The remit of the Health Services Research Specialty Group is to support a national portfolio of research studies in HSR. The group aims to facilitate the ability of studies to deliver to target by developing and supporting a research infrastructure which promotes engagement of the research community and provides the local support necessary to undertake high quality research studies within the NHS.
The purpose of Health Services Research (HSR) is to improve the quality of health care and/or health outcomes by identifying the most effective ways to organise, manage, finance, and deliver health care; reduce medical errors; and improve patient safety.
HSR includes studies which aim to explain how social and demographic factors (e.g. socioeconomic characteristics, age, ethnicity), financing systems, organisational structures and processes, health technologies, and personal behaviours (of health care professionals, patients and carers) affect access to and use of health care, the quality (effectiveness, efficiency, equity) and cost of health care and ultimately health and well-being.
It is also concerned with implementation ie with developing a knowledge base about how interventions are translated to real world practice settings; and with policy analysis (examining and explaining the policy context and implications for implementation of cost effective interventions or services).
In addition, the remit of HSR Specialty Group cuts across many of the disease/specialty-based Specialty Groups and so several studies within the HSR Specialty Group’s portfolio may be co-adopted by other Specialty Groups and the NIHR Topic Specific Clinical Research Networks.
The remit of the Public Health Specialty Group is to support a national portfolio of structured research studies in the field of public health.
Public Health research is focused on providing new knowledge of the determinants of ill health and its distribution in the population and on interventions (including policy changes) to improve and protect health or reduce inequality. The Public Health portfolio can be sub-categorised into three areas of research:
- Epidemiological studies and studies to identify the determinants of ill-health;
- Public health interventions including screening programmes, preventative measures and behavioural change at individual and community levels;
- System and policy changes at the national level which have an impact on health, in its widest context.
Public Health research reaches beyond the boundaries of the NHS. Actions to promote healthy lifestyles, prevent disease and improve general health do however have a major impact on the NHS in terms of the demand for, and the delivery of healthcare services.
Public Health research which provides new knowledge on the benefits, cost-effectiveness, acceptability and wider impacts of non-NHS interventions intended to improve the health of the public and reduce inequalities in health will also fall within the remit of the Public Health Specialty Group (provided that they meet the portfolio eligibility criteria published by the DH) and will be entered on the NIHR Portfolio (which is part of the NIHR’s wider Research & Development Management Information System – RDMIS).
Visit the National Health Services Research and Public Health Specialty Group web pages for further information.