New cash injection to fund patient safety research

The University of Leeds and Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust have been awarded £3 million for a new National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Patient Safety Translational Research Centre.

The funding, announced by Public Health and Innovation Minister Nicola Blackwood, will be used to engage with the NHS workforce and patients to deliver research that makes care safer.

The money has been awarded as part of a wider £17m fund from the NIHR, with existing centres in Manchester and London also benefitting. Previous research undertaken in those centres is already having an impact on NHS frontline services.

In Leeds, researchers will focus on four themes of work:

  • Patient involvement in safety
  • Workforce engagement for patient safety
  • Safe use of medicines
  • Digital innovations for safety

University of Leeds Professor of the Psychology of Healthcare, Rebecca Lawton (pictured below), who led the bid, said: “The funding is for early translational research that pulls ideas and concepts from basic science into the field of patient safety.

Rebecca Lawton

“By doing this we will develop and test the feasibility of novel interventions that have the potential to save lives.”

It is the latest wave of NIHR investment backing Yorkshire-based clinicians and academics, following a £10.7 million investment in NIHR Biomedical Research Centres in September and £3.8 million in NIHR Clinical Research Facilities in November. 

Nicola Blackwood said: “This is an exciting investment - backing our researchers to improve safety for patients in Yorkshire, and across Englan".

“We want every patient to receive the best and safest NHS treatment and care as possible. Investing today in research to improve patient safety is essential for making the NHS the best today, and for tackling the challenges of tomorrow"

“Our investments through the NIHR will help our researchers strive for global excellence.”

Professor Paul Stewart, Executive Dean for the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Leeds, added: “This NIHR grant is a great vote of confidence in the strength of the regional partnerships developed between the Universities of Leeds and Bradford and the Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundations Trust" 

“We will build on our existing multi-disciplinary NIHR research programmes and the work of the Yorkshire Quality and Safety Research group to apply world-leading research expertise to patient care and safety.” 

“This is an exciting time in the region for applied healthcare research and practice, attracting the investment that will have a huge impact on the health and wellbeing of people in our region and the country.”