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9th February 2023

New Evidence Centre aims to improve health and social care in Wales

A new Health and Care Research Wales Evidence Centre, funded by Welsh Government through Health and Care Research Wales, is being set up to provide Ministers and other decision-makers with vital research evidence to tackle health and social care challenges facing Wales.

With a focus on addressing a wide range of health and social care needs, the new Centre, due to open in April 2023, will help ensure policies and services in Wales draw on findings from the most up to date and rigorous research.

A dedicated team will work closely with leaders in Welsh Government, the NHS and social care to ensure key evidence gaps and priorities are identified to improve health and social care services.

More than £7 million over the next five years is to be invested in the new Centre which will also conduct rapid new research evaluating health and social care innovations in Wales.

Director of Health and Care Research Wales, Professor Kieran Walshe, said: “The Centre will help us provide the best evidence-based health and social care services to patients and communities. We are proud to have the Centre available to us and it is absolutely essential to the future of health and social care in Wales.”

Learning from COVID-19

COVID-19 has demonstrated how essential research evidence is to decision-making at every level and decisions about wider health and social care also need to be informed by robust evidence.

The new Centre builds on the success of the Wales COVID-19 Evidence Centre, which was set up in March 2021 and has been vital in informing pandemic management and recovery.

Professor Adrian Edwards, Director of the Health and Care Research Wales Evidence Centre, said: “Building on the experience and skills developed in the Wales COVID-19 Evidence Centre, the new Centre aims to make sure health and social care policy and practice in Wales is based on the best possible evidence.

“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. What the evidence the new Centre can provide is essential in these challenging times.”

The public at the core

The Welsh public is at the heart of the new Centre and will be key to informing research priorities and making sure its work is relevant, clear, and useful.

Debs Smith, Patient and Public Involvement Lead at the Health and Care Research Wales Evidence Centre, said: “It’s fantastic to know that the voices of people affected by research are being heard. I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead the public involvement work of the Health and Care Research Wales Evidence Centre and that we will have co-production at the heart of all we do.”

To keep up with all the latest information about the Health and Care Research Wales Evidence Centre, sign up to the Health and Care Research Wales bulletin.