NIHR Applied Research Collaborations (NIHR ARCs)
In July 2019, the NIHR announced a £135 million investment in 15 new NIHR Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs), to support applied health and care research that responds to, and meets, the needs of local populations and local health and care systems. The funding will also support, facilitate and increase the rate at which research findings are implemented into practice.
The scheme aims to improve outcomes for patients and the public; improve the quality, delivery and efficiency of health and care services; and increase the sustainability of the health and care system both locally and nationally.
The NIHR ARC network will tackle a number of areas of need highlighted by the NIHR Futures of Health report, including: the challenges of an ageing society; multimorbidity; and the increasing demands placed on our health and care system.
The new scheme also aims to deliver a step change in national-level impact through significant collaboration between the new ARCs, and through NIHR ARCs providing national leadership within their fields of expertise.
Azeem Majeed - Director
“The NHS in North West London faces major challenges. The new NIHR Applied Research Collaboration will bring together health and care organisations, universities, local government, and patient and public groups in NW London together to help develop and evaluate interventions to meet these challenges.
This will include new models of working such as integrated care and new informatics resources that will provide better information on the health of our local population. We are very excited about the opportunities the programme will build and grateful to all our partners for their support.”
NIHR ARC Northwest London
The NIHR ARC Northwest London’s (NIHR ARC NWL) programme launched October 2019 and is hosted by Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust with Imperial College London as the main academic partner. The NIHR ARC NWL undertakes high-quality applied health and care research and work across local health and care systems to close the second translational gap by supporting implementation of research and will work collectively with ARCs in other parts of England to ensure national impact.
Our programme is conducted via four research themes and three cross-cutting themes with the overarching goal is to build sustainable infrastructure for a continual improvement in health behaviours and population health, and a reduction in health inequalities for the people of north west London.
The Child Population Health, Multimorbidity, and Digital Health themes aim to address local and national priorities, exploiting the strengths of committed healthcare professionals, academics and patients. These themes aim to achieve major population health impact, learning from and contributing to international experience. The fourth research theme, Innovation and Evaluation, will contribute to northwest London infrastructure, capitalising on world-class discovery science in the Imperial AHSC. This will drive the rapid spread of innovations in prevention, early diagnosis and better, targeted treatments, to benefit patients, including frugal innovations from low- and middle-income countries, sharing learning within and beyond the local area.
The four research themes will be supported by three crosscutting themes: Information and Intelligence; Patient, Public, Community Engagement and Involvement; and Collaborative Learning and Capacity Building. They will produce generalisable research on how to maximise the efficiency of health improvement programmes and support high quality services.
Underpinning this work will be significant investments in informatics capability in NW London. This includes information from the Whole Systems Integrated Care (WSIC) Programme, which was established to facilitate better co-ordinated care, particularly for patients with complex health needs. The primary care, acute, mental health, community and adult social care data for 2.2 million people contained within it will drive the evaluation of patient journeys through the health and care system in north west London.
Lesley Watts - Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust.
“This investment by the Government is excellent news, not only to Chelsea and Westminster NHS Trust as a host organisation, but to our partners, our patients and our staff. The funding presents a real opportunity for collaborative working, making a difference to our patients locally and nationally. As we strive to be the best Foundation Trust we can be, we know that we must invest in new models of care, built around the strongest evidence base.
Our long term plans are focused on working with partners to support the population in and out of hospital; to ensure they have access to the right care, in the right place, at the right time. But to do this we must understand more about the population, about their care needs and how they want their healthcare system to work for them.
As a centre for innovation we need to continue to embrace new technology and share best practice with our colleagues and partners internally and externally. Being a part of this collaboration will enable us to meet the changing needs of the population we serve, in a realistic timescale. We look forward to working with each of the partners across the network and being a part of such vital research.”
NIHR ARCs in England
The NIHR made a £135 million investment in 15 regional NIHR Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs), which join up some of the country’s best universities, leading innovators and local authorities to solve some of the biggest issues facing health and social care over the next five years.
The NIHR is the nation's largest funder of health and care research and provides the people, facilities and technology that enables research to thrive.