A TOTAL of £9m has been awarded to health research across Hampshire, Dorset, Isle of Wight and South Wiltshire.

The National Institute for Health Research has awarded £9million to create a new organisation called ARC Wessex.

ARCs – Applied Research Collaborations – are teams of researchers working together to solve some of the big health issues in their communities.

There are 15 in England and the Wessex region covers Dorset, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and South Wiltshire.

Professor Alison Richardson, is the director of ARC Wessex, based at University Hospitals Southampton NHS Foundation Trust and University of Southampton, where she specialises in cancer and end of life care.

She said: “We are enormously pleased to have been awarded this funding from the National Institute for Health Research.

"Our collaboration is focussed on some of the biggest health challenges facing communities across Wessex.

"Our research will bring together patients and the public, local health and care providers and universities to work together to produce and implement research to enable prevention of ill health, more effective treatment and care and better outcomes.

"It’s a very exciting time and we look forward to starting our programme of work in earnest in the autumn.”

The team in Wessex is spread across four universities, NHS Trusts and local authorities, with doctors, nurses, health professionals and care staff working with academics to find practical solutions for patients and health and care systems.

Applied health research is research that seeks an answer to a question in the real world and to solve a problem.

Dr Phil Richardson, lead director for Dorset ICS and NHS Dorset CCG, said: “We are delighted that the ARC has been supported by NIHR.

"As a leading integrated care system we very much see ARC as a key delivery partner and a valuable member of Research Active Dorset.”