The National Institute for Health Research, sometimes called the research arm of the NHS, has awarded nine million pounds to create a new organisation called ARC Wessex.
ARCs – Applied Research Collaborations – are teams of researchers working together to solve some of the big health issues in their communities. There are 15 in England, with the Wessex region covering Dorset, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and South Wiltshire.
The team in Wessex is spread across four universities - including BU, NHS Trusts and local authorities, with doctors, nurses, health professionals and care staff working with academics to find practical solutions for patients and health and care systems.
Professor Alison Richardson, is the Director of ARC Wessex, based at University Hospitals Southampton NHS Foundation Trust & University of Southampton, where she specialises in cancer and end of life care. She believes this investment in research is vital: “We are enormously pleased to have been awarded this funding from the National Institute for Health Research. Our collaboration is focussed on some of the biggest health challenges facing communities across Wessex. Our research will bring together patients and the public, local health and care providers and universities to work together to produce and implement research to enable prevention of ill health, more effective treatment and care and better outcomes. It’s a very exciting time and we look forward to starting our programme of work in earnest in the autumn.”
The ARC Wessex researchers will be working across four research areas:
- Ageing and dementia
- Long Term Conditions
- Healthy Communities
- Health Systems and Workforce.
Professor Tim McIntyre-Bhatty, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Bournemouth University: “BU is delighted to be part of the ARC working with our colleagues to deliver high quality health and care research that is relevant to the Wessex community and has a high impact. The ARC places the focus on community and public involvement in research, matching BU’s strength for bringing together research, education and professional practice through Fusion.”
Professor Vanora Hundley, Deputy Dean for Research and Professional Practice, Bournemouth University: “Bournemouth University has a reputation for collaborating with our Wessex partners to conduct applied research that meets the needs of patients, the NHS and the wider community. We have achieved this by working to bridge the gap between practice and higher education, for example through our clinical academic doctorates and joint posts. The ARC is an exciting opportunity to build on this and strengthen our clinical research capacity while at the same time delivering meaningful research that has an impact on our community.”
Professor Jane Murphy, Professor of Nutrition, Bournemouth University: “Our ageing and dementia research at Bournemouth University uses collective expertise to improve the lives of older people with long-term conditions including dementia, and their families across the community. The ARC will enhance working with our NHS partners to accelerate our innovative person-centred research to address the complex health challenges of our ageing population across Wessex and demonstrate impact and benefit for older citizens and the health and care they receive.”
For more information, visit the ARC Wessex website: https://arcwessexresearch.wordpress.com/