The National Institute for Health Research: Improving the health and wealth of the UK through research

A new piece in Open Access Government highlights the scale and scope of the work of our funder the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

In its role as the “research arm of the NHS” the NIHR’s mission is to improve both the health and wealth of the UK by means of research. A piece by Jonathan Miles (Editor, Open Access Government) gives a great overview of the work of the NIHR, and how it works with charities, industry and other sectors.

There are also a couple of examples of the groundbreaking and impactful research funded by the NIHR and the difference it is making – read the piece below.

Top of the charts! Lancet paper on HIV testing most downloaded in 2017

The end of any year sees a number of “best of” charts published and research is no exception!

We’re delighted to report that a paper produced by the CLAHRC’s Dr Werner Leber and Professor Chris Griffiths and others is 2017’s most downloaded in The Lancet HIV. Dr Werner ‘s groundbreaking work represents the first time a model to explore the cost effectiveness of screening for HIV in primary care has been applied to the UK.

The work generated great media interest (below) and offers a model to measure cost-effectiveness for commissioners and providers of HIV care.

Read the paper:

Cost-effectiveness of screening for HIV in primary care: a health economics modelling analysis
Baggaley, Rebecca F et al.
The Lancet HIV , Volume 4 , Issue 10 , e465 – e474 

Read the most downloaded list

Read a BITE sized summary of Werner’s work.




Patient and Public Involvement workshops in Whitechapel

Our friends and colleagues at Barts Health NHS Trust are hosting some great new free training for researchers interested in involving patients and the public in their work.

New dates for 2018 have been added to this annual series of Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) workshops for researchers, funded by the Wellcome Trust, supported by UCLP and hosted by Barts Health and QMUL.

‘How to write the PPI section of a grant form’ will take place 24 January (1.30pm-4.30pm) at Charterhouse Square


‘Meaningful PPI? How was it for you?’ will take place 29 January (1pm-4pm) in Whitechapel.

For the full programme (extended to May 2018) and to book your place:

or contact the Engagement and Diffusion team at

CLAHRC Director Professor Rosalind Raine joins Lancet-LSE commission on future of the NHS

CLAHRC Director Professor Rosalind Raine has been invited to be part of a major new independent inquiry considering the future of the NHS.

Professor Raine joins the Future of the NHS Commission which launched on November 30th and is organised by the London School of Economics and The Lancet. It will investigate and report on options for relieving the growing pressures on the system and ensuring that the service has governance, care, operating, and funding models fit-for-purpose in the 21st Century.

CLAHRC Director Rosalind Raine is Professor of Health Care Evaluation and the Head of the Department of Applied Health Research at UCL, as well as being an NIHR Senior Investigator

Professor Raine will draw on her expertise in evaluations of NHS interventions and research experience in inequalities in the distribution of health care, its causes, impact on health inequalities and policy responses.  She has long advised national, international and regional policy makers, her research being highly valued due to its diversity (spans acute & chronic conditions and all NHS settings), representativeness (national datasets, long time periods) and applied nature, allowing direct policy translation.

Calls for a rational, considered view of the NHS have come from across the political spectrum (see below) and the Commission will draw on a range of views and perspectives in its work. In April 2017 The Lancet argued that “An independent inquiry is needed to bring together clinical and policy experts, and the voices of the public and patients, to answer the question: what sort of NHS do we want and need in 2020, 2025, and 2030?”

Changing behaviour to improve adherence to asthma medication

CLAHRC behaviour change researchers and PhDs Caroline Katzer and Marissa Mes were a big hit at the recent in ESPACOMP conference in Budapest Hungary. Caroline and Marissa presented to an audience of clinicians and allied health professionals interested in adherence

ESPACOMP (European Society for Patient Adherence, COMpliance and Persistence) promotes science concerned with the assessment of what patients do with medicines they have been prescribed – and the implications when they adhere, or don’t adhere to them. Their 2017 conference brought together behaviour change practitioners and researchers from across the world and both Marissa and Caroline’s presentation generated much interest and a host of questions from the audience.

Both Caroline and Marissa are conducting their PhDs as as part of our wider work examining the effectiveness of  the ‘Perceptions and Practicalities Intervention’ (PAPI) in improving adherence to asthma medication.


Marissa (above) is investigating the effectiveness of pharmacists as the delivery channel of a theory-based intervention to support medication adherence in adults with asthma.

Caroline is focusing her PhD on developing the PAPI intervention to support adherence to maintenance treatment in adult asthma patients.

Both fielded questions from pharmacists interested in how their research/academic findings were going to be translated into pharmacy practice, and how feasible this would be.

Public health research: CLAHRC represented at prestigious Lancet conference

Three CLAHRC researchers were among those presenting their work at the Lancet’s prestigious event Public Health Science: A National Conference Dedicated to New Research in UK Public Health held in London on November 24th.

Each of the CLAHRC’s researchers presented a poster about their work, and the topics highlight the breadth of our research. Their abstracts are now published in a special edition of the journal.

Dr Chiara De Poli presented projections of the likely impact of the various interventions currently being used to prevent diabetes across England.

Dr Esther Kwong presented her work exploring the potential for  patient reported outcomes measures (PROMs) – patient questionnaires used to measure measures health gain in patients undergoing a number of surgeries – to be used when patients were admitted as an emergency.

Jennifer Martin presented her work on participatory learning and action cycle in resource-limited settings.


Impact of interventions to prevent diabetes in England: a simulation model

De Poli, Chiara et al.

The Lancet , Volume 390 , S36


Can patient reported outcomes measures (PROMs) be used in emergency admissions? Comparison of retrospective and contemporaneous PROMs after hip and knee replacement: a cohort study

Kwong, Esther et al.

The Lancet , Volume 390 , S55


Adaptations to the participatory learning and action cycle in resource-limited settings: an observational study

Martin, Jennifer S et al.

The Lancet , Volume 390 , S63



CLAHRC influences government policy on mental health in schools

A new Government green paper offers good news for those calling for joined up care between schools and local mental health services for children and young people.

Allocating resources in difficult times; balancing public perception of need and where money is best spent

Health economics and economic evaluations of care are a key theme within our CLAHRC, and the subject of one of our successful Academy short course for front-line NHS and Public health professionals.

CLAHRC researcher and health economist Dr Elena Pizzo gave a lecture at the Royal Society of Medicines September event – the ‘4th breast cancer forum: screening, metastatic breast cancer and living with and beyond

This is now available to view via this link or clicking on the image below

Dr Pizzo’s presentation examined how money is best spent in patient treatment. Elena considered the average cost of breast cancer care per patient and outlines the challenges faced by health professionals and economists when deciding how treatment funding is allocated.

Dr Pizzo made a plea for health professionals, policy makers, industry and patients to work closely with health economists when making difficult decisions about where to allocate resources. In this case the topic was cancer but the message applies equally to many other specialties when NHS budgets are under pressure.

Evidence in public health decision-making – its creators and users need to come together

Decision-makers in public health can be confronted with a huge volume of data, evidence, reviews and summaries – from local and national sources. There is also an acknowledged gap between evidence and policy in public health.

In a recent blog on the EPPI centre website CLAHRC researchers Dylan Kneale and Antonio Rojas-García reflect on their work exploring the use of evidence in local public health decision-making – and raise the question – How much research is being wasted because it is not generalisable in local settings?

While reduced resources make judicious use of evidence more important than ever when deciding how and where to apply resources, researchers also need to understand, and better communicate, the generalisability of their research evidence to decision-makers working locally.

Read Evidence use in public health – make-do and mend?