The government has announced a five-year funding package of £816 million for leading NHS clinicians and universities undertaking health research.

Under the plans, mental health research will see funding increase to nearly £70 million, dementia to over £45 million, deafness and hearing problems will receive over £15 million and antimicrobial resistance research rises to around £45 million, the Department of Health said.

The funding has been awarded to 20 NHS and university partnerships across England through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), with each of the new biomedical research centres to host the development of new, ground-breaking treatments, diagnostics, prevention and care for patients in a wide range of diseases like cancer and dementia.

"We are supporting the great minds of the NHS to push the frontiers of medical science so that patients in this country continue to benefit from the very latest treatments and the highest standards of care," said Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt commenting on the move.

Of the successful applicants, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is to get £114.3 million to support a wide range of projects, including research into antimicrobial resistance, dementia, women's health and paediatrics.

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will take home around £113.7 million for its work on microbiology, gastroenterology, genomics and mucosal immunity, amongst other projects, while Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is being awarded £6.7 million for its projects on preventing disease and disability in immune mediated inflammatory disease and improving treatment of osteoarthritis.

"The future of NHS care depends on the science we do now. This new funding will enable clinical researchers to keep pushing for medical breakthroughs. The NIHR biomedical research centres announced today offer huge potential benefits for patients across the country," noted chief scientific advisor Professor Chris Whitty.