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£1.95 million for new NIHR Collaboration to tackle multiple long term conditions

Published: 12 December 2022

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), through the NIHR, is funding a new five-year Multiple Long Term Conditions (MLTC) Cross-NIHR Collaboration.

The term Multiple Long Term Conditions refers to the co-existence of two or more chronic conditions (physical or mental) in a person. With an estimated 14 million people in England alone living with MLTC, it is a significant challenge for the health and care service. Research into these conditions is an area of strategic focus for the NIHR.

The collaboration will be given £1.95 million to bring together the NIHR’s translational, applied and policy research infrastructure. This will make it easier for researchers and organisations from different specialties and centres to tackle MLTC research questions, such as how people with multiple conditions can best navigate the healthcare system. It has been established in response to the NIHR Strategic Framework for MLTC Research.

Inclusive of all parts of the NIHR, the collaboration will seek to maximise the use of existing resources while leveraging funding from commercial and non-commercial partners and collaborators across the UK to build MLTC research capability, capacity and leadership.

Professor Lucy Chappell, Chief Executive of the NIHR said:“A significant number of people across the UK are affected by multiple long term conditions, with real impacts on their health and well being, and on how they best receive care within the health service overall.

“We know that understanding and tackling this challenge requires a multidisciplinary approach so that researchers, those with multiple long-term conditions and their carers, and health and care professionals can come together in a coordinated way.

“This new collaboration will bring in expertise and infrastructure across the NIHR and facilitate working together with key partners across the research ecosystem.”

Key workstreams

Co-Chaired by Professor Kamlesh Khunti (Director of NIHR Applied Research Collaboration for East Midlands) and Professor Avan Aihie Sayer (Director of NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre), the collaboration will bring together representatives from all parts of the NIHR infrastructure through a newly established Steering Group.

Workstreams will be developed in three key areas of MLTC research: Models of Care, Interventions & Prevention and Methodologies and Cross-cutting themes. These will be enhanced by cross-cutting themes including quality of life, addressing health inequalities, capacity building and ensuring interdisciplinary research.

Professor Khunti said: “This exciting initiative will help bring patient engagement activities together with all the NIHR infrastructures, third sector and industry partners enabling different specialities to collaborate on MLTC research. Another key part of the collaboration will be capacity development for researchers and patients.

“By working with colleagues from across the NIHR, but also with our partners, we are excited about what this collaboration can achieve and its potential to tackle the research questions that matter to people with MLTC and their carers.”

Professor Avan Aihie Sayer said: “One in four people in England are living with multiple long term conditions. These conditions can develop at any stage of life but become more common and burdensome with age, leading to significant personal and societal costs such as increased need for health and social care. So this new collaboration is a fantastic opportunity to work across multiple conditions and disease areas in order to address this major health challenge.”

The collaboration will engage with industry, including pharma, medtech and a variety of partners across the UK’s health and care system. In addition, the collaboration will work with charities and the Academic Health Science Network and Health and Data Research UK .

Find out more about MLTC research across the NIHR on our new webpage, MLTC as a strategic priority and how you can get involved in MLTC research.

If you have experience in developing and delivering large scale collaborative research and are interested in leading or co-leading one of the collaboration’s three identified workstreams then please contact NIHR Senior Research Manager Jessica Goddard at for more information.


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