The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) is set to invest a further £55m to reduce pressure on the NHS and narrow health inequalities.
The funding will go towards 11 new Health Determinants Research Collaborations (HDRCs) over a five-year period – in which, local government experts will work with academics to improve the evidence base for decisions around areas which impact inequalities.
This includes research into better understanding and preventing drug-related deaths, violent crime, unemployment, and the various issues which children and young people face.
Ultimately, the goal is to tackle health inequalities, drive down deprivation, improve public health and therefore alleviate pressure on the NHS.
The 11 incoming HDRCs will officially commence operations at the turn of the new year, with another six provisionally scheduled to begin work 1 January 2025. Agreed criteria will need to be met during the development year for the final six HDRCs to receive the green light.
The new collaborations follow the footsteps of the 13 current HDRCs, taking the total up to 30 – they will be supported by a recurring annual investment of £30m.
The final six HDRCs will be led by councils in Manchester, Portsmouth, Torfaen, Leicestershire, Glasgow and Surrey, while the organisations who will benefit from funding in 2024 include:
- London Borough of Ealing
- Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
- Wakefield Council
- Southampton City Council
- Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council
- Liverpool City Council
- Somerset Council
- Cumberland Council
- Cornwall Council
- Essex County Council
- North Yorkshire Council
Director of the NIHR public health research programme, Professor Brian Ferguson, commented: “Continued HDRC innovation will boost partnerships between local government and the academic sector, enabling local authorities to make better evidence-informed decisions – critical given the current pressures on funding.”
He continued: “By focusing on the wider determinants of health such as employment, housing, education and the physical environment, the areas we are supporting have a tremendous opportunity to make a lasting impact on health inequalities and wider deprivation."
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