The road to better healthcare

photo: Mary Dixon-Woods

The University of Cambridge, with Homerton as a key partner, has been announced as the home of a new healthcare improvement research institute, the first of its kind in Europe.

The Health Foundation, an independent charity, will be awarding in the region of £40 million over a period of 10 years to fund the new institute. The grant recognises the huge potential for research to shed light on how sustainable and replicable improvements to the quality of patient care can be made in the NHS more quickly.

The institute will be led by Mary Dixon-Woods – RAND Professor of Health Services Research at Cambridge and a Fellow of Homerton College.  It will help the NHS become the world’s largest producer of systematic learning about how to improve healthcare.

Homerton will be the intellectual home of events organised by the institute, hosting visiting fellows from all over the UK and supporting researchers to strengthen the scientific foundations of improvement research to help solve real-world problems. 

Professor Dixon-Woods 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 award 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.

Professor Geoff Ward, Principal of Homerton College, said:

The improvement research institute will bring huge benefits over a ten-year period to the patients and staff of the NHS, the University of Cambridge, and Homerton College. Homerton exists to serve society’s needs, and we pride ourselves on innovative partnerships. Our partnership with the Institute, under the leadership of our Professorial Fellow Mary Dixon-Woods, brings academic research and public benefit together in an association of which we are proud, and which we hope will generate further interdisciplinary projects as it develops.

Funding the new institute is part of the Health Foundation’s ongoing work to bring about better health and health care for people in the UK and builds on the charity’s strong history of supporting and developing improvement research. The institute will formally launch within the next year.

For more details see the announcements made by the Health Foundation and the University of Cambridge.