Our applied research is designed to solve practical problems faced by local health and social care services. The aim is to help local NHS and social care services offer excellent care, based on sound evidence. 

We also provide a range of training to develop the skills needed to put research evidence into practice.  

The NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) South London is part of the NIHR and hosted by King's College Hospital in partnership with King's College London.

Tackling health inequalities and multimorbidities in south London and beyond

This film was used in our bid to the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) to become ARC South London. 

Remote video URL

Our areas of research

We aim to conduct research that delivers clear evidence to people who commission and provide health and social care. This evidence will help to inform decisions about how health and social care is delivered.   

ARC South London has seven core areas of research. They are:

  • alcohol – tackling the impact on public health from harmful drinking
  • children and young people – improving care for children with complex needs and disabilities
  • maternity and perinatal mental health – addressing health inequities among women from vulnerable groups
  • palliative and end of life care – improving the quality, availability and cost-effectiveness of palliative care
  • patient and public involvement (PPI) research – understanding and strengthening PPI practice in health and social care
  • public health and multimorbidity – understanding and developing interventions to address multimorbidity
  • social care – understanding the value of day services for people with multiple complex conditions.

These research themes are supported by a dedicated applied informatics team – who use the latest technologies and big data systems to analyse population health – and an economics and biostatistics team. 

We also have experts in implementation science who are developing ways to help researchers, NHS managers and commissioners to effectively implement complex health and social care interventions.

In addition, ARC South London has been asked by the NIHR to provide joint national leadership (with ARC East of England) in mental health, and palliative and end of life care. In this joint leadership role, ARC South London will aim to drive national collaborations and changes in practice.

Our impact

Our aim is to carry out research that improves the quality, delivery and efficiency of health and care services, improving outcomes for patients and the public, both locally and nationally. Read about the impact our work is having on policy, services and care.  

Our funding and background

We are funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). The NIHR funds, enables and delivers world-leading health and social care research that improves people’s health and wellbeing and promotes economic growth.

We are one of 15 NIHR Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs) across England, that undertake applied health and care research in their region that addresses the needs of local people and systems. Our NIHR funding enables collaborations between organisations that undertake applied health and care research.

Our funding began in October 2019, part of a £135 million investment to improve the health and care of patients and the public. The five-year investment has been extended by 18 months until 31 March 2026.

Our research builds on the work carried out by NIHR CLAHRC South London between 2014 and 2019. Read about the impact of the CLAHRC’s research on health and care services. 


Each NIHR ARC is made up of local providers of NHS services, local providers of care services, NHS commissioners, local authorities, universities, private companies and charities. These collaborations work together to conduct high quality, generalisable, applied health and care research that addresses the specific health or care issues in their region.

NIHR ARCs also act to close the “second translational gap” and increase the rate at which research findings are implemented into practice.

The 15 ARCs work collaboratively to address national research priorities, with individual ARCs providing national leadership in their areas of expertise. 

ARC South London is providing national leadership (with ARC East of England) in mental health, and palliative and end of life care.

About the NIHR 

NIHR's mission is to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. The NIHR was established in 2006 and is primarily funded by the Department of Health and Social Care. 

Working in partnership with the NHS, universities, local government, other research funders, patients and the public, the NIHR delivers and enables world-class research that transforms people’s lives, promotes economic growth and advances science.

Annual report 

ARC South London is asked to submit an annual report to the NIHR. The report details our progress against our agreed objectives and progress in the research projects of each theme, as well as examples of our impact. Read our reports: