Kent part of new £3.7 million REAL Research Unit

Heidi Pullig
The REAL Supply Research Unit team. From left to right: Sarah Birch (Kent), Nils Gutacker (CHE), Susan Griffin (CHE), Dave Bell (SPRE), Diane Skatun (Aberdeen), Florin Vadean (Kent), Julien Forder (Kent)

Kent is part of a collaboration that has been selected by the The Health Foundation for its new REAL Research Units programme. This programme involves the setting up of two new research units that will design and deliver research programmes aimed at improving the quality of decision making in health and social care.

Researchers from Kent’s Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU) will join teams from the universities of York and Aberdeen as well as the Scottish Policy Research Exchange to carry out research on the supply of health and social care, with the aim of shaping a more resilient and equitable health and care system through long-term, sustainable policymaking. The York-led unit will receive just over £3.7m of funding over seven years.

The REAL Research Units programme aims to develop leadership, advocacy and learning which will build consensus and develop the infrastructure needed to influence longer-term approaches to policy and funding decisions.

Professor Julien Forder, Director of PSSRU, said: ‘The new REAL Research Unit offers an exciting opportunity to develop research seeking to find long-lasting solutions to supply issues in the health and social care system, bringing together people working in the system, policymakers and academic researchers.’

Anita Charlesworth, Director of the REAL Centre, said: ‘The setting up of the REAL Research Units is a unique opportunity to build both the research capacity and critical mass needed to deliver on the REAL Centre’s ambitions to improve the quality of decision making in health and social care. The units will be integral to the work of the REAL Centre, enabling collaboration, partnerships and knowledge mobilisation which will translate our work into impact.’

The Health Foundation’s REAL Centre (Research and Economic Analysis for the Long term) provides independent analysis and research to support better long-term decision making in health and social care. Its aim is to help health and social care leaders and policymakers look beyond the short term to understand the implications of their decisions around issues such as funding, investment and training over the next 10–15 years.