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Policy Research Programme COVID-19 research



The NIHR Policy Research Programme (PRP) has funded rapid COVID-19 research during the pandemic, through its Recovery, Renewal, Reset funding call and its Policy Research Units. This research funding is part of NIHR and the Department of Health and Social Care's wider response to funding COVID-19 research.

Recovery, Renewal, Reset

The PRP Recovery, Renewal, Reset call held three rounds between July and October 2020 to fund research to inform policy responses to COVID-19 in the health and social care systems.

The funded research projects will inform the policy response to challenges posed by COVID-19, including medium- to longer-term policy decisions for health and social care, and capture learning arising from the pandemic.

Project titleReference number
The impact of Care Easements under the Coronavirus Act 2020 on co-resident older carers of people with dementia NIHR202259
The other keyworkers in care homes: implications of including domestic staff in social care workforce strategies and practices relating to COVID-19 recovery NIHR202293
General practice service use towards end-of-life among patients who died before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: a nationwide cohort study using the Clinical Practice Research DataLink NIHR202302
Evaluation of the implementation of pandemic preparedness plans during COVID-19 at the interface with infection prevention and control services in acute and community care. NIHR202310
Optimising people-centred access in primary care in the context of COVID-19: facilitating organisational and policy change NIHR202311
Impact of COVID-19 on colorectal cancer screening in England NIHR202316
Appraising Social Distributions To Guide Levelling Up Health And Wellbeing During Covid-19 Recovery NIHR202320
Understanding the disruption of children and young people's health and healthcare use during and after COVID-19 to inform healthcare and policy responses NIHR202322
Rapid evaluation of the care home response to the need for palliative and end-of-life care during the COVID-19 pandemic: integration, communication and workforce resilience NIHR202326
Exploring the impact of COVID-19 on GPs’ wellbeing NIHR202329
What are the lessons internationally to inform recovery and strategies for future Covid-19 infection prevention and management in social care settings? NIHR202333
How effective are changes to information governance improving access to confidential patient data and/or personal data for medical research purposes? Should these changes be made permanent in the future? NIHR202463
The experience of people with dementia and cognitive impairment in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic: a quantitative analysis of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) NIHR202472
Recovery, Renewal and Reset of Services to Disabled Children NIHR202478
Exploring older people's support needs for making healthier decisions about alcohol during COVID-19 NIHR202481
Understanding the factors that shape care homes’ responses to Government COVID-19 guidance on visiting arrangements NIHR202482
RESTORE - Research for Equitable SySTem RespOnse and REcovery NIHR202484
Recovery from COVID-19 within the Children and Young Peoples Secure Estate (CYPSE): A mixed-methods study of wellbeing NIHR202660
AddRessing the ImpAct of coviD-19 paNdEmic on the access to and experience of mental health care of people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups (ARIADNE) NIHR202670
COVID-19 measures and prisoner self-harm: critical timetrends analysis informing policy to improve individual and institutional resilience (COPE) NIHR202676
End of life care experience of Black people during the coronavirus pandemic: Bereaved relatives’ views NIHR202685
Improving discussions about resuscitation for bereaved relatives in COVID-19 NIHR202690
How to utilise the potential of Hospital at Home to deliver more acute non-COVID and COVID care outside of hospital NIHR202691
Using data and technology to support female survivors of domestic violence and abuse NIHR202707
UK evaluation of NHS support post-hospitalisation for COVID-19 to inform service development and achieve holistic, integrated, equitable and cost-effective services NIHR202708
Estimating the long-term health impacts of changes in alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic NIHR202711
A Rapid cross-sectional mixed methods study to scope, understand and co-develop the policy priorities for reducing inequalities and mitigating the long-term impacts of COVID-19 for CYP with SEND NIHR202718

Further details of these projects can be found on the NIHR Funding and Awards website.

Policy Research Units

The following projects led by NIHR Policy Research Units (PRUs) have been awarded funding through the PRP rapid COVID-19 funding process or are PRU projects adapted to address COVID-19, supported by existing funding.

Project titleUnit 
Post-ICU Support for Survivors of COVID-19 Call-off Analytical Facility (PREPARE)
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on services from pregnancy through age 5 years for families who are high risk or have complex social needs  Children and Families PRU (CPRU)
COVID-19 Step-Down from Emergency Measures - learning from past experience  Call-off Analytical Facility (PREPARE)
A rapid review of reviews identifying effective remote befriending and social support interventions, how they work, and their training components/content Older people and Frailty PRU (OPFPRU)/ Reviews Facility (London-York)/ University of York
Impact on mental health service users of the COVID-19 pandemic and ways of mitigating it: a mixed methods investigation Mental Health PRU (MH PRU)
A mixed methods investigation of impact on mental health services of the COVID-19 impact and experiences of ways of mitigating it Mental Health PRU (MH PRU)
Delivery of strength and balance exercises for falls prevention amongst older people using digital technologies to replace face to face contact during COVID-19 home isolation Older People and Frailty PRU (OPFPRU)
IDEAL COVID-19 Dementia Initiative  Older People and Frailty PRU (OPFPRU), PenARCARC-GM
Geographical variation in COVID-19 mortality and its relationship to social care provision in England Adult Social Care PRU (ASCRU /Quality, Safety and Outcomes PRU (QSO - PRU)
Maintaining an up-to-date evidence map Reviews Facility (London-York)
Scoping research requirements for recovery and learning from COVID-19 – system impacts and behaviour change Several PRUs/ Call-off Analytical Facility (PREPARE) and Reviews Facility (London-York)
Presenting present COVID-19 test results to the public: Communicating uncertainty and optimising compliance to guidance self-isolation measures Behavioural Science PRU (BSci PRU)
What are the implications of COVID-19 for public health and obesity prevention policy? Insights from people's lived experience of food and food environments Obesity PRU
Estimating delayed cancer diagnosis and impact on the NHS in England per week following lock-down due to COVID-19 Cancer PRU
Investigating the impact of changes in the NHS in response to the COVID-19 crisis on cancer diagnosis in the South West of England Cancer PRU
BPSU study of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) related neonatal unit admissions Maternal and Neonatal Health PRU
The feasibility and acceptability of different methods for collecting national maternity survey data - adapted to include COVID-19 data Maternal and Neonatal Health PRU
Re-visiting Expert Interviews as part of the Nursing Associate Evaluation to explore the COVID-19 context Health and Social Care Workforce PRU
Exploring facilitating and enabling factors for effective remote working in general practice Call-off Analytical Facility (PREPARE)
Presenting present COVID-19 test results to the public: Communicating uncertainty and optimising compliance to guidance self-isolation measures Behavioural Science PRU (BSci PRU)
Health and social care workers’ quality of working life and coping while working during a COVID-19 Pandemic Health and Social Care Workforce PRU
Assessing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on vulnerable children Children and Families PRU (CPRU)
Exploring facilitating and enabling factors for effective remote working in general practice Call-off Analytical Facility (PREPARE)
Models of Care Resilience – COVID-19 and Non-COVID-19 Contexts PRP: Birmingham, Lasserson
Modelling the health consequences of changes in personal exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) from second-hand tobacco smoke and other sources in indoor and outdoor air during the response to the COVID-19 epidemic in the United Kingdom Public Health PRU
Impact of COVID-19 on people with autism, including children and young people Policy Innovation Research Unit (PIRU)
Improving service integration between and within health and care: learning from international experience, phase 2 Policy Innovation Research Unit (PIRU)