Monday, 11 August 2014

A little bit about the NIHR and our funding

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) was set up in 2006 to rationalise and improve the efficiency of funding and commissioning of health research. The NIHR’s mission is,
 “To provide a health research system in which the NHS supports outstanding individuals working in world-class facilities, conducting leading-edge research focused on the needs of patients and the public.”
The NIHR manages its health research activities by providing: the infrastructure, made up of clinical research facilities, centres and units and communication networks; support for the individuals carrying out and participating in research through the faculty; programmes to commission and fund research; and by providing unified systems for managing research and its outputs.

NIHR research programmes evaluate the effectiveness and impact of new healthcare treatments, find new ways of preventing, identifying and treating ill health. This includes facilitating timely progress of research in the laboratory through to clinical trials; commissioning research into the way services are delivered, and interventions intended to improve the health of the public and reduce inequalities in health. This evidence is than made widely available to ensure that decisions about health and social care are being informed by the best possible evidence. The NIHR journals library includes reports on all NIHR funded research.

The OKIS project is being funded through the Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme: the largest of the programmes, it funds independent research about the effectiveness, costs and broader impact of healthcare treatments and tests for use in the NHS. The HTA programme identified the need for research into the effectiveness of orthotic devices for knee instability in people with MND or CNS disorders and put out a call for those interested to say how they would go about answering the research question. All the applications were peer reviewed before the funding was awarded. Our intention to create this blog was favourably commented on by the peer reviewers!

The NIHR is a large and complex organisation. The recently launched new website provides information about the NIHR, what it has already achieved and what the future holds. So find out more about the work of the NIHR and how research is funded and commission, you can go to

Bloggger: Alison Booth

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