As the NHS celebrates its 70th birthday, I hope that in another 58 years there will be similar celebrations and appreciation when its research arm, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), turns 70.
In a recent BMJ poll marking the 70th anniversary of the NHS, ‘research’ came last out of a top 10 NHS achievements. However, competition was stiff, ‘being free at point of use’ coming top. As a GP and NIHR post-doctoral fellow, I felt conflicted: should I vote for general practice or research? I admit to voting for the former – primary care needs every plaudit it can get currently – 90% of contacts in the NHS, for less than 9% of the NHS budget, and all that.
So, if the adolescent NIHR, as progeny of the NHS, is to survive … Read more