Southampton named as primary care partner
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has named the University of Southampton as one of nine institutions making up the School for Primary Care Research (SPCR). The University will share in more than ?30 million of government funding over the next five years to improve healthcare delivery in general practice.
The School provides research evidence to inform NHS policy and clinical guidelines, thereby improving the patient experience of primary care. It also trains future leaders in the field by providing multi-disciplinary training and career development opportunities.
From September 2015, Southampton will continue its membership of the School alongside the Universities of Bristol, Cambridge, Keele, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Oxford and UCL.
“It is a great news that Primary Care at Southampton has been awarded continuing membership of the School for Primary Care Research for the next five years,” says Paul Little, Professor of Primary Care Research at the University of Southampton.
“Membership of the SPCR is a great honour, recognising the high quality and impact of the research undertaken within the Primary Care Group at Southampton. The continuing funding and support that the SCPR funding brings is very important. It will support new innovation, major research initiatives and the development of future researchers, all of which will cement Southampton's place as an internationally recognised centre for primary care research.”
The renewed membership will mean the University can further develop its research into areas such as antibiotic resistance and the diagnosis and treatment of depression.
Professor Michael Moore, deputy director of the Primary Care and Population Sciences at the University added: “We are delighted that the strength of the research and its relevance to daily practice has been recognised. We have been through a rigorous selection procedure and are accepted as one of the top nine primary care research departments in England today.”
Professor Iain Cameron, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University said: "We are delighted about this national award which recognises the excellence of primary care research in Southampton. This is a key component of our clinical research strategy and we look forward to supporting the team to build upon its achievements over the next five years."
The NIHR has allocated £22 million to clinical trial research, and other studies, in primary care and at the intersection with secondary care. Research currently covers five key themes: long-term conditional management; methodological innovation; multi-morbidity and ageing; patient centred care; and prevention and diagnosis.
Funding in the region of £10 million will be awarded to research training and capacity development within the School. Since its inception in 2006, the School has provided funding to 85 trainees.
Professor Richard Hobbs, Head of Department at University of Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, has been re-appointed as Director and looks forward to leading the School into its new phase, working closely with members to develop a new business strategy and research and capacity programme.
Professor Hobbs said: “I am delighted to be re-appointed as Director of the School for Primary Care Research and would like to extend a warm welcome to colleagues at the Universities of Cambridge and Newcastle. Over the next five years, I look forward to seeing existing and new members develop innovative collaborations and excellent research, continuing to provide impact and inform the development of improved primary care practice across many areas of proficiency.”