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21 December, 2017 - 12:18 By Kate Sweeney

Nurse researchers awarded grant to tackle major NHS challenge

Nurse researchers Dr Jackie Buck from The University of East Anglia (UEA) and Dr Jane Fleming from The University of Cambridge have been awarded a prestigious Dawkins & Strutt grant, part of the BMA Foundation for Medical Research Awards, for research focused on older people with more than one health condition - one of the biggest challenges facing today’s NHS. 

The grant will help their research into the extent and range of multiple health conditions in older people and associations with health service use, medication, care, social support and lifestyle factors.  

Dr Jane Fleming said: “The number of people aged 90 or older has almost tripled in three decades but we still have a lot to learn about how multiple and complex illnesses affect people in this age group. Our project is using a unique resource from a long-running study of older old age to investigate how commonly very old people are living with multiple conditions and what services or other support they need.” 

Dr Jackie Buck said “The grant will help our health and care services better plan how best to treat an ageing population.”

Twenty-three medical academics and research scientists have been awarded a total of £725,000 at this year’s awards. Through the foundation, the BMA has been supporting medical research since 1839 and is the oldest medical organisation in the world to award grants and prizes with the aim of encouraging and furthering medical research. The awards fund clinical medical research and this year cover a diverse range of research areas including treating an ageing population, sexual health and schizophrenia. 

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair and chair of the foundation trustees said: “Medical research embodies a core value of all doctors to see continual improvements in health care and treatments for patients. Each year the BMA supports and funds important, innovative projects to advance medical research in areas that have a measurable impact on peoples’ health and wellbeing. The BMA Foundation’s work continues to be a success year on year.

“The UK is renowned as a centre of world-class medical research and what makes these awards special is their focus on supporting everyday doctors, many busy in full-time clinical practice or in the earliest stages of their careers. These vital grants are key enablers which could be the beginning of a more substantive piece of research, further funding or a burgeoning career in clinical research.”

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Dr Jane Fleming (left) with Dr Jackie Buck

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