£18m boost to tackle major health challenges in South London
Health researchers in south London have been given £18 million to help tackle some of the area’s most pressing health problems.
The Department of Health has awarded £9 million to fund the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) South London. The CLAHRC will also receive £9 million of matched funding from the local partners taking the total to £18 million over five years.
The collaboration pools the clinical and research expertise of both the NHS and universities in south London as it brings together King’s Health Partners (a partnership between King’s College London and Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts), with St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and St George’s, University of London – as joint leaders of the CLAHRC.
The money will help make sure that patients benefit from innovative new treatments and techniques that could revolutionise future health care. Researchers will work together to investigate new methods to prevent and treat chronic diseases such as stroke, and tackle public health issues including reducing alcohol-related harm. In south London up to 30 per cent of acute medical admissions and 50 per cent of mental health admissions are alcohol related.
Funding will also establish education programmes, and a new Centre for Implementation Science will be set up as a central resource to support research and test innovations in these nine areas: alcohol; diabetes; infection; palliative and end of life care; psychosis; public health; stroke; women’s health; and patient and public involvement.
The organisations involved in the CLAHRC already have a track record of using new research to fundamentally change policy, influencing clinical practice and training. As the following examples show.
To help local patients control their type 1 diabetes, King’s College London and King’s College Hospital together run an educational programme, ‘Dose Adjustment for Normal Eating’ (DAFNE). The five day course teaches patients to match their insulin dose to their food intake and equips patients with the skills they need so that they can effectively manage their diabetes.
- Research from King’s College London and Guy’s and St Thomas’ has: identified the acute and long term impact of stroke in Europe and inner city south London; highlighted inequalities in health and healthcare delivery; and developed cost effective complex interventions to address these impacts.
- Research at St George’s into hospital acquired infections has led to improved protocols for C. difficile testing, leading to changes in NHS policy and clinical practice across England.
- Researchers within the new CLAHRC will also work closely with industry, including pharmaceutical companies, software companies and medical device manufacturers as they look for ground breaking ways to improve patient care. For example, St George’s is already working with industry partners to develop new ways of testing for sexually transmitted diseases and diagnosing infection at the point of care.
Professor Graham Thornicroft, Director of the NIHR CLAHRC South London and Professor of Community Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London said:
“I am delighted that we can announce the success of our bid for south London. The key role of the CLAHRC is to provide support, through proper research, for implementation of new ideas and innovations in the NHS. The nine focus areas have been chosen to target the health needs of people in south London and we hope to see real results.
“We are working in partnership with our local Academic Health Sciences Network (AHSN) in south London – with its membership across different sectors, its involvement is crucial in helping to deliver and spread innovation and good practice, directly informed by the research findings of the CLAHRC.”
Lord Howe, Health Minister said:
“This is great news for patients – this funding could potentially help the development of ground breaking treatments which could revolutionise care. With a growing elderly population, the need for innovative and effective solutions has never been more important.
“We want the UK to lead the world in terms of health research and this announcement underlines that commitment.
“It is vital that we invest in health research, not only to create the opportunities for health research to grow – but also to help our economy thrive so we can compete in the global race.”
Researchers from right across the country were invited to bid for £124 million funding, which has been provided by the Department of Health, to address long term conditions and public health challenges. A total of 13 CLAHRCs has been announced.
Notes to editors
About King’s Health Partners and St George’s
King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) is a pioneering collaboration between King’s College London, and Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts.
King’s Health Partners is one of only five AHSCs in the UK and brings together an unrivalled range and depth of clinical and research expertise, spanning both physical and mental health. Our combined strengths will drive improvements in care for patients, allowing them to benefit from breakthroughs in medical science and receive leading edge treatment at the earliest possible opportunity. For more information, visit www.kingshealthpartners.org
In July 2013 King’s Health Partners formed a strategic alliance with St George’s (St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and St George’s, University of London, both based in Tooting, south London) that aims to share best practice in research, and the education and training of students and health professionals to make a significant and lasting impact on health and healthcare in south London.
About the NIHR
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is funded by the Department of Health to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. Since its establishment in April 2006, the NIHR has transformed research in the NHS. It has increased the volume of health research for the benefit of patients and the public, driven faster translation of basic science discoveries into tangible benefits for patients and the economy, and developed and supported the people who conduct and contribute to health research. The NIHR plays a key role in the Government’s strategy for economic growth, attracting investment by the life-sciences industries through its world-class infrastructure for health research. Together, the NIHR people, programmes, centres of excellence and systems represent the most integrated health research system in the world. For further information, visit the NIHR website www.nihr.ac.uk
About St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest healthcare providers in the UK. Its main site, St George’s Hospital in Tooting – one of the country’s principal teaching hospitals – is shared with St George’s, University of London, which trains medical students and carries out advanced medical research. As well as acute hospital services, the trust provides a wide variety of specialist and community hospital based care and a full range of community services to children, adults, older people and people with learning disabilities. These services are provided from Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton, 11 health centres and clinics, schools and nurseries, patients’ homes and Wandsworth Prison.
St George’s Hospital, Tooting, is one of four major trauma centres and one of eight hyper acute stroke units for London.
The trust is an accredited centre of excellence for trauma, neurology, cardiology, cancer and blood pressure services, and the national centre for family HIV care and bone marrow transplantation for non-cancer diseases.
For more information, visit www.xstgeorges.nhs.uk