The funding is awarded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) to create a pioneering Health Determinants Research Collaboration (HDRC) in the city.
Coventry’s collaboration will undertake this ground breaking work and includes Coventry University, the University of Warwick, University College London, and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire as well as a wide range of partners within the community and voluntary sectors.
This is part of a wider £50 million investment from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) for a series of local government partnerships across the country, boosting local authorities’ capacity and capability to conduct high-quality research to tackle health inequalities.
The 10 pioneering Health Determinants Research Collaborations (HDRCs) provide new research funding to embed a culture of evidence-based decision-making within local government. The HDRCs will help to stimulate economic growth, particularly in some of the most deprived areas of the country and contribute to the Government’s plans to take action for the longer-term resilience of the health and wealth of the country. A further three councils will be receiving development award funding during 2022/23, with the prospect of them becoming full HDRCs the following financial year.
The new partnerships, spanning the length and breadth of the UK, follow a major drive for enabling research to address wider determinants of population health and health inequalities, explicitly responding to the needs of local underserved groups and areas. Examples include facilitating research to better understand and introduce interventions to help with childhood obesity, Covid recovery, mental health and drug use.
Each HDRC will enable its host local authority to become more research-active, by giving local government the opportunity to focus time and energy on planning and designing research. Every collaboration will be set up in partnership with a Higher Education Institution (HEI), capitalising on experience within local government and the research skills of the academic community. This will support the development of expertise, and generation of research evidence, creating a cycle of evidence-informed interventions aiming to improve the health of the public.
The ten HDRCs commenced formally on 1 October 2022. Three further teams will be given funding to undertake additional developmental work to enable HDRC status by 1 October 2023. The vision is that approximately 30 HDRCs will be created in total through future commissioning rounds.
Other Key Cities with funded HDRCs are Doncaster Council, Bradford City Council, Plymouth City Council and Blackpool Council. Medway Council has received development award funding during 2022/23 with a view to them becoming a full HDRC in 2023/24.