Work to improve and develop research that benefits the health and wellbeing of communities across north east London has received a major funding boost.
North East London Integrated Care System (NEL ICS) has secured nearly £100,000 of national NHS funding to support the development of a research engagement network.
The new network will drive the work of ICS partners to encourage greater public participation in research across NEL and ensure it reflects the diversity of local communities – helping them tackle health inequalities and shape services around people's needs.
Dr Victoria Tzortziou Brown, a local GP and Research and Innovation Lead for NEL ICS, said:
“I am delighted NEL ICS has been successful in securing this funding. Our ambition is to increase the numbers and the diversity of people participating in research in north east London as this will ensure it is more representative of our diverse populations, and that our communities are more actively involved in shaping the future of local health and care.
"During the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw an increased participation in research that tested different approaches to prevention and treatment, demonstrating what is possible when studies are relevant to patients and the wider public.
"It's important that any future research agenda is set by those it will impact upon, so it directly addresses the real needs of patients and service users. Establishing a research engagement network provides a unique opportunity to meet this ambition, with the aim of improving the lives of people who live and work in north east London."
Development of the research engagement network is being led by NHS NEL Integrated Care Board, working closely with North Thames Clinical Research Network, UCLPartners, Healthwatch and the local voluntary community and social enterprise alliance.
NHS England’s Long Term Plan states an ambition to increase the numbers of people participating in research to one million registering their interest by 2023/24, so the network will play a key role in helping health and care organisations meet this challenge in NEL.
Being part of the ICS Research Engagement Network Development programme, administered by NHS England, will also provide an opportunity for those leading research projects in NEL to share their progress, learning and insights nationally.