All-Wales funding awarded for PRIME Centre Wales for primary and emergency care research

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Cardiff University, alongside partner universities Bangor, Swansea, and South Wales, has been awarded £2.7M to lead the ‘PRIME Centre Wales’ for Primary and Emergency Care Research.

The funding from Health and Care Research Wales will support the Centre's aim to improve the health and well-being of people in Wales and beyond, by conducting high quality research on topics of national policy priority in primary, emergency and unscheduled care.

The research centre is set to make Wales a world leader in primary and emergency care by generating an evidence base for policies, interventions and service improvements, and implementing findings across the various relevant disciplines including general practice, community nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, social care, emergency, prehospital and unscheduled care.

Research in this area is crucial as 90% of people’s contacts with the NHS takes place in the community, rather than in hospital. With an ageing population, the numbers of people with complex health and social care problems is increasing. Strong primary, emergency and unscheduled care are essential to an effective and efficient health service.

Much of the management of long term conditions such as diabetes, asthma, COPD, epilepsy and heart disease has shifted from hospitals to primary care. Rehabilitation and promotion of self-management are increasingly also managed in the community. Appropriate use of and responses provided by unscheduled and emergency care services are critical to the provision of high quality and timely emergency care, as well as to efficient primary, secondary and social care services.

High quality research is vital to inform patient care, re-design services and identify cost saving opportunities for the NHS. The centre will build on existing areas of scientific excellence in Wales with core research themes centred on long term conditions, patient centred and prudent health care, infections and antibiotic resistance, emergency and unscheduled (including pre-hospital) care, patient safety and health care improvement, as well as prevention, screening and early diagnosis.

Professor Adrian Edwards from Cardiff University's School of Medicine, who will lead the Centre, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to do the research, with and for patients and the public, which is so needed in these vital areas of the NHS.

“At a time of great challenges for the NHS, and an ageing population with increasingly complex health and care needs, effective and good quality, patient-centred primary and emergency care services are absolutely essential for the overall NHS to provide the healthcare that patients need and want.”

Professor Jon Bisson, Director Health and Care Research Wales, said: “I am delighted that Health and Care Research Wales now has a centre of research excellence in primary and emergency care.

“Welsh Government support for the PRIME Centre demonstrates our commitment to funding research that can have a real impact on improving the health, wellbeing and prosperity of the people of Wales.”

Professor Helen SnooksProfessor Helen Snooks from Swansea University Medical School (pictured) said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work further with NHS colleagues who provide emergency and unscheduled care – in particular the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust, general practices and acute Trusts – and academic partners from across Wales, to build a strong research evidence base to inform the development of policy and practice in primary and emergency care in Wales and beyond.

“Through bringing research funding into Wales and delivering relevant and rigorous research, we will ensure that the public and patients in Wales receive care that is proven to be safe, effective and efficient.”

Health and Care Research Wales (formerly the National Institute for Social Care and Health Research) is a national, multi-faceted, virtual organisation funded and overseen by the Welsh Government's Division for Social Care and Health Research.

For more information visit www.primecentre.wales