The government has promised to inject a hefty investment of £42 million into new research programmes designed to improve service delivery in children's health and other under-funded areas.

The National Institute for Health Research is funding the work of 25 research teams investigating “a wide range of chronic and debilitating health conditions” such as angina, skin disease and the effectiveness of vitamin D for preventing acute respiratory illness, under its Programme Grants for Applied Research scheme, which provides awards of up to £2 million over a period of three-five years for promising projects.

Examples of research programmes selected include: improving patient’s experience and outcome of total joint replacement (North Bristol NHS Trust); improving the quality of care of patients with angina and heart attack (UCL Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust); and improving pregnancy outcome for obese women (Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS FT).

All the programmes of research selected for NIHR grants aim to better understanding of how to manage and treat certain diseases more effectively, develop new therapies or prevent illnesses from developing in the first place, and it is hoped that the funding will help boost healthcare or improve service delivery within a three-five year time scale, the government said.

“These grants will encourage some of our leading researchers to develop innovative and practical solutions for conditions that affect millions people in this country,” commented Sally Davies, director of research and development at the Department of Health. “I am delighted that we are funding such a broad range of programmes and am impressed by the calibre of the applications,” she added.