Browser does not support script.

News article

New institute to address key challenges facing health and social care in today’s society

Published: 30 November 2023

  •   Featured
  •   Research
Five people in front of a screen with the words Institute for Health and Care Improvement launch displayed

Professor Garry Tew, Professor Karen Bryan OBE, The Rt Hon Lord Mayor of York Reverend Councillor Chris Cullwick, Lady Mayoress Mrs Joy Cullwick, and Professor Stephen Eames

NHS representatives, civic leaders, health and social care providers and charities have joined staff and students for the official launch of York St John University's innovative and ambitious new health and care research institute. 

The Institute for Health and Care Improvement (IHCI) aims to find solutions for the pressing issues facing health and social care today. The Institute draws on expertise from across the University, working in close collaboration with partners and participants in the community.  

The Institute’s research falls into three main themes:  

  • Promoting and preserving health and wellbeing 
  • Advancing policy and practice in health and social care 
  • Reducing inequalities in health and care 

Professor Garry Tew is Director of the Institute for Health and Care Improvement. He said: 

“The Institute acts as an innovation hub for health and care services with our internationally excellent researchers working alongside patients, clinicians and industry partners. From disease detection and prevention to physical activity, rehabilitation and health promotion, we are working to improve lives regionally, nationally and globally.  

“By collaborating like this, we hope to influence decision-makers with evidence and research to inspire change as we navigate the health challenges of the modern world.” 

The launch of the Institute took place on Wednesday 29 November in the York St John Creative Centre, with more than 80 guests attending from partner higher education institutions, regional NHS trusts, health and social care providers, local charities, as well as staff and students from across the University. Representatives from City of York Council and the York Civic Party also attended the event. 

Professor Karen Bryan OBE, Vice Chancellor of York St John University, opened the launch event, followed by guest speaker Professor Stephen Eames, Chief Executive of Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership. Professor Tew then introduced the Institute’s vision, priorities and an overview of its current projects. 

Professor Bryan said:  

“The Institute for Health and Care Improvement represents a significant milestone in the University’s commitment to advancing research, innovation and professional education in the fields of health and social care as we aim to address the needs and inequalities of the local and wider communities.” 

Addressing the audience, Professor Eames spoke about regional partnerships and initiatives in healthcare research and improvement, highlighting the Innovation, Research and Improvement System (IRIS) which was launched by the Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership this month. This new initiative aims to create a supporting structure and culture which allows research, innovation and improvement to become core business and as a result, ensure that health and social care challenges are addressed. The ambition of IRIS is for the population to live longer, healthier lives by narrowing the gap in healthy life expectancy between the highest and lowest levels in communities by 2030 and increasing healthy life expectancy by five years by 2035. Professor Eames stressed the importance of research institutes like the University’s IHCI in driving forward research, innovation and improvement in the area. 

Current projects being undertaken by the IHCI include research into working women and the menopause, and supporting physical activity in people with severe mental illness. Research is also underway looking at the experiences and perceptions of first contact practitioners in primary care, and the Institute has recently rolled out a supervised exercise programme for people with intermittent claudication with clinicians at York Hospital. Inequalities in health research projects include a study examining health inequalities in rurality, and reversing frailty in rural communities. 

Visit the Institute for Health and Care Improvement webpages to find out more about the valuable work the Institute is doing.

Contact us

Communications team

York St John University, Lord Mayors Walk, York, YO31 7EX

01904 876 466

To contact us out of hours, phone 07812 365 499