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£2.5m Grant awarded to establish a West Midlands Evidence Synthesis Group (ESG) to provide best evidence for health and social care

A £2.5m grant will enable researchers from the West Midlands region led by the University of Warwick to provide sound evidence to healthcare policymakers, to ensure patients and service users receive the best quality care.

One of nine new Evidence Synthesis Groups (ESGs) has been awarded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) to a collaborative group, led by Professor Amy Grove and Associate Professor Yen-Fu Chen from Warwick Evidence in Warwick Medical School and Professor Yemisi Takwoingi from the Institute of Applied Health Research, University of Birmingham. They will be supported by Professor Danielle van der Windt and colleagues from the School of Medicine, Keele University.

The £2.5m grant will provide five years of funding to allow researchers to systematically review and summarise the best available evidence in response to questions that urgently need to be answered for health and social care.

The West Midlands ESG will draw on core strength in methodology innovation and evidence synthesis within University of Warwick and beyond, with collaboration internally with the Centre for Educational Development, Appraisal and Research (CEDAR) and the Department of Statistics, and externally across the footprint of the Applied Research Collaboration (ARC- West Midlands) and the Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre with Universities of Birmingham and Keele.

Professor Amy Grove of Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, said: “This is a really exciting opportunity. We aim to deliver a range of evidence synthesis products across the spheres of health and social care to inform decision making and also to promote the methods and utilisation of evidence synthesis.

"In the era of information overload, our evidence synthesis will produce trustworthy knowledge that helps advance science through the application of rigorous methods to identify, appraise and summarise best available evidence.”

Researcher Amy Grove

“Our methodology will include qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods systematic literature reviews, health economics & decision modelling, and will place patients and service users at the centre of our attention. We believe that decisions and policies should be made on the basis of sound evidence gathered through a systematic, transparent and collaborative process, with patient and public involvement at the heart of everything we do.” Added Professor Sophie Staniszewska, who will lead patient and public engagement for the West Midlands ESG.

Professor Yemisi Takwoingi from the University of Birmingham commented: “Decision makers, including health and social care professionals or policy makers, will be able to use the synthesised evidence that we produce to inform their decisions, which could have substantial downstream impact at personal and population levels. For example, our works often directly inform what treatments, diagnostic tests or ways of organising services work best and are good value for money for use in the NHS and social care.”

“We will deliver up to five reviews per year between 2023-28 to provide policymakers, professionals and the public with timely, high-quality evidence to ensure patients and service users receive the best quality care. We value the opportunity to address the needs of all communities and improve evidence synthesis science,” explained Associate Professor Lena Al-Khudairy, Applied Evidence Synthesis & Dissemination Lead of the ESG.

About the National Institute for Health and Care Research

The mission of the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) is to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. We do this by:

· Funding high quality, timely research that benefits the NHS, public health and social care;

· Investing in world-class expertise, facilities and a skilled delivery workforce to translate discoveries into improved treatments and services;

· Partnering with patients, service users, carers and communities, improving the relevance, quality and impact of our research;

· Attracting, training and supporting the best researchers to tackle complex health and social care challenges;

· Collaborating with other public funders, charities and industry to help shape a cohesive and globally competitive research system;

· Funding applied global health research and training to meet the needs of the poorest people in low and middle income countries.


NIHR is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care. Its work in low and middle income countries is principally funded through UK Aid from the UK government.

University of Warwick press office contact: 

Annie Slinn

Communications Officer | Press & Media Relations | University of WarwickLink opens in a new window 

18 May 2023