National School status for care research centre confirmed

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has announced that The University of Manchester’s Centre for Primary Care will continue to be part of the prestigious NIHR School for Primary Care Research.

Membership of the School confers both financial benefits (with a share of £30 million in funding), and status, stemming from the rigorous assessment of achievements of the Centre in producing world-class research, supporting the development of new researchers and involving the public and patients in its work.

The Centre for Primary Care is dedicated to improving policy and practice in healthcare through research.  This includes programmes to improve patient safety, to deliver  better primary care services for patients living  with long-term conditions and mental health problems, , and to support better commissioning and organisation of  primary care services. The Centre also has a strong focus on research methodology.

Staff members come from a wide variety of disciplines such as general practitioners, psychiatrists, sociologists, psychologists, statisticians and health services researchers, working together to bring different perspectives to research.

Professor Peter Bower leads the Centre for Primary Care. He said: “The renewal of School status confirms us as one of the country’s leading centres for primary care research. Having the NIHR School membership allows us to support more research alongside our other School partners, invest in promising early career researchers, and ultimately deliver better primary care for patients.

“We had fantastic support from Faculty and Institute colleagues during the application process, and our success reflects the very hard work of all our staff and students.”

Manchester is one of eight universities which make up the School for Primary Care Research, alongside, Bristol, Keele, Nottingham, Oxford, Southampton, Newcastle, Cambridge and University College London. To date the School has funded 241 research projects and over the last four years, 84 trainees.

The NIHR also operates Schools in Social Care Research, of which Manchester is also a member, and Public Health Research.

Case study

The prevention of Acute Kidney Injury in primary care

Dr Tom Blakeman, University of Manchester

Being aware of kidney function is important in order to maintain health. Many people live with mild and moderately low kidney function, which is often referred to by health professionals as early stage chronic kidney disease or stage 3 CKD. People with mild and moderately low kidney function are at greater risk of developing kidney damage during periods of acute illness such as infections caused by flu or gastroenteritis.

This is known as acute kidney injury or AKI. AKI is common and affects over 20% of people who have an unplanned hospital admission. It is more common in the elderly and in people with multiple long-term conditions.

AKI is harmful and is associated with an increased risk of end stage renal failure requiring dialysis or kidney transplantation as well as a greater risk of death both in the short and long term. AKI is costly and results in more frequent, longer and more intensive admissions to hospital.

AKI is also preventable. Recommendations to achieve this include keeping hydrated during episodes of acute illness, such as flu. It is also recommended that people taking certain drugs called ACE Inhibitors, diuretics or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. ibuprofen) should temporarily stop these medicines during episodes of acute illness.

However, this advice is currently not part for routine care. As the first part of a programme of research, our study aims to interview patients with early stage CKD as well as GPs, practice nurses and pharmacists, in order to find out how to better support people during episodes of acute illness. The findings will be used to develop and test the introduction of ‘sick day rules’ for people with early stage CKD who experience an episode of acute illness. 

Notes for editors

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is funded by the Department of Health to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. Since its establishment in April 2006, the NIHR has transformed research in the NHS. It has increased the volume of applied health research for the benefit of patients and the public, driven faster translation of basic science discoveries into tangible benefits for patients and the economy, and developed and supported the people who conduct and contribute to applied health research. The NIHR plays a key role in the Government’s strategy for economic growth, attracting investment by the life-sciences industries through its world-class infrastructure for health research. Together, the NIHR people, programmes, centres of excellence and systems represent the most integrated health research system in the world. For further information, visit the NIHR website (www.nihr.ac.uk).

Media enquiries to:

Jamie Brown
Media Relations Officer
The University of Manchester
Tel: 0161 2758383
Email: jamie.brown@manchester.ac.uk