The Kent, Surrey and Sussex Applied Research Collaboration (ARCKSS) brings together NHS Trusts, local authorities, universities, communities and other partners to support the development of innovative research to improve health and social care for patients and families in the south east.

The collaboration, coordinated by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, is designed to ensure the learning from research is used more quickly and systematically to improve patient care.

It will help address particular challenges in Kent, Surrey and Sussex, including:

  • Many of our coastal towns which are among the most socially deprived areas in England, with high unemployment and high levels of health and social care need
  • Higher than average children in care, unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, and young people with self-harm and emotional problems
  • A growing older population with the highest concentration of people with dementia in the UK.

ARCKSS improves research in areas such as social care, the mental health and wellbeing of children and adolescents, supporting people with dementia – particularly those with other health and social care needs as well – and working to improve primary and community services across the region.

The ARCKSS initiative was launched in July 2019 by the Department of Health and Social Care, with £9m funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The funding will be made available over five years from the NIHR and will be boosted by an additional £5m investment from local NHS trusts, local authorities and universities.