estimated 850,000 suffering from the illness in the Uk. The disease is said to mainly affect older people, and after the age of 65.
The high injection of cash is expected to lead to notable changes in the health sector. The NHS is partnering with universities, innovators and local authorities in an attempt to address some of the biggest issues facing health and social care over the next 5 years. The funding is being awarded through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to 15 partnerships. The partnerships each have ground-breaking new projects aiming to address the increasing demands on the NHS and give patients greater independence and choice about how they manage their healthcare.
The move is expected to vastly improve the lives of millions of people living with a range of conditions, including dementia, mental ill health and obesity. The extra funding follows a number of successful projects funded by NIHR in the past, including research which led to the Long Term Plan commitment of every woman receiving care from the same midwife during pregnancy, birth and postnatally by 2021.
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.
Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Scientific Adviser to the Department of Health and Social Care, said:
”The unique local collective approach at each NIHR applied research collaboration will support applied health and care research that responds to, and meets, the needs of local patients, and local health and care systems.
The network will also be able to tackle health priorities at a national level.
The 15 new NIHR applied research collaborations will ensure that we grow applied health and care research in every region in England.
The additional funding announced today means we will ensure that our world-leading research is turned into real benefits for patients to ensure the applied research collaborations work together to have national-level impact”.