Bangor University receives funding to build health and social care research infrastructure 2018-2020

Research Groups in the Bangor Institute of Health and Medical Research (BIHMR) have been awarded significant amounts of further funding from the Welsh Government. This investment acknowledges the excellence of health research at Bangor University’s School of Healthcare Sciences. The Institute brings together experts from a wide range of clinical and scientific fields from across the University to tackle the most important problems in healthcare. This funding will ensure that there will continue to be a strong health and social care research infrastructure in North Wales, helping to attract the best doctors and healthcare professions to the region. 

Welcoming the funding from the Welsh Government, Prof. Paul Brocklehurst spoke on behalf of BIHMR and said:

“The funding to these Research Groups underlines the overarching scope of health and social care research conducted at Bangor University’s School of Healthcare Sciences. From innovations to support people living with dementia, to trials of important interventions, to fundamental research into the cost-effectiveness of healthcare services, medicines and public health interventions, we are looking to further develop our strength to improve the health of the people of Wales and beyond.”

Along with the team in the Clinical Trials Unit (NWORTH), Professor Brocklehurst, Dr Zoë Hoare and Ms Jean Ryan secured £733,000 to grow their portfolio of research and build on their strong performance in testing the effectiveness of new healthcare treatments and services. They will also continue to support medical and healthcare staff across North Wales to develop their research proposals into successful grant applications. 

Professor Rhiannon Tudor Edwards and Dr Jo Charles led a team at the Centre for Health Economics and Medicines Evaluation within BIHMR, collaborating with health economists at Swansea University. They were awarded £800,000 to provide health economics research and policy support to NHS health boards and local authority social services researchers across the whole of Wales.

Demands upon public sector services, particularly health and social care services, continue to require difficult resource allocation decisions. Professor Rhiannon Tudor Edwards commented “Infrastructure support for health economics across Wales means we can contribute to guidance by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), and help shape health and social care policy across the life course in Wales.”

Professor Clare Wilkinson and Dr Nefyn Williams led an all-Wales team comprising Bangor University, Cardiff University, University of South Wales, and Swansea University, as the Wales Centre for Primary and Emergency (including Unscheduled) Care Research (PRIME), gaining £1.8million.

Dr Gill Windle led a team from The Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC), securing £1.2million funding as part of the Wales Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research (CADR), a collaboration between Bangor, Cardiff and Swansea universities.

The Welsh Government recognised and welcomed the international standard of research, grant capture and impact from the Research Groups in BIHMR, which was ranked in the top 20 of UK Universities in a national assessment of the quality of research. They also applauded the collaborative nature of the current research activity, within which Bangor University plays a significant role.

Health and Social Care Research has the capacity to benefit the lives of patients and the population living across Wales and beyond. For example, NWORTH recently completed a trial that examined the impact of ‘cognitive rehabilitation’ on people with early stage dementia and found that this can increase people’s sense of independence and improve function. CADR plan to explore whether the risk for Alzheimer’s disease is influenced by aspects of the social environment, such as loneliness and resilience.

Publication date: 18 December 2017