Bangor University contributes to new PRIME Centre Wales for primary and emergency care research

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

The funding from Health and Care Research Wales will support PRIME Centre Wales  to improve the health and well-being of people in Wales and internationally, 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 disciplines including general practice, community nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, social care, emergency and unscheduled care.

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

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 promoting self-management are increasingly also managed in the community. Appropriate use of unscheduled and emergency care services is critical to high quality emergency care provision, and to efficient primary, secondary and social care services.

High quality research is vital in informing patient care, re-designing services and identifying 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 Richard Neal from Bangor University’s North Wales Centre for Primary Care Research, who is Associate Director of PRIME Centre Wales, said: ‘It is fantastic that Bangor is part of this really important initiative, which will lead to internationally competitive primary care and emergency care research in Wales. The particular expertise that Bangor University researchers bring to this includes rehabilitation of patients with chronic disease, early diagnosis of cancer, and innovation in clinical trials. The funding of PRIME Centre Wales will allow generation of further grants which will increase the number and quality of research studies in north Wales, benefitting our population and the local health economy.’

Professor Adrian Edwards from Cardiff University's School of Medicine who will be leading the Centre said:

“This is a wonderful opportunity to do the research, with and for patients and the public, that 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.”

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.

www.primecentre.wales

Publication date: 30 June 2015