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National Institute for Health and Care Research Capital Call

Volume 735: debated on Tuesday 27 June 2023

Today I am pleased to announce just over £96 million of funding from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) for equipment and technology to support NHS organisations to deliver high-quality research to improve the prevention, management and treatment of disease for patient benefit.

This large-scale investment right across the length and breadth of England will support over 90 NHS organisations, including less research-active trusts, to grow research capacity and take research to populations outside of the major teaching hospitals. I want everyone, regardless of where they live, to be able to access the latest innovations in the health and care system through research.

The majority (55%) of funding will go to NHS organisations outside of the greater south-east aligned to the Government’s levelling up commitment. It includes equipment for primary care research expansion in integrated care systems across the east midlands; and mobile research units across seven regions in England, from North Tees and Hartlepool in the north-east to Somerset in south-west, to take research to underserved regions and communities with major health needs, including rural areas.

There is also funding for cutting-edge equipment and technology such as a mobile CT scanner for the north-west coast region to support respiratory, lung cancer diagnostic and cardiology research studies; and state-of-the art equipment in Exeter to transform genomic and transcriptomic sequencing for research into dementia, infectious diseases, cancer and precision medicine. This will enable research that can drive future innovation in the health and care system and allow the UK to remain as one of the most attractive places in the world for innovative commercial companies to invest in research.

I intend to build on this substantial Government investment with a series of further capital calls through the NIHR. The emphasis in future rounds will be on extending the reach of research into our communities, including a focus on reaching those in rural areas, to improve access to clinical research for all. We particularly want to ensure that people outside of major population centres in rural and coastal areas are enabled to take part in clinical research by using innovative ways of designing and delivering our research, fit for the future. Ensuring our world-leading researchers have the right equipment, in the right place, is key to delivering the best, most innovative health and care for our population.