To emphasis this commitment to integrated care the NIHR recently changed its name to the National Institute for Health and Care Research and emphasised its commitment to funding future research in this area. The NIHR have stated that their strategic primary research areas for funding will include addressing changing patterns of multimorbidity and mortality; health and health inequalities, challenges from new technologies and workforce and skill mix in primary care. Integrated care frameworks such as that by Valentijin highlight the central role primary care has in relation to integrating care within a health system.

We have already competitively secured two NIHR PhD studentship through the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration North West Coast focusing on multimorbidity, health inequalities using novel electronic shared care record including primary, secondary and social care data.

Focused on accelerating the translation of innovation in primary and integrated care across the research cycle and applying for external funding for high quality research projects. We want to attract funding for innovative research through collaboration with health-related industry and government agencies and generate income this way. Funding will also be generated through university and external sources with the hopes of supporting preliminary research (e.g., the Research Investment Fund, known as RIF).

We want to increase research capacity and capability in the following ways. Securing externally funded doctoral research and career development fellowships and in turn, supporting doctoral primary care research through our internal GTA scheme. We hope to raise awareness of Centre activities, disseminate research outputs, and establish impact. Also, we will establish local and regional epidemiological and clinical research databases to support research collaboration within Edge Hill University and its external partners. Lastly, we will explore integration of NHS staff in the university community through seconded posts and the integration of Edge Hill University staff in the NHS community.

Society of Academic Primary Care to join a ‘Northern Powerhouse’ collaboration along with other HEIs across the North of England to strengthen collaboration for competitive research grants. To date there is no other primary and integrated care research centre in the North West.

These objectives will evolve over the first five-year cycle as the Centre develops, increases income and outputs, and builds capacity.

Our goals beyond the 5-year plan are as follows:

  • Establish the Centre as a focus for regional Primary Care research.
  • Build and extend collaborative research with international colleagues.
  • Develop infrastructure and expertise for supporting collaborative primary care research.
  • Capitalise on the Centre’s reputation and intellectual footprint by exploring funding opportunities for larger scale projects, e.g. NIHR Programme Grants for Applied Research.
  • Explore opportunities for shared clinical academic posts, initially supported through industry.
  • Seek allocation of funded medical research training fellowships through the NIHR Academy Integrated Academic Training Programme (Academic Clinical Fellowship, Clinical Lectureship, In-Practice Fellowship), with the aim of developing a primary care pathway.
  • Develop a REF Impact Case Study based on the Centre’s output and activity.
  • Develop a competitive application for joining the NIHR School for Primary Care Research.