2017 NIHR Theme: Older People with Complex Health Needs

The 2017 NIHR theme is older people with complex health needs. This call will build on the 2015 NIHR Themed Call in multimorbidities.

In mid-2017, we anticipate announcing a highlight notice opening calls across all programmes in the area of older people with complex health needs. Researchers are encouraged to start planning potential applications.


The use of the term “older” does not imply people over any specific age. To reflect the wide range of remits of the NIHR programmes, the phrase “older people with complex health needs” has been used to broaden the scope of potential research issues while retaining the underpinning importance of multimorbidity.

The phrase ‘complex health needs’ is taken to imply the presence of more than one health or social care need (impacting on health) as well as a depth of need in terms of the severity of the conditions or intensity of the needs. The definition of multimorbidity adopted is; the existence of two or more chronic health disorders in one individual.


In November 2016, we held a workshop to identify tractable research topics and issues for future NIHR research, and to explore the context and challenges for research older people with complex health needs. The workshop agenda and selected presentations, as well as examples of funded projects in older people with complex health needs/multimorbidities can be downloaded on the right.

For more information online please click here.

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