For those of you who don’t yet know, it gives me great pleasure to announce that we, along with our colleagues in Medicine and NHS partners, have been awarded a nine million pound grant from the National Institute for Health Research.
As a result, we have now established the Wessex Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care, or Wessex NHIR CLAHRC, which is one of only thirteen in the country.
By forming a CLAHRC we will be empowered to develop our applied health research, whilst supporting the translation of research findings into practice in the NHS. This means we will be able to play an even greater role in the continuing modernisation of healthcare services long into the future.
Importantly, this award also attracts an extra ten million pounds worth of investment from our other Wessex health partners, which include hospitals, commissioning bodies, and of course the University. This extra investment doesn’t only come in the form of money. It is also manifested in facilities, staff and other resources too.
Through the Wessex CLAHRC, University of Southampton researchers will concentrate on six key themes. These are: respiratory care; aging and dementia; fundamental care in hospitals; public health and primary care; engagement with self directed support; and complexity and end of life care.
As Dean of Health Sciences, and also now as the Director of the Wessex CLAHRC, I am immensely proud of all the staff that have worked tirelessly to make this aspiration become a reality.
Make no mistake, competition for this Department of Health grant was fierce, and it is testament to the ability and professionalism of the world class team I have around me that we were chosen to receive the funding.
The formation of the Wessex CLAHRC is a definite milestone in establishing us as a major force in moving healthcare services forward. Everybody involved is entitled to feel very proud of this achievement.