Professor Jon Bisson
Director, Health and Care Research Wales
We all have real cause for celebration as Health and Care Research Wales reaches its third birthday. Since our launch in 2015, we have made huge strides in public involvement and engagement, health and social care research and our support and delivery operations.
Through our five year strategy, we are making Wales a place that is internationally recognised for its excellent health and social care research that positively impacts the health, wellbeing and prosperity of its population. I’d like to thank you all for your hard work in achieving this.
Testament to this success and the sound foundations we have laid was the 2017 renewal of our Health and Care Research Wales Centres, Units, Infrastructure Support Groups and Clinical Trials Units through to March 2020. The rigorous external review process leading to the renewals gives us huge confidence in these teams’ quality and longevity as we look towards more growth in 2020-25.
Similarly, the transformation of the Support and Delivery Service has been remarkable, underpinned by the commitment of staff and teams across the NHS in Wales. Building an ever more efficient and effective service is critical to our global competitiveness and to conducting high quality research at pace. Over the last three years, we have collaborated with the other home nations to improve study set-up and recruitment. Combined with introducing innovative initiatives to cut out duplication and improve co-ordination across our services, this is giving more people in Wales access to more high quality research that is making a real difference.
Of course, public involvement and engagement is critical to doing the right research well. Establishing our strategic Public Involvement Delivery Board three years ago spoke to this. Since then, their oversight and input has been instrumental in growing involvement across the infrastructure, and in our key role in developing the UK-wide Standards for Public Involvement, launched earlier this year. Also three years old this year, our flagship platform for engaging and enrolling the nation in health and social care research, HealthWise Wales, is setting itself up to reach ever more people.
Involvement is also the cornerstone of the Social Care Research and Development Strategy for Wales 2018-23, launched this year after three years’ work. Tackling three priority areas; home care, children in care and dementia, it will focus on involving those using and providing social care services in building the evidence base to inform social care policy and practice.
The prominence of research and development in ‘Prosperity for All’, the Welsh Government’s national strategy, recognises the quality and scale of our efforts so far. Your commitment and dedication to carrying out world class research and making sure it makes a real difference is what makes this all possible. Thank you, again, and let’s keep pushing Wales forward.