Welsh Government
Vaughan Gething,Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport

£21m investment in research to increase opportunities for patients and develop the treatments of tomorrow

11 July 2017

More than £21m will be invested by the Welsh Government during the next year in high quality research in the Welsh NHS, which will help researchers develop the treatments of tomorrow, Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport Vaughan Gething announced on 10 July.

The funding demonstrates the continued investment being made by Welsh Government to ensure that every Health Board and Trust across Wales is well placed to support a robust environment for research, and ensure patients in Wales have the opportunity to participate in clinical trials and global drug discovery programmes.

Last year, over 17,000 patients participated in almost 480 clinical research studies across a broad range of disease areas – including dementia, stroke, cancer, diabetes and mental health, all of which will help to maximise the international competitiveness of Wales as a destination for research.  

An example of research being led in Wales includes the PARAMEDIC 2 trial which looked at whether the drug adrenaline is helpful or harmful in the treatment of a cardiac arrest that occurs outside a hospital. This research will help to improve the treatment of people who have a cardiac arrest not just in Wales but across the world and in turn, maximises Wales’ international competitiveness in research.

The Cabinet Secretary made the announcement during a visit to the Clinical Research and Innovation Centre at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board. 

The Clinical Research and Innovation Centre is an example of the strategic investment by Aneurin Bevan University Health Board’s which provides a focal point for researchers and delivery staff to participate in ground breaking research. The centre has also ensured that patients can receive treatment closer to home. 

Announcing the funding, Vaughan Gething said:

“We recognise the significant role research plays in improving health outcomes, which is why the Welsh Government has committed more than £21m as part of a package of support to strengthen the research environment in the Welsh NHS.

“Facilities such as the Clinical Research and Innovation Centre at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board play an important role in increasing research opportunities for patients to join national and international high quality research studies within their locality.

“There is a growing body of evidence that research environments lead to improved outcomes for patients. We need to support and encourage patients, carers and staff to fully embrace research and make it a core activity within the NHS. 

“We want to make Wales one of the most attractive places in the World for academic and clinical research. As part of this package, we are continuing to invest significantly in Health and Social Care research which will help attract the best talent to Wales”.

The Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Dr Frank Atherton said:

“When researchers look at whether a treatment works, they observe many more patients than a single doctor will ever treat. Last year more than 17,000 people in Wales chose to take part in clinical research. This funding is the crucial first step towards the evidence we need in order to answer the questions we have about a wide range of medical conditions. 

“We also know that patients benefit from clinical research, which is why involvement in a research study is often welcome as it can offer them a new, sometimes breakthrough, treatment option. But it’s worth remembering that you don’t have to be unwell to take part and make a difference. One of the easiest ways to get involved in health and social care research is by registering for HealthWise Wales.”