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£2 Million for New Primary Health Care Research Network

Originally Published 9 October 2000

The University of Warwick's Centre for Primary Health Care Studies is launching a £1.9 million programme to develop a network of researchers focusing their efforts on research that contributes to improving the evidence base and quality of NHS primary care services. The researchers will tackle questions that make a difference the effectiveness of treatments and services provided by primary health care. There will be opportunities for local GPs, nurses, and other primary care health professionals and managers to contribute their ideas on what research is needed to improve primary health care. For primary health professionals keen to engage in research themselves, the Network will be able to provide resources and support. The new network's 5-year grant totalling £1.9 million is from NHSE West Midlands.

The network will concentrate on three areas of research:
  • Chronic disease, particularly rheumatology and diabetes
  • Health promotion, screening and risk assessment
  • Patient access to health care

In each of these areas it will consider themes such as: decision support, evidence into practice, research on professional education, organisational research, rural health, self-care, health inequalities, mental health, patient/lay views, research methodology development.

The network includes academics from a range of departments at the University of Warwick, as well as the University of Coventry, University of Aston, and University College Worcester. The network has close links with the Primary Care Research Consortium of six general practices in the locality where research can be undertaken in the field.

Jeremy Dale, Professor of Primary Care, University of Warwick said:

"Over 90% of contacts with the health service take place in primary care; this includes GPs, community nurses, dentists and opticians. Until recently there has been little research taking place in Primary Care compared to other branches of medicine. This initiative aims to undertake research that will lead to more effective primary health care services".

Dr Frances Griffiths, Director of the Network and a local GP in Coventry, said:

"This initiative draws together the research expertise of the Universities of Warwick, Coventry and Aston and of University College Worcester to address the important research questions for Primary Health Care services."

The Warwick-West Midlands Primary Care Research Network will be launched on 12th October in an event bringing together the university's health care researchers with local GPs, nurses, other primary health care providers and senior health officials. Professor Richard Lilford, Director of R&D, NHSE West Midlands will be speaking on the importance of Primary Care research in today's health service.

Note for Editors: The launch will take place at 12.30pm on Thursday Oct 12th in the Rootes building's Panorama room at the University of Warwick.

For further details please contact:

Professor Jeremy Dale Tel 024 76 572950

Or Dr Frances Griffiths Tel 024 76 522534