Internet Explorer is no longer supported by Microsoft. To browse the NIHR site please use a modern, secure browser like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge.

Themed Call: Complex health and care needs in older people (2017)


12 February 2020





In 2017, the NIHR issued a call for research into the evaluation of healthcare interventions, health services, social care or public health measures for older people with complex health and care needs. For this highlight notice, complex needs were defined as the presence of more than one health or social care need (impacting on health) as well as a depth of need in terms of the severity of the conditions or intensity of the needs.

In 2014, multimorbidity in older people was identified as a priority issue for NIHR research. A stakeholder workshop was organised in collaboration with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and NIHR launched this as a Themed Call in January 2015.

Building on the NIHR research programmes and the Themed Call a second workshop was held in November 2016 with the research community. This considered the challenges and context for research, broadening the issue of multimorbidity to “Older People with Complex Health Needs”.

This workshop also identified important research themes to guide future NIHR research calls, outlined below while noting that the use of the term ‘older’ does not imply people over any specific age.

The NIHR welcomes all relevant applications, and particularly those addressing the key themes identified at the stakeholder workshop.

Research Themes

Theme 1: Frailty

Theme 2: Transitions in care, service delivery and models of care

Theme 3: Medicines management/polypharmacy

Theme 4: Promoting healthy ageing/preventing ill health

Theme 5: Patient-centred decision making

Participating programmes

The following NIHR-managed research programmes participated:

Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME)
Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR)
Health Technology Assessment (HTA)
Invention for Innovation (i4i)
Programme Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR)
Public Health Research (PHR)
Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB)
Research Fellowships

Funded research

For more information on research funded in this area, please visit NIHR Open Data.