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Press Release: Delight as researchers are awarded 10 million to aid patient care

Cutting-edge research into the care of people with mental health conditions has received a huge boost after it was announced that a project hosted by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) and involving the University of Cambridge and the University of East Anglia (UEA) has been awarded nearly £10 million.

The NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) East of England is being set up to conduct pioneering research focused on the needs of patients and service users.

Today, it has been confirmed that the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) has awarded CLAHRC East of England £9,972,282 – and projects that are funded by the money could be making a difference to people’s lives within three years.

CLAHRC East of England will begin operating in January 2014, replacing CLAHRC Cambridgeshire and Peterborough which was formed in 2008.

Researchers in the new CLAHRC will need to demonstrate how their work will make a difference to patients within three to five years, and how their projects will fit into one of a number of research themes including dementia and patient safety.

Prof Catherine Sackley, from UEA's school of Rehabilitation Sciences, said: "We are absolutely delighted to be awarded this funding. It will substantially benefit patients in East Anglia particularly some of the most vulnerable groups - people with dementia, frailty and mental health problems.

"CLAHRC East of England will support the best research into treatments and care and provide resources for world leading research based at UEA. The opportunity has arisen through our collaboration with the Universities of Cambridge and Hertfordshire, NHS Trusts and other organisations such as the Norfolk and Suffolk Dementia Alliance."

Dr Garry Barton from UEA’s Norwich Medical School added: “This is a great opportunity for UEA to play an active part in leading health research development in the region. It will also encourage closer working between universities, health and social care organisations, and users of health services.”

Prof Peter Jones, director of CLAHRC East of England and head of the department of Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge, said: “I am delighted that NIHR has awarded this funding to our new CLAHRC.

“The aim of the CLAHRC is to ensure the findings of academic studies can be used to make a real difference to front-line patient care as soon as possible.

“The work around dementia and how we care for older people is especially important because they are such major challenges facing healthcare and social care providers.”

David Edwards, chair of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The award of this funding is very welcome. It will be used to fund vital research and will continue to build on our commitment to place patient care at the very top of our priorities.

“Pioneering research attracts the very best staff – and their work will have a major impact on improving patient care.”

The NIHR CLAHRC East of England works in partnership with a wide range of health and social care providers across the region.