Cornwall Council has secured a grant of £4.96 million from the National Institute of Health and Care Research (NIHR) to establish a Health Determinant Research Collaboration. The primary objective of this project is to enhance mental health and wellbeing in Cornwall by encouraging research on local issues. The funding, which will span a five-year period starting in January 2024, will be used to create employment opportunities and facilitate career development. The collaboration will bring together organizations such as Cornwall Council, the Universities of Exeter, Falmouth, and Plymouth, and the Cornwall Voluntary Sector Forum to promote closer cooperation in conducting research within Cornwall communities.
This initiative forms part of the NIHR’s broader efforts to establish 13 similar collaborations throughout the UK last year. The aim is to leverage the collective knowledge and experience of these organizations to address the unique health challenges faced by peripheral coastal and rural areas. Professor Sheena Asthana, co-applicant of Cornwall HDRC and academic lead of the Plymouth HDRC, emphasized the significance of finding specific solutions to address the wider determinants of health in these areas. The research collaboration seeks to expedite research and develop innovative solutions that will enhance the quality of life for residents.
Andy Virr, Cornwall Council cabinet member for adult social care and health, expressed his enthusiasm for the project, describing it as “great news.” He believes that the funding will enable them to tackle the urgent health issues faced by the population and promote healthier lifestyles. The director of public health’s annual report for this year shed light on health inequalities, and the council’s website provides further information on how these disparities affect the people of Cornwall.
The grant received from the NIHR will not only support research activities but also contribute to the creation of new jobs and opportunities for career development. By pooling the resources and expertise of various organizations, the Health Determinant Research Collaboration aims to foster closer collaboration in delivering research outcomes that directly benefit the communities in Cornwall. This substantial investment in mental health and wellbeing research demonstrates a commitment to improving the lives of residents and finding tailored solutions to address the unique health challenges faced by Cornwall.