Research institute to inject millions into social care projects


Europe’s largest clinical research funder is set to inject millions of pounds into projects aimed at improving social care outcomes in England.

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has invested £2.5 million into 12 new projects this year, ranging from work to find the best ways to care for people in their own homes, to online tools focused on teaching adults with learning disabilities how to read.

And now the organisation plans to invest in future social care research with annual funding calls via its Research for Patient Benefit programme.

NIHR will have a budget of £3 million when it launches it next round of funding in September.

Minister for Care Caroline Dinenage said: “Social care research has the power to transform people’s lives by building our knowledge of which types of care best support our health, happiness and independence. The NIHR’s investment in innovation will help create a sustainable social care system for the benefit of everyone – from older people to unpaid carers to those with learning disabilities of any age.

“There are some fantastic projects already underway, and I’m looking forward to seeing what brilliant ideas are brought forward in this annual funding call, which will significantly boost social care research in this country.”

The funding is part of NIHR’s ongoing efforts to build and improve social care research in England. In November 2018 the organisation announced that it will fund a third phase of the NIHR School for Social Care Research, with just under £20 million committed over five years.

This includes £1.8 million specifically targeted on building research capacity in social care, with PhDs, career development awards and internships planned.

Professor Martin Knapp, Director of the NIHR School for Social Care Research, said: “NIHR is investing in research skills and researchers, as well as working with local authorities and social care providers. As the leading funder of social care research, NIHR has an enormous amount to contribute.”

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