Major new research funding boost for Greater Manchester

18 October 2022


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Greater Manchester has been awarded its largest ever research funding to tackle health inequalities and drive health improvements and patient safety across the city region.

The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Greater Manchester Patient Safety Research Collaboration (GM PSRC) 2023-28 will be hosted by Northern Care Alliance, and the University of Manchester-led team will deliver a programme of research along with the University of Nottingham and the University of Leicester. 

The collaboration will address strategic patient safety challenges within the health and care system, focusing on improving medication safety; enhancing cultures of safety; developing safer health and care systems; and preventing suicide and self-harm.

The NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) has received a £59.1million award - the largest single research award given by the NIHR to the city region - to translate its scientific discoveries into new treatments, diagnostic tests, and medical technologies to improve patients’ lives. It’s hosted by Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) and The University of Manchester (UoM), in partnership with The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust. 


With this new 2022-27 award, Manchester BRC will increase research capacity by expanding its partnership to include three new NHS trusts - Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The new funding also allows Manchester BRC to expand from its current research areas of cancer, dermatology, hearing health, musculoskeletal, and respiratory, into further areas of relevance to our diverse populations including heart disease, mental health, and rare conditions.

Professor Phil Kalra, NCA’s Director of Research & Innovation, said: “This additional investment in research is excellent news for the Greater Manchester region and will ensure that the NHS locally can continue to attract expert scientists and clinicians. It’s especially pleasing that the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) will now support cardiovascular research, including stroke and renal disorders which are key areas of expertise at Northern Care Alliance.

“As a renal consultant, I am delighted that it will increase opportunity for innovative biomarker research in our Salford Kidney Study, one of the largest chronic kidney disease biobanks in the world, as well as for increased multi-specialty collaboration. The new structure of the BRC, with its cross-cutting emphasis on population health and genetic research, will also help us to increase research in underserved communities.”

He added: “Research that focuses on patient safety across health and social care is vital. We have been impressed with the achievements of the Greater Manchester Patient Safety Translational Research Centre and are pleased to be hosting the new Patient Safety Research Collaboration from 2023. 

“All four of the collaboration’s themes are relevant to NCA and we are looking forward to working together to improve patient safety.”

Professor Ian Bruce, Director of NIHR Manchester BRC, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive this award from the NIHR – which more than doubles our previous award. This is a testament to our achievements over the past five years and also to our vision for the future; expanding both our research themes and our geographical reach. This will ensure that communities across our region’s urban, rural and coastal settings will now be able to participate in cutting-edge research. 

“We know that our region has high levels of deprivation and was disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which further widened health inequity. It is therefore imperative that Manchester BRC continues to bridge the gaps between new discoveries and personalised care, to ensure that we are levelling up health and care for all.”

Professor Darren Ashcroft, Director of the Greater Manchester Patient Safety Research Collaboration, said: “We are delighted to have secured funding to continue patient safety research as one of the new Patient Safety Research Collaborations. The work we’ve delivered over the last 10 years at the Greater Manchester Patient Safety Translational Research Centre has impacted the safety of care delivered by the NHS, as our innovations have been adopted by health and social care and rolled out first regionally, then nationally. The new collaboration will allow our researchers to build on this success across four key themes of patient safety, and we’re excited to get this work underway.”

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