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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

Preventing sexual transmission of HIV in gay couples

The PARTNER2 study has confirmed that antiretroviral treatment for HIV reduces the risk of sexual transmission between gay male partners to zero.

Specialist cerebral palsy surgery helps young children to walk

NIHR researchers have shown that a surgical procedure for young children with cerebral palsy improves their mobility and quality of life. The procedure is now available to eligible children on the NHS as a result of this evidence.

FINCH hero

Understanding continence care in care home patients living with dementia

The FINCH study has reported new evidence to inform the management of care home residents with dementia who experience faecal incontinence.

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.