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Cochrane UK: NHS pulls support

BMJ 2023; 382 doi: (Published 28 July 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;382:p1756
  1. Bryan Christie
  1. Edinburgh

The UK research centre that inspired a global initiative to improve health through the application of evidence has had its funding withdrawn and may be set to close. Bryan Christie looks at the reasons behind the decision

The UK National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) has decided to end its contract with the Oxford based Cochrane UK in March 2024, a year before it was due to expire. The move came after the withdrawal of funding from 21 Cochrane research groups in the UK earlier this year and brings to an end 32 years of NHS support for the work of the Cochrane collaboration. The total value of the funding involved is just under £5.3m (€6.2m; $6.8m).

Cochrane UK announced the decision on social media, resulting in an outpouring of concern, with many doctors recalling the value of the work carried out by Cochrane groups and saying it would be a great loss if it had to close. They were also puzzled as to why such a decision was being taken.

In a statement the NIHR said that, although it valued …

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