The Community and Health Research Unit (CaHRU) is the research centre for the School of Health and Social Care, in the College of Social Science at the University of Lincoln and is allied with the Lincoln Institute for Health. The centre is directed by Professor Niro Siriwardena and staffed by 12 core researchers including two senior lecturers (qualitative methods, statistics), three research fellows (mixed methods, clinical trials, health economics and econometrics), a project manager, research assistants and an administrator.

CaHRU’s mission is to increase people’s health and well-being by improving the quality, performance and systems of care across the health, social and third sector care services through our world-leading interdisciplinary research with service users and health service professionals and organisations. We work closely with our Healthier Ageing Patient and Public Involvement (HAPPI) group which provides invaluable PPI input into the development of new studies and supports existing studies.

Our objectives are:

  • to conduct research which makes a difference to people’s health and well-being by helping to transform health and social care services and systems in the UK and internationally through world leading research;
  • to promote high quality care which enhances the experience, safety, effectiveness, efficiency and equity of healthcare by examining and transforming the performance and function of health and social care practice, organisation and delivery;
  • to  positively engage with service users, carers, practitioners, managers, commissioners and policymakers in our research activities;
  • to maximise the impact of our research by responding to service priorities, working with service users and care organisations to embed research into practice and disseminate findings using the notion of ‘dissemination by design’ and through a variety of media;
  • to strengthen our collaborations with academic and health service partners regionally, nationally and internationally;
  • to enable our researchers to achieve their highest potential through a research environment that encourages cooperation, collaboration and mutual support.

We have expertise in a range of methods including clinical trials, systematic reviews, observational studies, mixed methods and qualitative designs for research and evaluation. We benefit from working as part of the Lincoln Institute for Health and with colleagues in other academic groups, universities and health services in a range of disciplines. Our work focuses on translational, empirical and operational research relating to quality improvement in health and social care. Our three programmes of work are conducted in our Quality and Outcomes in Primary Healthcare (QOPH), Prehospital and Emergency Quality and Outcomes (PEQO) and Enhancing Experience and Equity in healthCare (EPiC) groups.

We  currently receive funding from the National Institute for Health Research (Programme Grant for Applied Health Research, Health Technology Assessment, Policy Research and Health Services and Delivery Research programmes), European Commission (Framework 7 and Horizon 2020), research councils (Medical Research Council), major research charities (Health Foundation, British Heart Foundation, Wellcome Trust), and regional bodies (East Midlands Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care and East Midlands Academic Health Science Network).