Medical Care Research Unit

Established in 1966, the Medical Care Research Unit (MCRU) is one of the UK's leading health services research groups.

MCRU_HOME_4imageAmbulance image courtesy South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS FT

The Medical Care Research Unit has been conducting high quality health services research for almost 50 years. Our aim is to carry out research that influences health care practice and policy for the benefit of NHS patients and the public. We describe and evaluate services and technologies to measure the impact on patient outcomes, service effectiveness and the wider social and economic effects.

Our research is funded by grants from the National Institute of Health Research, Research Councils and charities. In the five years 2010-2014 we have led or collaborated on research grants worth £8.1million.

We contribute to ScHARR Innovation and Knowledge Transfer activities by conducting consultancy projects for public sector clients. MCRU staff also provide support to ScHARR Postgraduate Taught Programmes and Postgraduate Research Students undertaking PhD studies.

Research Themes

Urgent and Emergency Care

Urgent and emergency care has been a major research theme for MCRU for 25 years. Our current projects include:

PhOEBE - A 5 year NIHR programme grant to develop outcome based performance measures for ambulance service care.

VAN - Understanding variation in rates of ambulance service ‘non-conveyance of patients to an emergency department’

IMPEDE - Developing ways to improve management of pain in Emergency Departments.

EASy (Emergency admissions study) - Identifiying emergency and urgent care system characteristics affecting avoidable unplanned admission rates.

closED - Impact of closing Emergency Departments in England

Long term conditions

Healthlines - Exploring how NHS Direct can support people to manage their long term health conditions.

WILD – Developing the Slimming World weight loss intervention to improve access and utility for people with learning disabilities.

ACTiF - A 5 year NIHR programme grant to develop and evaluate an intervention to support treatment adherence in adults with cystic fibrosis.

Methodological research and evidence review

The MRC ConDuCT-II Hub – Collaboration and innovation in difficult and complex randomised controlled trials in invasive procedures.

We are a key contributor to the ScHARR NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research Programme Rapid Evidence Review Centre.

Over the years we have written about how best to undertake Mixed Methods research.