£9 million funding announced for West Midlands healthcare

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has awarded new funding to the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) West Midlands.

The NIHR ARC West Midlands is one of 15 centres across England to be awarded funding of almost £9 million for five years, and will begin operating in October. The main partners are the Universities of Keele, Warwick and Birmingham, in collaboration with University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and Birmingham Women's and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, the lead NHS organisations for the region.

The NIHR ARC West Midlands aims to tackle the key issues facing our healthcare system, including the pressures of an ageing population and the increasing demands on the NHS, through collaborative working across NHS Trusts, universities, the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network and other organisations in the West Midlands.

Across England, the ARCs will help to solve some of the biggest issues facing health and social care over the next five years, helping to address the increasing demands on the NHS and give patients greater independence and choice about how they manage their healthcare.

Professor Christian Mallen, NIHR Research Professor and Deputy Director of NIHR Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) in West Midlands, said: “We are delighted to have been successful in this application which will build on the outstanding work completed from past NIHR CLAHRC funding. The ARC partnership unites leading health and social care researchers from across the West Midlands and allows us to further develop key national and international collaborations in this growing field.”

Professor Richard Lilford, ARC West Midlands Director and Professor of Public Health at Warwick Medical School, said: “Over the next five years the ARC will bring together the most dedicated researchers, public contributors and healthcare professionals from across the West Midlands.

“Working closely with the Health Service, our collaboration is committed to generating the highest quality research which makes real improvements for patients and the public at every stage in their lives and we will share our findings across the country and beyond.”

Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Scientific Adviser for the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), added: “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 and ensure the NIHR Applied Research Collaborations work together to have national-level impact.”