Edinburgh research saves millions for NHS

Medical studies carried out in Edinburgh may save the NHS almost £300 million a year, researchers estimate.

The figure represents a return of £147 for every pound of public money that is invested in research.


According to the researchers, studies by the University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian have saved lives in more than 100 countries and improved healthcare for millions of people.

These studies encapsulate the extraordinary strength of medical research that takes place in Edinburgh, where University and NHS researchers work hand in glove to deliver real benefit for the NHS, the community and the country. Additionally, there are superb examples of our staff making a real difference to the lives and health of individuals in the developing world.

Professor John IredaleDean of Clinical Medicine, University of Edinburgh

Economic benefits

In a University report to NHS Lothian health board, 26 projects were highlighted as having made significant improvements in patient health and bringing substantial economic benefits.

Researchers have helped to cut heart attack rates with a user-friendly scoring system that helps doctors identify patients at the highest risk so that they can deliver appropriate care.

Saving blood

Another study has safely reduced the use of blood transfusions during surgery, saving precious blood donations and around £100 million each year.

Edinburgh’s stroke research has improved both diagnosis and treatment of the condition, saving thousands of lives and helping thousands more to avoid disability.

Other studies have helped to tackle cancer, childhood diseases, fertility, allergies and genetic conditions.

Research Excellence Framework

The case studies were collected for the University’s submission to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, an assessment of the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.

The University and NHS Lothian’s clinical research was rated in the top five in the UK for quality and breadth.

We’re exceptionally proud of our reputation in clinical research and our well-established ties with the University of Edinburgh. Encouraging high quality research by clinical staff results in real benefits for patients by helping to develop new treatments, improving patient care and addressing the impact of today’s greatest health problems.

Dr David FarquharsonMedical Director, NHS Lothian