Funding blow threatens future of research institute

One of the UK’s leading social care research institutes
faces an uncertain future following the NHS Executive’s
decision to stop funding its work, writes Derren

From July, the NHSE will terminate the Tizard Centre’s
£700,000 a year grant because of ‘reorganisation’ within the
NHS. The grant, which used to be provided through the South East
Thames Regional Health Authority, accounts for around half its
annual budget.

The centre, part of the University of Kent in Canterbury, may
have to reduce its research work and cut some of its 17 staff as a
result of losing the funding. Several posts have already not been
refilled, planned posts discontinued and some contracts

The 20-year-old centre does research into learning difficulties,
mental health and older people, and offers professional development

Paul Cambridge, senior lecturer in learning disability at the
centre, said attempts to find alternative long-term funding had so
far failed, but that the university had agreed to give short-term

He said: ‘The centre may have to look at developing its
consultancy work, and doing more teaching to generate income which
will risk our research activities.

‘All our research is applied and will inform the
management and practice of community care, but this could have long
term impacts on our understanding of the field.’





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