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Making a difference stories

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

Early diagnosis of lymphoma in children and young adults in sub-Saharan Africa

A multidisciplinary team of researchers based in Oxford, Tanzania and Uganda are testing novel diagnostic tools and strengthening local capacity to improve early diagnosis of blood cancers called lymphomas.

GREAT lady shopping hero

Goal-oriented cognitive rehabilitation for people with early-stage dementia

An NIHR-funded trial has shown that therapy helps people with dementia achieve everyday goals, and this is being rolled out to health and care providers.

Supporting patients to take their new drugs correctly

An evaluation by NIHR-funded researchers of the widely accessed New Medicine Service pharmacy scheme found that it improved patients’ adherence to new medications and resulted in cost savings to the NHS of £558 million.

Early intervention in perinatal stroke, the eTIPS project

Perinatal stroke is the leading cause of hemiplegic cerebral palsy. Research by NIHR Career Development Fellow Dr Anna Basu shows potential for improving long-term motor outcomes in affected infants through a new approach, early therapy in perinatal stroke (eTIPS).

Pregnant women are not at greater risk of severe illness with COVID-19

Results from a large study on the outcomes of 427 pregnant women and their babies during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic gave reassurance that pregnant women were at no greater risk of severe illness than other women.

POWeR+ programme motivates people to engage with online weight management

NIHR-funded researchers show that an internet-based weight-loss programme with brief support from a nurse can help people with obesity lose weight.

New haemoglobin test helps prevent anaemia in blood donors

A new approach to pre-donation screening was introduced across the whole national blood service as a result of NIHR research, saving around 30,000 people from avoidable anaemia and potential iron deficiency every year.

A community-centred approach to reduce stigma related to skin diseases

NIHR-funded researchers are working with communities on three continents to improve the patient journey and reduce stigma for people with cutaneous leishmaniasis.

Implementing improved maternity care on the front line

Midwife-led models of continuity of care improve outcomes for pregnant women. Working with hospital trusts, managers and frontline staff has enabled the development of a new care pathway and guidelines to implement it in a sustainable way.

Fighting diabetes with information

An online diabetes education tool has been shown to help patients control blood sugar levels and is now being considered for roll out across the country by NHS England.