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National Institute for Health Research showcases the "hidden heroes" in diabetes research

14 November 2012

On World Diabetes Day (14 November), the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) will launch a new website to showcase the ground-breaking work that top researchers are doing to tackle diabetes.

Diabetes is a long-term condition caused by too much glucose (sugar) in the blood.  It affects approximately 2.9 million people in the UK, and is a major cost to the health service. 

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) invests in research across all areas of medicine, by giving grants for research investigations, funding world-class facilities and by providing training for researchers.  It also supports the cost of thousands of research nurses in hospitals and clinics across the country, who link NHS patients with suitable clinical studies, so that doctors can gather the evidence they need to drive better treatments.

The NIHR's Focus on Diabetes website features interviews with the "hidden heroes" of the research community, who work behind the scenes to bring research opportunities to patients, improve our scientific understanding of diabetes, and investigate ways to improve the prevention, management and treatment of the condition.

It also includes resources for patients about what it is like to take part in a clinical research study, what clinical trials are happening, and how to get involved in research activity.

Professor Dame Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer, and Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department of Health, said:

"Diabetes affects millions of people.  One tenth of NHS budget is spent on diabetes, which makes it a major healthcare issue for this country. 

“The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is helping to tackle the issue in lots of different ways.  We are funding vital research into the condition.  We are supporting world-facilities so that diabetes researchers can focus on delivering ground-breaking results.  We are training the research leaders of the future, and we are making sure that diabetes patients have opportunities to take part in high-quality research studies through the NHS.

“We have already seen results from our investment in research, but the work continues.   We hope that this new website will play its part in focusing public attention on the issue of diabetes, and the important role of research in tackling the condition."

The website is available at: To hear the Chief Medical Officer interviewed about the resource, visit:

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The NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) Programme is managed by the NIHR Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre (NETSCC). NETSCC is part of the University of Southampton funded by the NIHR, with specific contributions from the CSO in Scotland and NISCHR in Wales and the HSC R&D Division, Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland.

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