Published: 11 March 2020
The UK Government has today committed an extra £12million to the NIHR in 2020/21 for research into preventable diseases. The additional investment will allow the NIHR to improve understanding of how to reduce the burden of preventable illness and spread the distribution of health and care research expertise across the country.
Heart disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases and cancer are all linked to preventable causes and contribute to slowing improvements in life expectancy, and regional and socio-economic inequalities in health outcomes. They also cost the NHS billions of pounds a year. This new investment, which will be provided through the NIHR Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre (NETSCC), will be directed particularly towards Local Authorities, helping them grow and support their research capabilities so they can work further to solve a range of major preventable health challenges.
The aim is that this will support the Government’s work to increase healthy life expectancy by 5 years by 2035, while narrowing the gap between the experience of the richest and poorest.
Dr Louise Wood, Director of Science, Research and Evidence at the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and co-lead of the NIHR, said: “The NIHR welcomes the government’s budget announcement of £12m for prevention research over the next year. We need to do more to fund broader, multi-disciplinary prevention research which investigates the range of biological, behavioural, social and environmental causes of these diseases if we are going to tackle them effectively.
“This increased investment will enable a deeper understanding of the determinants of preventable diseases, and the most effective ways of tackling them, including at the local authority level, where many of the levers to improve population health reside.”