LSE secures funding for prestigious Health and Care Policy Research Units

The objective of the PRUs to provide evidence to support policy decisions aligns with LSE’s strategic aims.
- Dr Jen Fensome, Director of Research and Innovation at LSE

Researchers in the Care Policy and Evaluation Centre (CPEC) at LSE have secured £35.5 million for research collaborations linked to Policy Research Units (PRUs) funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). These five-year PRUs will start in January 2024 and will bring £9.9 million of research funds to LSE, with one PRU led by LSE researchers.

NIHR PRUs play a vital role in making sure the government and arm’s length bodies have the best possible evidence when making policy decisions about health and social care.

The NIHR has confirmed funding of over £100 million today for 20 new Policy Research Units, with LSE researchers leading the next phase of the NIHR Policy Research Unit in Adult Social Care (ASCRU II).

Involving the University of Kent and King’s College London, ASCRU II will address key policy questions such as how to fund, organise, regulate, and target social care support in the most efficient and equitable way.

LSE researchers will also contribute to the following five PRUs:

  • The Economics of Health and Social Care Systems (ESHCRU III), led by the University of York, will carry out economic analyses to tackle long-standing issues facing the health and social care system, including how best to organise the interface between NHS and local authority social care services.
  • The Policy Innovation and Evaluation (PIRU III), led by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, will carry out speedy, thorough evaluations of policy innovations in health and social care.
  • The Policy Research Unit in Healthy Ageing, led by the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, will focus on policy strategies to extend healthy life expectancy and reduce health inequalities.
  • Led by the University of Exeter, the Policy Research Unit in Dementia & Neurodegeneration will target policy interventions to reduce or prevent dementia and other neurodegenerative conditions and deliver better care and support to people with these conditions.
  • The next phase of the NIHR Health and Social Care Workforce Research Unit will be led by King’s College London.

Commenting, Dr Jose-Luis Fernandez, Director of CPEC and of ASCRU said: “These Policy Research Units offer a unique opportunity to produce high-quality academic work which informs emerging as well as long-standing policy priorities for the health and social care system. Their research will contribute to improving the organisation and delivery of health and social care and in due course the lives of people with health and social care neds and their carers”.

Dr Jen Fensome, Director of Research and Innovation at LSE said: “We welcome the NIHR's funding through these PRUs to LSE which recognises the considerable track record of our researchers in carrying out internationally-leading research to support policy and practice in the adult social care field, across a range of research areas. The objective of the PRUs to provide evidence to support policy decisions aligns with LSE’s strategic aims to ensure our research contributes to the betterment of society, politically, economically and socially."

Behind the article

The Care Policy and Evaluation Centre (CPEC) is a leading international research centre carrying out world-class research in the areas of long-term care (social care), mental health, developmental disabilities, and other health issues - across the life course - to inform and influence policy, practice, and theory globally.

The mission of the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) is to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. They 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.