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The programme of work involves producing evidence syntheses to inform policy development 

£2.5 million award to fund new evidence review facility at Exeter

The University of Exeter has received £2.5 million to establish one of two evidence review facilities dedicated to ensuring that government health and care policy is informed by the highest quality research.

The funding, from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Policy Research Programme (PRP), will bring together academics from a range of disciplines within the University of Exeter Medical School. The programme of work involves producing evidence syntheses to inform policy development and evaluation across the full policy remit of the Department of Health and Social Care.  The Exeter PRP Evidence Review Facility will work alongside the long-established London-York PRP Evidence Review Facility which is a collaboration between the EPPI-Centre at University College London, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the University of York.  Previous work commissioned from the London-York PRP Reviews Facility has included topics such as public health provision in community pharmacies, critical features of successful lifestyle weight management programmes, and methods to promote flu vaccine uptake in healthcare workers.

Professor Jo Thompson-Coon, who led the bid for Exeter, said: “This award is fantastic recognition for the wide-range of high-quality evidence review expertise we have at Exeter. Our work will include reviewing evidence about how things work, what patients and practitioners think about them, whether they offer good value for money and how best to inform the development and evaluation of health and social care policy in the UK. A key element will be including the views of patients and the public, another area in which we excel at Exeter.”

The new facility is supported by the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration South West Peninsula (PenARC), and will be led by Jo Thompson Coon, Ruth Garside and G.J. Melendez-Torres. The core review team will be Michael Nunns, Liz Shaw and Simon Briscoe. Kristin Liabo will support public and patient involvement in the programme.

Professor Clive Ballard, Dean and Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of Exeter Medical School, said:  “Congratulations to our outstanding team in securing this fantastic award. Our contribution to the PRP Reviews Facility will help ensure that government health and care policy is evidence-based and is using the most robust and high-quality research available, which is testament to the high calibre of research we have at Exeter.”

Date: 1 June 2020

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