30 Mar 2017   |   Network Updates

Cambridge awarded £40m to create world-leading health care improvement research institute

The University of Cambridge is to receive £40 million over ten years from the Health Foundation to establish and run a new research institute aimed at strengthening the evidence-base for how to improve health care

This is the charity’s single largest grant to date and will create an institute that is the first of its kind in Europe.

Led by Mary Dixon-Woods, RAND Professor of Health Services Research and Wellcome Trust Investigator at the University of Cambridge, the institute will work closely with a wide range of partners across the UK including RAND Europe and Homerton College, Cambridge. Seeking to strengthen the evidence-base for how to improve health care, it will produce practical, high quality learning about how to improve patient care and will grow capacity in research skills in the NHS, academia and beyond.

The Health Foundation says it is making this significant investment because it recognises the huge potential for research to shed light on how sustainable and replicable improvements to the quality of patient care can be made in the NHS more quickly.

Dr Jennifer Dixon, chief executive of the Health Foundation, says: “Faster learning and discovery is vital to achieving higher quality health care for patients at a sustainable cost. That is why the Health Foundation is making its biggest single grant to date to help build the field of improvement research.

The University of Cambridge and their partners have set out a compelling vision for this ground-breaking improvement research institute – the first of its kind in Europe. This is a significant and exciting step in developing evidence on a massive scale across the NHS about what works to improve patient care. Critically, the institute’s work will include understanding not only which interventions work, but also in which contexts and why.”

Professor Dixon-Woods adds: “The NHS, like health systems around the world, is faced with pressing challenges of quality and safety. Yet the science of how to make improvements has remained under-developed. This funding is a tremendous opportunity to produce new knowledge about how to improve care, experience and outcomes for patients. Together with our partners, the University of Cambridge is hugely excited at the chance to work with NHS staff, patients and carers to identify, design and test improvements.”

The institute will formally launch within the next year and will be based at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, alongside Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and world-leading research institutes.


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