02 Jan 2015
In September 2014 the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety sought views on a Strategy for Health and Social Care Research and Development in Northern Ireland. The strategy sets out the DHSSPS’s commitment to support research, researchers and the use of evidence from research to improve the quality of both health and social care and for better policy-making. It describes the ambition to increase investment in R&D by competing successfully for R&D funding, with all the benefits that brings.
This is the third strategy for Health and Social Care R&D. The first two strategies were implemented successfully and the realisation of their objectives has transformed the capacity to undertake high quality research that provides knowledge for improvements in health or social care services, prevention of ill-health and support for the economy.
This new strategy builds on these successes and describes the commitment of DHSSPS to continually improve the HSC R&D landscape in Northern Ireland.
IPH welcomed the opportunity to submit its views (2nd January 2015) on the strategy which reflects on the achievements of its predecessor: Research for Health and Wellbeing 2007-2012/13.
IPH suggests it would be useful to have:
- A greater alignment between this research strategy and the DHSSPS’s recently published Guidance on strengthening Personal and Public Involvement in Health and Social Care.
- A greater focus on the research needs for the PHA and stronger links between the strategy and the Northern Ireland Public Health Research Network and greater involvement in practitioners and community sector in the Network.
It is further suggested that the strategy does not adequately address:
- Building research and evaluation capacity within health and social services and in the community and voluntary sector.
- Dissemination (awareness and access) of research products and their use in evidence-informed policy and practice.
Overall, IPH felt that the strategy needed to have more innovative approaches which would then enable it to better support the research needs for effective public health policy and practice. In this way it would better support Northern Ireland’s public health framework, ‘Making Life Better’ and the Programme for Government.