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NIHR appoint Professor Miles Witham as new national lead for ageing

Professor Miles Witham, who currently serves as professor of trials for older people at Newcastle University, has been appointed as the national speciality lead (NSL) for ageing for the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN).

Prof Witham will hold the new role until the end of March 2022, having taken over from Professor Helen Roberts from Southampton, who stepped down at the end of May following four years in the role.

In his new role as NSL for NIHR CRN Ageing, Prof Witham will look to better enable a research environment where more collaborators are trained and equipped to deliver studies for more older people, utilising data and methodological innovation to facilitate participation by as wide a range of older people as possible, in a range of settings that reflect health needs and clinical activity.

For the last year, Prof Witham has been serving as the local clinical lead for ageing for CRN North East/North Cumbria.

Prof Witham is an academic geriatricians, whose research focuses on improving physical function and quality of life for older people, using a wide range of interventions, including pharmacological agents, nutrition, exercise and strategies of care.

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As part of his new role as NSL for CRN Ageing, Professor Witham will provide national leadership to researchers and research-interested clinicians and practitioners working to promote health, prevent illness and improve treatment for older adults.

Speaking about his new role, Prof Witham said: “I'm pleased and excited to take up the role of National Specialty Lead for the CRN Ageing Specialty.

“Given the increasing number of older people that our NHS and social care services provide for, getting high-quality research evidence to underpin clinical care for older people has never been more important.

“CRN Ageing plays a key role in delivering clinical studies that the NHS, social care and older patients need, and we need to keep growing the capacity of the network to deliver the types of study that our patients need, whether this be in their own homes, hospitals, clinics, or care homes.

“I look forward to working with colleagues within CRN Ageing and more widely across NIHR to make sure that we give as many older people the opportunity to take part in research as possible.”


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