Two further partnerships between National Health Service (NHS) organisations and UK universities have been announced by the Department of Health, bringing the total number of National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaborations for Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) due to start work on October 1 to nine. The two new Collaborations are in Nottinghamshire and Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, and they will receive a total of £18 million to conduct research and improve care in conditions including depression, dementia, stroke and childhood obesity.

Each NIHR CLAHRC will bring together universities and their surrounding NHS organisations to test new treatments and new ways of working in specific clinical areas, to see if they are effective and appropriate for everyday use, says the Department. Where potential improvements are identified, the collaborations will help NHS staff to incorporate them into everyday working practices, so that patients across the local community receive a better standard of health care, it adds.

The nine Collaborations, which will receive funding totaling £88 million over five years, represent “an exciting and innovative partnership” which will conduct their work at the front line of the NHS, said Professor Sally Davies, director general of R&D at the Department.

The two latest CLAHRCs partner Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust with the University of Nottingham, and Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust with the University of Cambridge. They will undertake research aimed at improving diagnosis and/or treatment and ensuring that improved ways of working are introduced into the NHS in the areas of: the transition of adolescents with ongoing mental health and social care needs from services for young people into adult mental health services and the community; support for men and women with long-term conditions, such as learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorders and cerebral palsy; the mental health of the older population, including studies of dementia and depression; serious mental illness and personality disorder; stroke rehabilitation; childhood obesity; Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); and enhancing prevention and service access for disadvantaged South Asian communities in relation to obesity and diabetes, and depression and anxiety.