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Northern Ireland still faces challenges to improve public health - Poots

Health Minister Edwin Poots today re-launched the Centre of Excellence for Public Health Research in Northern Ireland.
Tuesday, 18 June 2013

The body, based at Queen’s University, Belfast is one of five such centres established across the UK.

The Minister said: “There have been big improvements in health and life expectancy over the last decades. However Northern Ireland still faces challenges to improve public health and ensure that, as a society, we benefit from longer and healthier lives.

“There is a growing wealth of international public health research which is vital to learn from. But it is also important that we continue to have and grow our own research capacity and expertise, not only at a local level but across the UK as a whole.

“We need to ensure that research is knowledgeable about the challenges we face and that learning is translated effectively into interventions that best take account of our populations needs.”

Following a rigorous review of performance over the last five years and future plans by the Medical Research Council the Centre is to receive further investment from a number of funders of close to £8million over the next five years to support high quality research by experts working in partnership with practitioners, policy makers and wider stakeholders.

The Minister concluded: “It is a testament to the quality of public health research here that the Centre is to receive further investment for the next five years. I congratulate all involved.

“Going forward, the aim is to build additional strength in tackling the public health issues affecting both the young and the older population.”

Notes to editors:

1. The Centre of Excellence will research complex public health issues such as those affecting the young and older population

2. The other four UKCRC Centres of Public Health Research are based in Newcastle, Cardiff, Cambridge and Nottingham.

3. Further investment for the next 5 years in the Centre is anticipated to amount to approx £8m for the following funders –

  • UKCRC (UK Clinical Research Collaboration) - Awaiting official funding letter –but approx. £4.3 mil FEC from the UKCRC group of funders
  • PHA R&D -Public Health Agency R&D Office: - £1,000,000
  • UU - approx £400,000
  • QUB - approx £1,200,000
  • Atlantic Philanthropies - £2,000,000
  • W5 - £15,000

4. Media enquiries to DHSSPS Press Office on 02890 520505, or out of hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 9971 5440 and your call will be returned.