Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

€3 Million funding to enhance primary care delivery in Ireland

19 March 2015

Safer use of medicines, improved diagnosis, and more effective delivery of primary care will result from a new €3 million award from the Health Research Board (HRB) to the HRB Centre for Primary Care Research (CPCR), based at RCSI's (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) Department of General Practice.

This award will be used to build on the significant progress the CPCR has already made in advancing the capacity and infrastructure for primary care research in Ireland. This new phase of funding will see the centre focus on areas such a Clinical Decision Support Systems, Clinical Prediction Rules and multimorbidity; topics that are of national and international importance for both policy and practice.

The research programme will be undertaken with national and international partners where additional grant funding has been secured from two pan-European grants, namely TRANSFoRm, a study that focuses on patient safety in primary care, and ALICE, a study that examines the use of antivirals for influenza like illness.

Announcing the funding, Graham Love, Chief Executive at the HRB said ‘Effective primary care means better outcomes for patients and less pressure on acute services. To be effective, it must be informed by research. This €3 million investment by the HRB underlines the importance being put on primary care interventions nationally'.

Professor Tom Fahey, Professor of General Practice, HRB Centre for Primary Care Research, Department of General Practice, RCSI added ‘Our programme of primary care research is already having a great impact to improve primary care, and primary care research, in Ireland. To date we have created an international register of over 400 clinical prediction rules that help GPs to better diagnose patients and we have collaborated on the development of an infrastructure for GP's and their patients to contribute to research projects in real time. We have also identified and pilot tested an intervention to reduce potentially inappropriate prescribing at the point of patient care which could save several million euros on our prescription bills'.

Details of current and past work and projects of the Centre for Primary Care Research can be viewed online at www.hrbcentreprimarycare.ie.

RCSI is among the top 50 most international universities in the world (Times Higher Education University World Rankings, 2014-15). It is a not-for-profit health sciences institute which focuses on education and research to drive positive change in all areas of human health worldwide. RCSI is headquartered in Dublin and is a recognised College of the National University of Ireland. In 2010, RCSI was granted independent degree awarding status by the State, which enables the College to award degrees alongside its traditional powers to award licentiates.

The Health Research Board (HRB) is Ireland's lead agency supporting and funding health research. It aims to improve people's health, patient care and health service delivery by leading and supporting research, generating new knowledge and promoting the use of evidence in policy and practice. To date, the HRB has supported a wide range of research which has played a key role in driving innovation in the Irish health system and supporting economic development.