The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has received a £1.2 million grant awarded by the Department of Health (National Institute for Health Research) to research new ways of assessing and managing urinary incontinence after stroke.
The project, "ICONS: Identifying Continence Options after Stroke", will develop and test a package of care designed to increase the number of stroke survivors with urinary incontinence who become continent again.
Professor Caroline Watkins at UCLan commented: "We are delighted to have been awarded this funding as we are about to embark on a significant piece of research that will provide valuable insights into how best to care for incontinent stroke patients. Ultimately, this could improve such stroke patients' lives significantly, most importantly because it could restore their dignity."
Under Professor Watkins' lead, UCLan's Clinical Practice Research Unit is the only unit to have been awarded two NIHR programme grants. "It's a great honour to be recognised by the Department of Health and the National Institute for Health Research and I look forward to working together for such an important cause," she continued.
"We mustn't forget that in the UK, stroke is the third biggest cause of death and the largest single cause of severe disability – as such it's vital that we continue to undertake research in this area in order to improve stroke patients' lives."
The programme will involve 13 stroke services and around 850 patients in total, with the potential for further roll out across 30 stroke services.
The grant is a prestigious award in which NHS managers, researchers, clinicians from the NHS and patients, carers and the public will work together to deliver research and recommendations which can be applied for the benefit of patients.
The funding is part of the Department of Health's £32 million investment into 20 substantial research programmes for the National Institute for Health Research in the third round of competition.
"I await the implementation with interest. It is very good news. My own mother died from a stroke and our family did feel that more should have been done for her in the early stages. Had my mother not been cared for by the family I am quite sure she would not have been with us for the year or more of life that she was." - V Henry