A health and care research collaboration is creating a cohesive network to address local health needs and priorities and is celebrating their achievements in a new report.
The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration Greater Manchester (ARC-GM) is celebrating its fourth year in operation by sharing its success, ambitions and achievements in a new impact report.
Since its inception, ARC-GM has cultivated strong partnerships with the NHS, councils, patients and the public, the third sector, industry and universities across the region. It has created a platform and network for discussions and relationships between the universities, academics, heath and care systems, local authorities and VCSE sectors to enable research to be undertaken that is aligned to the priorities and needs of local areas.
During this time, ARC-GM also played a leading role in leveraging around £23 million in additional research funding into Greater Manchester, collaborating with more than 120 organisations, in over 100 research projects.
ARC-GM is one of 15 NIHR-funded regional ARCs across England; created to support health and care research that meets the needs of local people and healthcare systems in Greater Manchester.
The collaboration launched its report – ‘Our Story So Far’ – to showcase some of the impactful work that has been carried out and its vision for the future. Some of ARC-GM’s successes include:
- Co-developing research with parents and carers of children with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The project helped parents to make sense of OCD and dispel misconceptions, supported families to develop a shared understanding of the condition and provided opportunities for parents to be heard by people who understand.
- Highlighting the issues that affect the local population including published research on the impact of COVID-19, building a fairer future for children and overcoming health inequalities in ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods. These evidence-based reports have been shared with the Government and are supported by MPs and policy makers.
- Supporting the development of the next generation of researchers, offering PhD studentships, Pre-doctoral Fellowships and Research Internships to health and care professions, service users and carers, university undergraduates. 27 Research Interns have spent time with the ARC-GM team, enhancing their research knowledge and skills through first-hand, supervised experience.
- A study of inequalities in the uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine, particularly in those most at-risk on contracting the virus. This allowed ARC-GM to explore sensitive issues that may not have otherwise come up, including the existing mistrust amongst some marginalised groups stemming from racism and experiences of culturally insensitive healthcare.
- Co-producing “Adam’s Story” with local young people – an audience immersive multi-media theatre experience which allows viewers to put a mask on and become ‘Adam’, a young man facing a mental health crisis, and understand the challenges Adam faces. The piece was made in partnership with local theatre production company Made by Mortals to help raise awareness young people’s mental health and creating opportunities for important conversations. More information about Adam’s Story is available on YouTube https://youtu.be/Z48rPHGkHas
ARC-GM Director, Prof. Dame Nicky Cullum said: “ARCs are in a unique and important position within communities, in that the research they do is responsive to local needs and priorities. It’s important that ARCs are locally focused because there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach; every area is different to the next – particularly in the North. What makes our ARC in Greater Manchester stand out is the relationships we’ve made, to co-produce, design and deliver research that provides answers to important local questions, to support the health and wellbeing of people in our area.”
Mark Fisher, Chief Executive at NHS Greater Manchester Integrated Care, said: “Research and innovation is vital to ensuring we, as an Integrated Care system, remain at the forefront of improving population health outcomes. Our partnership with ARC-GM is both long-standing and successful. It is essential we can continue to work together to meet the many challenges we are facing to ensure we deliver the very best for our residents.”
Further details of the work and successes of the Greater Manchester ARC are available to view in ‘Our Story So Far’ https://arc-gm.nihr.ac.uk/media/Resources/ARC/The%20story%20so%20far/ARC-GM%20The%20story%20so%20far%20-%20FINAL.pdf
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