The Health and Care Research Wales conference is over for another year and it was the best event yet. It would not have been such a success without the hard work of the speakers, interactive exhibitors, delegates and everyone who submitted an abstract or public involvement award application - a very warm thank you to you all.
With over 330 of you in attendance at the SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff last week, the conference focused on the theme of future-proofing research in Wales with thought-provoking, interactive workshops and 35 speakers who discussed the role of Welsh research in shaping the treatment and care of the future.
Toward the end of the event the National Centre for Mental Health was presented with the Public Involvement Achievement award for its pioneering work on public involvement in mental health research, submitting the winning application ‘Partnership in Research (PÂR)’ amongst 14 other applications from the Health and Care Research Wales infrastructure.
For the first time, this year’s conference featured a poster zone, which proved to be a great success. Over 100 abstracts for posters and presentations were submitted, with 35 being selected for display at the conference.
Victoria Shepherd, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) doctoral research fellow at the Centre for Trials Research, won the best poster award for her submission ‘Research inequalities in health and social care: how can we address the exclusion of adults who lack capacity to consent?’
Commenting on the award, Victoria said: “I am delighted to have won the first ever best poster award at the Health and Care Research Wales conference.
“The poster presents some of the findings from my NIHR Fellowship funded by Health and Care Research Wales which is looking at research involving adults who lack capacity to consent. It is great to have this work recognised through this award.”
Taking second and joint-third place for best poster were:
Out of the 27 exhibitors at the event, the Brain Repair and Intracranial Neurotherapeutics (BRAIN) Unit took home the award for best interactive stand, voted for by delegates. The BRAIN ‘Trident Cup’ mini golf stand aimed to represent the obstacles faced by the Trident trial, a research study into potential treatments for Huntington’s disease.
Dr Cassy Ashman, BRAIN Unit manager, was delighted with the win: "We at the BRAIN Unit are absolutely thrilled to have won the Best Interactive Stand for the third year in a row!
"It's great that the audience really engaged with our TRIDENT Cup mini golf course, and we hope they took away with them a little bit more knowledge of the exciting clinical trails we are currently doing at the BRAIN unit, to help treat neurological and neurodegenerative diseases"
Runners up for interactive stand were the Research Capacity Building Collaboration (RCBC) Wales with their badge making and robotic cats (pictured above) which aim to provide comfort to dementia patients who are struggling to communicate. The Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) databank took third place for their ‘Guess Who’ themed stand – they also had a lot of cupcakes!
Carys Thomas, joint interim director of Health and Care Research Wales, reflected on the event: “Thank you to everyone who joined us at the Health and Care Research Wales conference 2018 and to those who made it a great success. It was great to see the research community coming together and to hear of the work underway to address the challenges ahead of us and the positive impact of research on the lives of the people of Wales.”
Did you miss the Health and Care Research Wales conference 2018? You can listen to all speaker presentations and catch up on the event highlights here.