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28th July 2023

First Evidence Centre work programme aims to help tackle health and social care challenges in Wales

Following its launch earlier this year, the Health and Care Research Wales Evidence Centre has published its first work programme outlining the Centre’s health and social care research priorities for summer/autumn 2023.

The programme shares the details of 12 evidence review topics and six new research studies which will provide Ministers and other decision-makers with vital evidence to tackle health and social care challenges facing Wales.

Focussing on addressing a wide range of issues, such as anti-smoking support, access to mental health services and patients’ needs in emergency dental care, the Centre will work with collaborating partners across Wales to deliver the new programme.

Funded by Welsh Government through Health and Care Research Wales, the Centre was launched in March 2023 to help ensure policies and services draw on findings from the most up to date and rigorous research.

Professor Adrian Edwards, Director of the Health and Care Research Wales Evidence Centre, said: “To identify the most significant health and social care priorities across Wales, the Centre has reached out to 40 stakeholder groups including NHS health boards, the Health and Care Research Wales Community, Social Care Wales and the Academy of Royal Colleges.

“We also want to ensure our work addresses the issues which have real importance to the people of Wales; so the Centre is working closely with our Public Partnership Group of 14 members to develop the work programme. It’s imperative we hear the opinions of those our research is aiming to help, co-production is at the heart of what we do.

“The overarching priority for our research is to be quickly but rigorously undertaken and made available to and actionable by clinicians, policy makers and other stakeholders.”

Recently, the Centre reviewed research evidence looking at the number of people who could be affected by long-term conditions, such as diabetes, arthritis and hypertension, in Wales over the next 10 years. This crucial work will help Welsh Government plan NHS services for the future.

The Centre aims to provide around 15 reviews and to undertake around ten new research studies per year, providing robust research evidence to improve health and social care services in Wales.

Director of Health and Care Research Wales, Professor Kieran Walshe, said: “It’s critical we understand the most effective ways to do things, what’s best for public, patients, staff and what’s best value for money. The work the Health and Care Research Wales Evidence Centre can provide is essential for developing the best evidence-based health and social care services for the people of Wales.

“We are proud to have funded the Centre and to have it available to us here in Wales. I look forward to working with Professor Edwards and the team over the next five years.”

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