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'Grants scarcer every year'

Dr Brian Crichton has felt the pinch of reduced opportunities in clinical academia for several years, but says the situation is getting worse, with ever-shrinking funds.

'If we want to drive forward efficiency and excellence in delivery of healthcare, we need commitment to research. But every year grants get more and more difficult to attain. We reduce them at our own peril,' he said.

Dr Crichton, a GP in Solihull and honorary senior clinical lecturer at the University of Warwick, said there were far fewer grants for specific research projects and falling numbers of research posts. He now spends much more time applying for funds and has seen academic colleagues lose their positions because of funding shortages.

Dr Crichton said despite world-class research by UK academics, politicians were too willing to cut funding for such work for short-term financial gain.

'It might seem expedient at first, but it is very shortsighted. We need research to develop the health service of tomorrow.'

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