£9 million NIHR ARC West Midlands begins research into demands on region's health services

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A research centre that brings together leading expertise from the West Midlands including the University of Birmingham to address some of the most demanding pressures on health services in the region launches today.

The NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) West Midlands, has begun a five-year programme of research and is hosted by University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB), with academic partners the Universities of Birmingham, Warwick, and Keele. Experts from Birmingham Women's and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust will also play a key role in ARC.

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.

It is one of 15 centres across England awarded funding of almost £9 million for five years by the National Institute for Health Research earlier this year. It builds on the foundations of the NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) West Midlands.

Professor Richard Lilford, ARC West Midlands Director, 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.”

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.

The NIHR ARC West Midlands will have four main priorities: long term health conditions, acute care interfaces, integrated care in youth mental health, and maternity care. In addition, it will have two cross-cutting themes: organisational science and research methodology, informatics and rapid response. These needs have been identified following discussions with local communities and health and social care organisations.

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For more information please contact Emma McKinney, Communications Manager (Health Sciences), University of Birmingham, tel: +44 (0) 121 414 6681, or contact the press office on +44 (0) 7789 921 165.

  • The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions. Its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers, teachers and more than 6,500 international students from over 150 countries.
  • The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is the nation's largest funder of health and care research. The NIHR:
  • Funds, supports and delivers high quality research that benefits the NHS, public health and social care
  • Engages and involves patients, carers and the public in order to improve the reach, quality and impact of research
  • Attracts, trains and supports the best researchers to tackle the complex health and care challenges of the future
  • Invests in world-class infrastructure and a skilled delivery workforce to translate discoveries into improved treatments and services
  • Partners with other public funders, charities and industry to maximise the value of research to patients and the economy
  • The NIHR was established in 2006 to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research, and is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care. In addition to its national role, the NIHR supports applied health research for the direct and primary benefit of people in low- and middle-income countries, using UK aid from the UK government.