£25m funding boost for research into long term health conditions

EPSRC and NIHR are investing £25m to fund ambitious new research to improve the lives of people with multiple long-term conditions.

Evidence shows that older people are more likely to live with multiple long-term conditions (MLTC) than younger populations.

However, the burden of MLTC at all ages is significant, and younger people will be living with MLTC or complex care needs requiring treatment, care, and support for longer.

Improving treatments

This new research brings together different communities, health researchers, and engineers to advance and develop research in MLTC, for the benefit of people with MLTC and their carers.

The commissioning for this large-scale programme is part of a phased approach. Now in the first phase, nine groups have been awarded a total of £1.75 million, allowing them to undertake development work to establish specialist innovation hubs.

A whole systems approach

Professor Lucy Chappell, Chief Executive of the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), said:

More people than ever are living with more than one long-term condition. We now need to look at how we best arrange our health and care services to meet their needs, and those of their carers, moving towards a person-centred approach.

Supporting research into multiple long-term conditions continues to be a key priority for NIHR. I am particularly delighted that NIHR is partnering with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council for these proposed Innovation Hubs, so that we can bring the best of two research communities together to tackle this important challenge.

Investing in innovative ideas

Dr Kedar Pandya, Director for Cross Council Programmes at the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), said:

It’s estimated that more than 14 million people live with multiple long-term medical conditions in the UK.

This research programme will bring together healthcare and engineering experts to deliver innovative ideas that will reshape health and care services for patients. By undertaking a whole-systems study of services, this programme aims to address the needs of patients with MLTCs, improving care and treatments.

Providing better treatment

Minister of State for Health, Will Quince, said:

A health system that understands and supports people with multiple long-term conditions is one that uses cutting-edge research to inform care of the highest quality.

This funding boost will help us learn more about how multiple long-term conditions manifest, and provide essential insight for our upcoming Major Conditions Strategy, which aims to provide better treatment for millions of people.

Top image:  Credit: FatCamera, E+ via Getty Images

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