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The NIHR's mission is to improve the health and wealth of the nation.

Funded by the Department of Health and Social Care, we invest over £1 billion a year in research that provides people working in the front lines of the NHS, public health and social care with the evidence they need to better support patients, service users and the public.

Read about how our work is influencing care, and making a positive difference to people, and the economy.

These are the stories of our research

Read our full list of stories

Photo of someone with elbow pain

Vocational advice in primary care supports a faster return to work for patients with musculoskeletal pain

Research career development funding from the NIHR Academy supported Gwenllian Wynne-Jones in her development of a vocational advice intervention that significantly reduced work absence among patients with musculoskeletal disorders.

Life story work can help care workers and relatives connect with people with dementia

An NIHR-funded feasibility study about life story work with people with dementia showed how the approach could improve outcomes by supporting identity expression, fostering understanding and facilitating person-centred care.


Computer therapy helps people regain words after stroke

Combining computer-based speech and language therapy with usual NHS care can help some people improve their communication following a stroke.

Supporting mental health after flooding

Researchers from three NIHR Health Protection Research Units have found that flooding can have a significant negative impact on the mental health of people whose homes are flooded, as well as those whose lives are disrupted by flooding events. Their research has informed guidance for local authorities, policy makers and public health practitioners on planning for and dealing with the aftermath of a flood.

Communication aid hero

New guidance improves the way communication aids are provided for non-speaking children

Innovative research into the provision of communication aids for non-speaking children has created new guidance for children, their families, educators and health professionals to improve the way aid is provided.

Breath-hold reduces risk of heart damage during breast cancer radiotherapy

A simple technique in which patients hold their breath for up to 20 seconds to spare the heart from radiotherapy during breast cancer treatment has been adopted as the standard of care across many UK hospitals.

CF gene therapy hero

Improving outcomes in cystic fibrosis with inhaled gene therapy

A trial of inhaled gene therapy stabilised lung function in patients with cystic fibrosis. Evidence from the trial has contributed to a partnership between researchers and commercial companies to develop clinical trials and a potential treatment for cystic fibrosis.

PRISM hero

Hormone treatment offered to women at high risk of miscarriage

Research into the prevention of miscarriage showed that progesterone could increase the chance of having a baby for women with early pregnancy bleeding and a history of pregnancy loss. NICE guidelines now recommend progesterone treatment which could prevent more than 8,000 miscarriages each year.

Radiotherapy session

Shorter radiotherapy treatment benefits women with early-stage breast cancer

Breast cancer patients in the UK can now receive fewer radiotherapy sessions following surgery after the FAST-Forward trial confirmed that a one-week course was as safe and effective as the standard three-week course. The new treatment schedule is now being adopted internationally.

ambulance outside emergency dept

Improving outcomes after trauma and blood loss

NIHR researchers have developed new ways of diagnosing and treating severe bleeding after traumatic injury. Their revised protocol has been adopted by almost all major trauma centres in the UK and incorporated into clinical guidelines around the world, saving hundreds of lives and making significant cost savings for the NHS.