In October 2007, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) announced a call for proposals to establish pilot Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC).
CLAHRCs are designed to address key recommendations of Sir David Cooksey's Review of Health Research and of the Chief Medical Officer's High Level Review of Clinical Effectiveness by undertaking high-quality applied health research focused on the needs of patients and supporting the translation of research evidence into practice in the NHS.
The South West Peninsula Clinical Research Collaboration (SWPCRC), a partnership of local NHS trusts with the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, submitted a bid to NIHR in January 2008. Following a highly competitive short-listing and interview process NIHR awarded £10 million to establish a five-year pilot CLAHRC in the region. This funding was matched by a further £10 million from a number of sources including the Strategic Health Authority, the Universities and local NHS trusts.
In 2013, PenCLAHRC directly supports over 60 staff working in the applied health research in the south west peninsula. This includes academics, clinicians and support staff, many of whom employed on a part-time basis whilst they continue to work for the NHS or a university. Our portfolio of projects continues to grow with each round of question generation and prioritisation. We have established a team for patient and public involvement and funded a number of postgraduate studentships. PenCLAHRC is also helping to develop the skills of health professionals to access and utilise evidence through clinicial decision-making workshops. We also present a number of research seminars open to staff across our partner organisations.
The original pilot phase of CLAHRC funding was due to end on 30th September 2013. However, in July 2012, NIHR confirmed that there would be a three-month extension until 31st December 2013.
PenCLAHRC is now engaging in a bidding process for a second round of funding, to start 1st January 2014. For more information can be found at CLAHRC in transition.