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More than £96m awarded to NHS for cutting-edge research equipment

scanning equipment

Published: 27 June 2023

The NIHR has awarded more than £96 million to 93 NHS organisations across England. The funding will pay for new research equipment and technology. Around £20 million is going to smaller, regional NHS Trusts.

This funding will boost research and innovation across the NHS. New equipment and technology will help find new ways to prevent and treat diseases. The funding will be used for a range of innovative equipment, including imaging devices, mobile research vehicles, ultrasound equipment, and specialist fridges and freezers that are essential for storing samples used in research.

Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said:

“From Devon to Liverpool, we're giving NHS organisations over £96 million to bolster vital health and care research.

“Scientists and medical experts will be able to purchase cutting-edge equipment, like mobile CT scanners, imaging devices and ultrasound equipment to help their ground breaking work in the prevention, treatment and management of disease.

“The NHS and its staff have now served us for nearly 75 years and as we celebrate that achievement we want to make sure the health service is leading the way. This investment will also help the NHS continue to cut waiting lists – one of the government’s top five priorities.”

Boosting research and investment

This funding call will be the first of a series that will fund equipment and technology for research. The aim is to improve access to cutting-edge clinical trials for patients.

The 93 organisations awarded funding are all part of the NIHR’s wider infrastructure. This includes Biomedical Research Centres and Clinical Research Facilities, as well as NIHR’s Clinical Research Network.

The new funding will also help NHS organisations attract more investment for research.

The investment is focused in areas outside the Greater South-East. More than a fifth of the funding - over £20m - is being invested in smaller, regional Trusts. This will help the NHS to boost its delivery of research in the community and in rural areas.

Regional breadth and depth

Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust will be using their funding to pay for mobile CT scanners.

In Liverpool, this technology will give more people access to scans to help diagnose lung cancer. The scanner will also be used in research for other lung and heart conditions across the Northwest coast.

In Leeds, the CT scanner will be used by the NIHR's Leeds Clinical Research Facility. This will mean more people can take part in cancer trials, including commercial trials.

NHS organisations across the Southwest Peninsula will be purchasing four mobile research units. This will boost their ability to bring a variety of research and trials to people in the wider local area.

Professor Lucy Chappell, Chief Executive of the NIHR said:

“The best health and care research requires a number of important elements to come together: world-class researchers, cutting-edge facilities and the generous participation of the public.

“As we celebrate 75 years of our amazing NHS, today’s announcement reminds us that all three elements are firmly in place in this country, and that the UK as a whole remains one of the best places in the world to undertake clinical trials.

“We are so grateful for the continuing support of the many people who take part in research to help shape our future health and care. Thank you to everyone who has done so this year, and I hope even more people will be part of research in the future.”

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