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Academy of Medical Sciences launches report on UK health research

News, May 10 2023

The Academy of Medical Sciences has launched a new report detailing the key threats to UK health research and the steps needed to protect it. 

Health research represents a vital part of the broader life science ecosystem, helping us better understand fundamental biological processes and translating these insights into clinical benefits. A thriving health research system is key to the health and wellbeing of society at large, as so pertinently demonstrated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the development of life-saving vaccines. 

'Future-proofing UK Health Research: a people-centred, coordinated approach' has been co-Chaired by President of the Biochemical Society, Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow FMedSci, and Professor Sir Peter Mathieson FRSE FMedSci.

Detailing the strengths in the UK’s health research system, the report's findings highlight the importance of placing people at the heart of the UK health research system, maximising the research potential of the NHS, ensuring the true cost of excellent health research is adequately covered, and ensuring talented people can develop careers that span sectors. 

Co-Chair of the report and President of the Biochemical Society, Professor Goodfellow, says:

“The UK’s life science and health research base is strong, but the system supporting it is fragile. If left untended, our health research system will continue to fray at the edges, leaving it in a poor position to provide health, wellbeing, and economic benefits.

With the klaxon sounded, it is clear we need a coordinated and people-centred movement now to strengthen the life-saving asset that is our health research system.”

Chair of the Biochemical Society's Policy Advisory Panel, Dr Derry K. Mercer, also responds:

"With far-reaching implications for the research sector as a whole, the release of this report is a timely reminder of the fundamental strengths that underpin health research in the UK. It is also a reminder of the kind of existential threats that these endeavours face.

I'm pleased to see calls for a coordinated effort in response to the report's findings, which demonstrate the kind of interconnected and collaborative approach needed to safeguard support for sustainable research systems well into the future."

Produced by 30 experts from across the UK, including established and emerging research leaders, patients, carers and representatives from the public, private and charitable sectors, find out more about the report on the Academy of Medical Sciences' website.