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UEL plays role in major NHS study

Docklands campus

£135 million programme will investigate the toughest health challenges

The NHS is joining forces with leading authorities, innovators and universities, including the University of East London (UEL), to tackle some of the biggest health and social care challenges of the age.

Over the next five years the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) will provide £135 million in funding for applied health research.

UEL is a partner university of ARC North Thames (Applied Research Collaborations) which is one of 15 partner organisations receiving funds to investigate issues around demand, public health and inequality. Other ARC North Thames partners include the Boroughs and Clinical Commissioning Groups of Newham and Tower Hamlets as well as leading private and third sector organisations.

Professor Verity Brown, pro vice-chancellor (impact and innovation), said,  "We are passionate about conducting research with relevance and benefit to our communities here in east London and are excited to work with our partners across the ARC North Thames and beyond to scale up our local achievements to create national level impact."

The announcement was made by Health Minister Baroness Nicola Blackwood, pictured, during a visit to ARC North Thames on 11 July.

She said: "As the population grows and demand on the NHS increases, it is paramount we develop the next generation of technologies and improve the way we work to ensure the NHS continues to offer world-leading care."

ARC North Thames, hosted by Barts Health NHS Trust, will focus on five themes

1. Mental health: social and institutional inequalities
2. Multimorbidity: understanding clusters
3. Population health and social care
4. Innovation and implementation
5. Health economics and data

Studies will target areas where there is potential for significant advances, from reducing urgent care admissions to improving management of frailty. They will focus on examining persistent problems such as child health inequalities and pollution as well as emerging challenges, such as gambling and knife crime.

Professor Angela Harden, director of the Institute of Health and Human Development and director of the North Thames ARC Academy, said, "Our research with local communities to promote health and reduce inequalities is central to meeting global challenges such as poor mental health and wellbeing, rising rates of obesity and healthy ageing.

"Our partnership with the ARC North Thames will support the policy and practice impact of our research and grow the research leaders of the future."