Working together to tackle some of our biggest health and social care challenges

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Our area faces some major health and social care challenges. Our work aims to tackle those challenges.

The North East and North Cumbria covers a large geographical area but has a relatively small population of around three million people.

Across our area, we have the highest rates of poverty, unemployment, poor health and early death, in England. Premature cancer death rates are 25% higher in the North East than in the South East, with particular hot spots in Middlesbrough and South Tyneside.

Over 70% of our adults are obese or overweight, particularly in North and South Tyneside. A third of people in the North East do no exercise, compared to a quarter in South East England, and we have the highest levels of heavy alcohol use in the country.

It is clear that we have a lot to do to improve the health of our population and provide the kind of care and support that will enable people in the North East and North Cumbria to experience the same health outcomes as people in other parts of England.

Our Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) for the North East and North Cumbria is a partnership that brings together six regional universities, health and social care providers, local authorities, the voluntary sector, community groups, members of the public and others.

Working together, our vision is to deliver ‘better, fairer health and care at all ages and in all places’ – and our work is organised around seven key research themes.

  • Inequalities and marginalised communities
  • Prevention, early intervention and behaviour change
  • Supporting children and families
  • Multi-morbidity, ageing and frailty
  • Integrating mental and physical health and social care
  • Knowledge mobilisation and implementation
  • Research methodologies
  • We also support research around mental health, and social care.

Discover more about our research themes

Our work covers everything from exploring how we can improve care for the most vulnerable, give children the very best start in life, keep people well for longer, support people to make healthier lifestyle choices, and tackle mental, physical and social health issues more holistically.

As well as this, we’re leading on national work around how we can reduce health inequalities to make sure everyone has fair access to the health care they need, at the right time, in the right place – no matter what.

We’re also leading national work around how we can prevent illness through early intervention and behavioural change, so that people can live longer, healthier lives – and reduce avoidable care and treatment.

We also carry out implementation research to increase the rate at which research findings are put into practice and can benefit communities.

We are one of fifteen NIHR-funded Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs) in England and we are hosted by the Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust.

The National Institute for Health and care Research (NIHR) funds, enables and delivers world-leading health and social care research that improves people’s health and wellbeing, and promotes economic growth. Find out more about the NIHR.



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We are one of 15 NIHR Applied Research Collaborations in England.