In consultation with our community, clinicians and policy makers we have identified three areas of national and international priority for applied health research. The common purpose linking these three health priority areas is to use research as a force for change, and our underpinning cross-theme priorities include health inequality, access to healthcare services, mental health and digital innovation.
Child health as a public health priority
- Applied Epidemiology.
- Evaluation of early life interventions.
- Forging international collaborations.
- Harnessing big data.
- Understanding health inequalities including those related to class, ethnicity and migration.
- Translating research into practice.
Child health and wellbeing is the foundation of lifelong mental and physical health, as well as human and social capital formation. Yet UNICEF recently ranked the UK behind its European neighbours.
Healthy ageing as a health service priority
- Cognitive decline and mental health.
- Dementia care
- End of life care
- Care homes
There is a rapid growth in the population of older people with long-term conditions. The profound change in life expectancy and increasing complexity of multiple health conditions and frailty in older people has led to unprecedented pressures on health services internationally.
Patient safety and quality improvement as a policy priority
- Patient involvement in patient safety
- Organisational, team and individual learning and change
- Safe use of medicines
- Use of informatics to enhance patient safety
- Transitions across the care pathway
Evidence from patient surveys, organisational inspections and comparison of routine health outcome data indicates considerable variation in quality of care. Poor management of patients at the interfaces of care, clinical practice that is not aligned with current evidence, and pathways of care that are not patient focused impair the efficiency and safety of health care.