Today the Government issued a call for surgical research projects.
The Health and Social Care Bill emphasised the Government’s intention to strengthen the role research plays in the health service. The NHS will be required to promote research, and make the best use of evidence obtained from research so patients see direct benefits.
All areas of scientific activity relevant to surgery will be considered by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). Applications supporting multi-disciplinary collaborations will be particularly encouraged.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: “This call will lead to work which will further our knowledge and understanding of surgery by pushing the boundaries of what is possible.
“We know there are innovators across a wide range of disciplines who will want to apply for this call for proposals, and it will lead to improved outcomes for patients.”
Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer and chief Scientific Adviser at the Department of Health said: “This funding opportunity demonstrates our ongoing commitment for high quality research in surgery to improve outcomes for patients.
“We need research based evidence to help us expand knowledge, improve practice and develop new breakthroughs. I hope surgeons and researchers across the country will come together from a range of disciplines to put forward pioneering applications.”
Application forms will be available from 23 February 2012. Completed forms must be submitted by 25 May 2012. Funding decisions will be made no later than the end of March 2013.
More information is available on the National Institute for Health Research website.
Since 2006, the NIHR has supported a number of major surgical research projects, worth over £40 million in total. These include:
- Almost £1.4 million to fund the work of Professor Alison Halliday at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford to compare different types of surgery techniques to prevent stroke.
- Professor Sandra Downes at the University of Manchester received £500,000 to research nerve regeneration, which has potentially huge benefits for patients in severe pain due to nerve damage.
In addition, £20m has been invested in the NIHR Centre for Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology, which is an initiative between the Department of Health, the Ministry of Defence, University Birmingham Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Birmingham. The centre brings both military and civilian trauma surgeons as well as scientists together to share innovation in medical research and advanced clinical practice in the battlefield, to benefit all trauma patients in the NHS at an early stage of injury.