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World-leading health care improvement research institute to be established in Cambridge

By Ben Comber

A line of ambulances parked outside an Accident and Emergency unit at an NHS hospital waiting to be called out.
A line of ambulances parked outside an Accident and Emergency unit at an NHS hospital waiting to be called out.

It will be funded by charity the Health Foundation's largest ever grant of £40 million.

The University of Cambridge is to receive £40 million over ten years from the Health Foundation, an independent charity, to establish and run a new research institute aimed at strengthening the evidence-base for how to improve health care.

The institute will be the first of its kind in Europe, and will formally launch within the next year. It will be based at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, alongside Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and world-leading research institutes, working with a wide range of partners across the UK.

Dr Jennifer Dixon, chief executive of the Health Foundation, says: “Faster learning and discovery is vital to achieving higher quality health care for patients at a sustainable cost. That is why the Health Foundation is making its biggest single grant to date to help build the field of improvement research.

“The University of Cambridge and their partners have set out a compelling vision for this ground-breaking improvement research institute – the first of its kind in Europe. This is a significant and exciting step in developing evidence on a massive scale across the NHS about what works to improve patient care. Critically, the institute’s work will include understanding not only which interventions work, but also in which contexts and why.”

The institute will be led by Mary Dixon-Woods, RAND Professor of Health Services Research and Wellcome Trust Investigator at the University of Cambridge.

She said: “The NHS, like health systems around the world, is faced with pressing challenges of quality and safety. Yet the science of how to make improvements has remained under-developed. This funding is a tremendous opportunity to produce new knowledge about how to improve care, experience and outcomes for patients. Together with our partners, the University of Cambridge is hugely excited at the chance to work with NHS staff, patients and carers to identify, design and test improvements.”


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