A collaboration involving the University of Leicester and led by the University of Glasgow has been awarded £2.5m from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) to help tackle complex health and social care issues by providing research-based evidence to support important decision-making across the four UK nations.
The group – led by the University of Glasgow’s Professor Olivia Wu, with academics from Leicester’s Biostatistics Research Group in the Department of Population Health Sciences – is one of nine NIHR-funded Evidence Synthesis Groups, which are tasked with identifying and appraising the quality of existing evidence, and using innovative approaches to combine data from multiple sources to create an overall summary of current knowledge to provide the best evidence to support decisions affecting health, public health and social care across the UK.
This new award builds on the success of the existing NIHR Complex Reviews Support Unit (CRSU), a long-established collaboration with the University of Glasgow, which is led in Leicester by Professor Nicola Cooper and has already received over £2m from NIHR.
The new Evidence Synthesis Group, hosted by the CRSU, brings additional partnership with colleagues from the University of Newcastle and Cochrane, and an experienced Patient, Carer and Public Involvement lead.
Professor Alex Sutton, Deputy Director of the new Evidence Synthesis Group, leads the University of Leicester-based team who are responsible for the quantitative synthesis component including using innovative approaches to combine data from multiple sources to support decisions affecting health, public health and social care across the UK.
Professor Sutton said: “We are delighted to have been awarded one of the nine new NIHR funded Evidence Synthesis Groups which builds on our productive existing collaboration with the University of Glasgow. Our evidence synthesis group @CRSU are committed to undertaking research on complex health and social care topics to support impactful evidence-based decision making.”
Professor Olivia Wu, Director of the Health Economics and Health Technology Assessment (HEHTA) Research Unit at the University of Glasgow, said: “We share NIHR’s aims in undertaking research to tackle complex health and social care challenges.
“Our Evidence Synthesis Group @CRSU is committed to producing outputs that will have significant impact on health, economy, and the wider society; that are excellent in originality, significance and rigour; and that are delivered in a timely and cost-effective manner.”
Professor Lesley Stewart, Programme Director for NIHR’s Evidence Synthesis Programme, said: “The groups provide breadth and depth of ‘on tap’ expertise in evidence synthesis that will enable the Evidence Synthesis Programme to respond quickly and efficiently to important health and care topics raised by stakeholders across the four nations of the UK.
“Groups will combine research rigour with responsiveness to deliver high-quality evaluation and syntheses of existing research studies to match stakeholder needs. These will support evidence-informed decision-making and ultimately help improve the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and experience of health and social care provision.”