News (2019 archive)

Successful international visit hosted by Prof Kate Brain and team 

2 December 2019

In November 2019 Professor Kate Brain (PRIME work package 4 lead, Cancer Screening, Prevention and Early Diagnosis), Dr Grace McCutchan (Research Associate in our WCRC sister centre) and Dr Harriet Quinn-Scoggins (Research Associate, PRIME work package 4) welcomed international colleagues Professor Bahr Weiss (Professor of Psychology and Human Development at Vanderbilt University, USA) and Dr Lam Trung (Director of Danang Oncology Hospital, Vietnam) to Cardiff University. The purpose of the visit was to further develop work on the successful NIH pilot grant ‘Understanding patient delay factors in Vietnam’ (PI Prof Weiss) and discuss future work and possible grant proposals. The long-term view of this ongoing collaboration is to establish psycho-oncology services and associated research in Vietnam. Read more

HEAR study wins award at Swansea University Medical School Awards 2019

2 December 2019

Congratulations to Ashra Khanom and her team of researchers from asylum-seeking and refugee communities who have won the 2019 Swansea University Medical School award for outstanding contribution to outreach and public engagement, for their work on the HEAR study.

The team were presented with their award on 29th November at the Swansea University Medical School Annual Awards at Fulton House on Singleton Parc campus.

Read more on  the Swansea University website

WONCA Rural's “Outstanding Service Award” to John Wynn-Jones

October 2019

The WONCA Working Party on Rural Practice Award for Outstanding Service to Rural Practice was presented to PRIME Steering Board Member, Dr John Wynn-Jones at the 16th WONCA World Rural Health Conference, Albuquerque October 2019.

The award given to working rural family doctors who have made an exceptional contribution to rural health on both a global and local perspective, recognising a clinician’s exemplary service to their rural communities, to their professional colleagues and to the next generation of doctors. John Wynn Jones is one of these doctors.

Read the full story on WONCA website:

PRIME research in @ResearchWales magazine
Issue 7

27 November 2019

Issue 7 of our @ResearchWales magazine is out now, featuring the latest health and social care research news from across Wales. 

Read about:

  • the prestigious prize awarded PRIME Centre Wales' 'Seal or Varnish?' dental study on page 6,
  • and about how PRIME and the Centre for Trials Research worked with Welsh GP surgeries in the recruitment of patients for the PACE trial on page 7.

Read your copy now.

KESS2 Funded Master of Research Degree Scholarship

Developing a conversation about identifying community needs to embrace well-being through social prescribing interventions

School of Health Sciences, Bangor University 

Project ID: BUK2201

Annual Stipend: £11,472 tax free, paid over 12 months.

Each KESS study also includes a Postgraduate Skills Development Award and a generous travel and equipment allowance.

The NHS faces increasing pressure on resources as a result of an ageing population with chronic illnesses and complex issues as well as health inequalities. In primary care GPs spend almost a fifth of their time on social issues which don’t directly relate to the health of the patient eg financial difficulties, social isolation. GPs may not be in a position to are often assist patients with their social issues and evidence is emerging that holistic approaches linking social care to primary care may be cost effective in supporting patient’s needs.

Social Prescribing (SP) can help patients through referring them to non-clinical services which promote health and well-being, boosts social inclusion and builds resilience through the development of social capital and build of community capacity. SP interventions may help reduce healthcare use to promote system sustainability and prevent unnecessary medicalisation of physical or mental health conditions.

The beneficiaries of targeted schemes include the elderly, carers, or those with housing difficulties. Grŵp Cynefin would like to expand and offer SP interventions through the new community health and wellbeing hub within the Nantlle Valley community but need to identify the community appetite to embrace wellbeing improvements through co-design.    

Application Deadline: 14/02/2020

Further information: KESS-2-Scholarship-Advertisement_Conversation.pdf

KESS2 Funded Master of Research Degree Scholarship

Developing a theory of change for a complex programme; a systematic framework for ensuring delivery of outcomes in a new Wellbeing Hub for the Nantlle Valley.

School of Health Sciences, Bangor University. 

Project ID: BUK2200

Annual Stipend: £11,472 tax free, paid over 12 months.

Each KESS study also includes a Postgraduate Skills Development Award and a generous travel and equipment allowance. 

This is a research opportunity that may be attractive to a range of students as it covers a wide field of interests. Health and social care students with an interest in strategic change are an obvious set but so would business studies students interested in public and voluntary sector development, similarly ‘place based’ community development researchers or any students/researchers with a passion for how the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act may be delivered in practice.

Grwp Cynefin have been the lead organisation building a wider vision for Penygroes as a Centre for Well-being for the Nantlle Valley and wider local region.  Partners including Gwynedd Council, Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board, and a range of voluntary and  community organisations have produced a business case to create a new and innovative Wellbeing Hub to modernise and extend the reach of existing health and care services, embed prevention and community wellbeing into a new sustainable model for the future, and act as a crucible for change and regeneration of the wider area.

There is no evidenced based “Theory of Change” available able to frame the broad outcomes of a change programme as ambition as this. It encompasses all the Wellbeing of Future Generation Goals and ways of working, as other major service redesign programmes have, but not on this scale in a new build facility across this range of services and sectors.

Application Deadline: 14/02/20 

Further information: KESS-2-Scholarship-Advertisement_Theory of Change Dyffryn Nantlle Wellbeing Hub.pdf

KESS2 Funded Master of Research Degree Scholarship

Community-based Optometric Referral Refinement & Monitoring for wAMD: Evaluation of Stakeholder Experience in Wales

This is a funded MbyRes, including a generous stipend and tuition fees, with well-resourced circumstances for a successful scholarship.

Here is an exciting opportunity to study a community-based Wet Age-related Macular Degeneration (wAMD) referral refinement and treatment process, exploring its impact within a range of stakeholder groups. This could lead to entirely new approaches in the delivery of eyecare services.

Deadline for applications: 26 January 2020

Further information:

Setting the standard for public involvement

18 November 2019

The final UK Standards for Public Involvement, which aim to improve the quality and consistency of public involvement in research, were released on Monday (18 November).

Victoria Shepherd runner-up in 2019 Royal College of Nursing in Wales Nurse of the Year Awards 

The 2019 Royal College of Nursing in Wales Nurse of the Year Awards were held in Cardiff on Wednesday 13 November, and we want to congratulate three research colleagues who were awarded:

  • Emma Mills, clinical research midwife at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, who won the Children and Midwifery Award
  • Hayley Forbes, community midwife at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, who won the Supporting Improvement Through Research Award
  • Victoria Shepherd, 2016-19 Health and Care Research Wales funded doctoral research fellow, who was runner up for the Supporting Improvement Through Research Award

Results from the perineural local anaesthetic catheter after major lower limb amputation (PLACEMENT) trial have been published in BMJ Open. The study was funded by the Research for Patient and Public Benefit (RfPPB) Wales and involved researchers from Centre for Trials Research, the Research Design and Conduct Service and Aneurin Bevan University Health Board.

PhD success - Victoria Shepherd

25 October 2019

NIHR Health and Care Research Wales Doctoral Research Fellow, Victoria Shepherd successfully defended her thesis in her viva on 24th October and has been awarded her PhD (subject to minor amendments).

Huge congratulations to Vicky on completing such a well conducted and important study on supporting family members making proxy decisions for research involving adults who lack capacity.  

Dr Ashra Khanom scoops 2019 Health and Care Research Wales Public Involvement Award

4 October 2019

Congratulations to Dr Ashra Khanom, Research Fellow at PRIME Centre Wales, Swansea University, and her team of researchers from asylum-seeking and refugee communities on winning the 2019 Public Involvement Achievement Award for their ground-breaking work on the HEAR study.  

In its second year, the Public Involvement Achievement Award, organised by Health and Care Research Wales and presented at the annual conference, aims to celebrate the excellent public involvement in research taking place across Wales.

In recent years, numbers of asylum seekers and refugees in Wales have increased but we know little about their healthcare experiences.

The HEAR study (The Health Experiences of Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Wales) investigated the health, wellbeing and healthcare experiences of adult asylum seekers and refugees in Wales, including the views and experiences of both healthcare recipients and providers. Read more


PRIME Centre Wales at Health and Care Research Wales Conference

4 October 2019

Health and Care Research Wales held its 5th annual conference on 3rd October, at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, with the theme 'Partnership & Collaboration'. PRIME was among the exhibitors, and Swansea research team members were particularly active on the day, featuring in a range of the proceedings including:

  • Parallel session: Research collaboration on a bid - Professor Colin Dayan, Professor Helen Snooks, Dr Charles Musselwhite chaired by Beverly Luchmun
    This workshop featured case studies of successful collaborations on bids with industry, the third sector and the health service, and was followed by a facilitated question and answer session.
  • Public partnership presentation: INFORM study: Improving care for people who frequently call 999 - Penny Gripper and Dr Ashra Khanom
  • TED-style talk: Collaboration in applied health research – not an optional extra - Professor Helen Snooks
  • Showcase session: HEAR: The health and wellbeing of asylum seekers and refugees in Wales - Dr Ashra Khanom
  • Showcase session: Research collaboration for success on the front line of paramedic practice - Mark Kingston

Coverage of the day is available on the Health and Care Research Wales website including presentation slides and audios from the day.

Conception Project Survey

Women who are pregnant and breastfeeding need information about the medicines or drugs they take. Together with the IMI ConcePTION project, we are developing better information for women in the future. If you are a woman with children, if you are or have been pregnant, or think you might want to be sometime in the future, you can also help us develop ways to communicate about safety and medicines.

The Conception project is addressing some key questions for women of childbearing age. We should be very grateful if you could respond and circulate to your networks. The survey is totally anonymised.

Survey link:

PRIME Centre Wales Annual Report 2018-19

We are delighted to share with you the Wales Centre for Primary and Emergency Care Research annual report for 2018-19.

The report is available in English and Welsh, and can be viewed and downloaded via:

Hard copies are also available - please contact to request your copy.

Nominations are open - Let's celebrate our research stars!

15 October 2019

Nominations are now open for the Support & Delivery Impact Awards 2020. Let’s showcase the hard-working, high-achieving staff from the Support & Delivery service that have made a difference to research in Wales. But we can only honour these research stars with your help.

That’s why we’re appealing to you to nominate an individual or team who deserve recognition for a 2020 Support & Delivery Impact Award. Nominate now.

Advancing the science and practice of primary health care as a foundation for universal health coverage

WHO call for papers

Health systems face increasingly complex challenges, such as the growing burden of chronic noncommunicable diseases, multisource pollution, new epidemics and antimicrobial resistance. These challenges have prompted an important shift in focus from curative care to health promotion and disease prevention, as well as the development of new models of service delivery, financing and governance for primary health care.

Global health stakeholders are pushing for renewed commitments to enhance primary health care in the 21st century, in light of the 2018 Declaration of Astana. The 2019 World Health Assembly adopted an ambitious resolution recognizing the role of primary health care in providing the full range of health services needed throughout the life course, including prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care.

To tackle these challenges, the Bulletin of the World Health Organization will publish a theme issue on advancing the science and practice of primary health care as a foundation for UHC. The theme issue aims at providing a forward-looking view of the innovations, challenges and shared responsibilities in driving primary health care, and at filling gaps and fostering discussions around what is needed to implement a primary health-care vision towards UHC.

We welcome manuscripts that capture learnings and experience in the implementation of primary health-care policies and interventions as well as the strengthening of primary health-care systems. 

The deadline for submission is 30 November 2019.

Further information:

Abstract submission is now open for the South West Society for Academic Primary Care (SAPC) Conference 2020

This annual conference brings together clinical and non-clinical academics, researchers and clinicians to share the latest primary care research findings from across the region and Wales.

Please submit your abstract or workshop proposal at

Abstract deadline: 8 November 2019

Discover your role in health and social care research

Health and Care research Wales is seeking input on our ambitions for public engagement and public involvement in health and social care research, set out in our ambitions document, through a survey.

The survey will be open for responses until 27 November 2019.

Visit the survey here:

GPs; Primary care practice nurses; Other e.g. exercise professionals; People with long-term conditions - we need your views!

Physical activity and physical function in general practice

Your participation will help design a new way of working in GP surgeries to help reduce the decline in physical function and physical activity that can occur in people who have long term conditions (e.g. diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure).

Telephone interviews will be held in September (at a time convenient to you) and will take a maximum of 1 hour.

Participants will be gifted a £30 shopping voucher as thanks for taking part.

You will also be invited to attend a co-design workshop taking place in Bangor, North Wales (travel & subsistence reimbursed):

  • Friday 11th October 2019
  • Monday 11th November 2019
  • Friday 6th December 2019

To find out more about taking part, please contact Rebecca Law:

The Function First study is funded by the National Institute for Health Research

Academics call for structured drug monitoring in care homes

11 September 2019

Swansea University academics call for policy makers, regulators and healthcare professionals to adopt a structured medicine monitoring system after research showed a positive impact on the care of people living in care homes and taking mental health medicines.

Professor Sue Jordan from the University’s College of Human and Health Sciences led the research which is newly published in the PLOS ONE journal. The study showed how care home residents’ adverse side effects were picked up more effectively by their nurses and carers when a structured monitoring system was used alongside administration of mental health medicines.

Read more.

Evaluation of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014: framework for change report published now

5 September 2019

The evaluation of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 commenced in November 2018 and will run for at least three years.

The evaluation will deliver an independent assessment of the implementation of the Act. It will look at how the Act has affected the well-being of people who need care and support, and their carers.

The report covers:

  • an overview of some of the contextual factors that may impact on the implementation of the Act in Wales
  • a description of the framework for change
  • an explanatory narrative of the framework for change.

View the report here:

View the Framework for Change video here:

Job Opportunity: Associate Academic Fellow (Ref: 8865BR)

Associate Academic Fellow (3 Posts)
Cardiff University School of Medicine, Division of Population Medicine
College of Biomedical and Life Sciences

This successful and established Scheme has been running for eighteen years, providing a rolling programme of two-year posts for four General Practitioners at any one time.  It is based in Cardiff and South East Wales, within the Division of Population Medicine which has an internationally competitive track record in research, and makes a significant contribution to undergraduate and postgraduate education.
The Scheme would suit any GP qualified to work in Wales who wanted to learn about teaching, critical appraisal and research, and be sponsored to gain a further qualification of their choice, whilst delivering much needed support to practices in disadvantaged areas to improve patient care.
No previous academic experience is required, as there is a high level of support from senior staff, both academically, and clinically.  In addition the strong and cohesive team of Associate Academic Fellows provides plenty of peer support.
Thirty seven Fellows have been, or are in post, the majority having achieved research publications, and postgraduate qualifications in a wide range of areas, and all have had valuable undergraduate teaching experience.  To date one hundred and fifteen Associate Academic Fellow attachments have supported practices to improve their patient care.
Typically an Associate Academic Fellow will go on to practice in deprived areas while maintaining links with the Division of Population Medicine, in teaching and research.  They also are highly likely to teach undergraduates in their practices and become GP trainers.  Some have moved into Public Health and medical management.
Comments from an alumni survey:

‘This scheme has been pivotal in the career path I have taken’

‘Probably the scheme was the most intense, exciting and satisfying 2 years of my working life so far!’

‘I went on to complete my PhD and consider myself an academic GP as a result of the scheme.’
‘The scheme enabled me to pursue a specialist interest in medical education by supporting me to achieve the MSc in medical education and providing opportunities in teaching within the University setting‘

In a rapidly changing professional world this is an unrivalled opportunity to gain experience and qualifications that would prepare a GP for wider future professional opportunities.
These are full time positions of 40 hours per week and are fixed-term for 2 years.  The posts are available from 1 December 2019.

Closing date for applications: 7th October 2019

Further information:

Call for Papers / Posters: Rural Health and Care Conference 2019 

Please find attached application forms for the presentation of Papers and Posters at the forthcoming Rural Health and Care Conference, “Rural Resilience in Health and Care, communities and individuals”, which this year is being held over 2 days on the 5th and 6th November 2019 at the Royal Welsh showground in Builth Wells, Powys.

The closing date for paper / poster applications is 20th September 2019  
Download the application form here

Health and Care Research Wales sponsors award to recognise outstanding research delivery

Closing date for entries: 16 September 2019

The Advancing Healthcare Awards Wales are open to healthcare scientists, allied health professionals and pharmacists across Wales, recognising and celebrating the achievements of all three professions. 
Read more and enter the awards.

Wales Dental Research Recognised as World Class

19 July 2019

A clinical trial carried out by the Community Dental Service in Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, in collaboration with the Dental Public Health Unit and the Centre for Trials Research, Cardiff University, has received a prestigious award from the International Association for Dental Research (IADR). 

The work which compared the relative clinical effectiveness of commonly available preventive dental interventions received the William J. Gies Award in Clinical Research at the recent IADR scientific meeting in Vancouver, Canada. The prize is awarded to the best clinical paper published in the Journal of Dental Research, the most highly ranked dental journal in the world.

Professor Ivor Chestnutt, who led the research and received the award on behalf of the study team commented:

“This award demonstrates that we have the capacity in Wales to conduct impactful research that has implications for dental prevention, not only locally, but across the world. This work was facilitated by close collaboration between the NHS and Cardiff University and is just recognition of the tremendous efforts of a large team of clinical and research staff, in seeing the work to completion.  Assistance from Health and Care Research Wales in relation to funding and governance aspects of the work was also key to successful delivery.”

The research was funded by the National Institute for Health Research and Health and Care Research Wales and formed an element of the oral and dental workstream of the Health Research and Health and Care Research Wales funded Primary and Emergency Care (PRIME) Centre Wales.

The award winning paper can be accessed here  and the full report of the trial is here.

Pictured is Professor Chestnutt (third left) receiving the award from Professor Rena D'Souza, President of the International Association for Dental Research, Prof William Giannobile, Editor of the Journal of Dental Research, and Professor Maria E. Ryan, President of the American Association for Dental Research.

Health and Care Research Wales specialty leads

19 July 2019

Health and Care Research Wales is recruiting specialty leads and applications are invited in the following specialty areas (commencing as soon as possible until end March 2022):

  • Ageing
  • Dementias and Neurodegeneration
  • Ear, Nose and Throat
  • Genetics
  • Health Services Research
  • Infection
  • Public Health

Read more and apply.

Health and Care Research Wales sponsors award to recognise outstanding research delivery

19 July 2019

Health and Care Research Wales is proud to be one of the key sponsors of the 2019 Advancing Healthcare Awards Wales. Read more and enter the awards.

Finger-prick blood test at GP surgery could safely reduce antibiotic use in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

11 July 2019

A simple finger-prick blood test could help prevent unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics for people with the lung condition chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine by researchers from PRIME Centre Wales, Cardiff University, University of Oxford and King’s College London.

With funding from the National Institute for Health Research, the team demonstrated that using a CRP finger-prick blood test resulted in 20% fewer people using antibiotics for COPD flare-ups. Importantly, this reduction in antibiotic use did not have a negative effect on patients’ recovery over the first two weeks after their consultation at their GP surgery, or on their well-being or use of health care services over the following six months. 

Safely reducing the use of antibiotics in this way may help in the battle against antibiotic resistance.

Read full story on Cardiff University website

ABACus 3 study update: Trial recruitment, retention, and a little bit more!

6th July 2019

We are firmly in the final year of the ABACus 3 trial funding and are pleased to report that recruitment is completed, follow-up is nearly finished and the task of analysis is underway.

ABACus 3 is a randomised controlled trial of a health check intervention to improve cancer symptom awareness and help-seeking among people living in socioeconomically deprived communities across South Wales and Yorkshire.

Read more

The Health Experiences of Asylum seekers and Refugees (HEAR) study Stakeholder Event

Dr Ashra Khanom, Health and Care Research Wales Research Fellow at PRIME, Swansea University and lead researcher on the HEAR study, co-hosted the HEAR stakeholder event with Public Health Wales on the 22nd May 2019. Healthcare professionals and third sector stakeholders gathered for a presentation of the results of the HEAR study and took part in an interactive workshop to discuss future steps towards implementing its recommendations.

Asylum nurses, midwives, GPs and GP receptionists, and people seeking sanctuary joined representatives from the British Red Cross, Welsh Refugee Council and Displaced People in Action to make up an audience of about 50 people from across Wales. The report has been made available in English, Welsh and Arabic.

Read more.

Fully funded KESS 2 MSC Scholarship

Comparing the value of community based and hospital eye service provision of referral refinement

*This scholarships is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.*

Wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) is common and causes severe sight loss and blindness. A confirmed diagnosis is required before invasive active disease is treated until it becomes inactive; patients are then monitored regularly in hospital in case the disease reactivates, at which point further treatment is needed. A diagnosis of “suspected” wet AMD made in primary care requires confirmation by an ophthalmologist. If a preliminary diagnosis wet AMD is made, this can cause patients’ considerable concern and if the diagnosis is not confirmed at a Hospital Eye Services (HES) appointment, the worry has been unnecessary and a scarcer HES resource has been consumed that might be more productively utilised by another patient. A referral refinement service should reduce the number of unnecessary referrals into the HES reducing stress for patients and demand for out-patient appointments.   

Monitoring is also burdensome to patients, their carers and the HES. Provision of a follow-up service in the community may have considerable benefits to both patients by being local and more flexible and taking the pressure away from the HES.

Lead supervisor: Dr Pippa Anderson, Swansea University

Deadline for applications: 19 July 2019

Study start date: October 2019

Further information:

Health and Care Research Wales conference 2019 - Call for abstracts for presentations and posters

We are pleased to announce that submissions are now open to present at a showcase session or display a poster at the Health and Care Research Wales conference on 3 October at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff. Read more and submit.

Public Involvement Achievement award 2019

Entries are now invited for the 2019 Health and Care Research Wales Public Involvement Achievement award.

The recently launched UK Standards for Public Involvement in Research provide the foundation for the 2019 award. The award is designed to identify, promote, and celebrate the excellent public involvement taking place across the Health and Care Research Wales infrastructure.

Find out more and apply.

PRIME Associate Director appointed to Marie Curie Research Funding Committee

Congratulations to Clare Wilkinson, Professor of General Practice at Bangor University and Associate Director of PRIME Centre Wales who has been appointed to serve on the Marie Curie Research Funding Committee.

Professor Wilkinson says:

"I am delighted to be able to serve on this Committee, chaired by my colleague Professor Tim Peters Bristol University, who asked me to bring randomised trials expertise to the area of end of life care research."

Help us shape cancer research in Wales - public consultation  

We want to define a better future for cancer patients in Wales and beyond.

As a nation, Wales produces some of the world’s leading cancer research. We want your thoughts to help shape a strategy that is being developed to strengthen the work that happens here.

This is your strategy. Help us make it the best it can be.

Join us at one of our consultation events:

  • 7 August – Wrexham, Catrin Finch Centre, Glyndwr University, 13:30 – 15:30
  • 15 August – Newport, Barnabas Arts Centre, 13:00 – 15:00
  • 10 September – Aberystwyth, Arad Goch Theatre, 13:00 – 15:00

Further information: 
Registration for consultation events:

Read the latest issue of @ResearchWales

24 June 2019

Issue 6 of the @ResearchWales magazine is out now.

Read about PRIME Centre Wales' research collaboration with Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB and Cardiff University School of Optometry and Vision Sciences aimed at improving urgent eye care on page 11.



KESS2 East PhD in Public Health: Evaluation of errors in the delivery of care to patients with eye-related problems

This PhD scholarship represents an opportunity to train to become a Public Health academic.

The outcome of this collaborative project on eye-related patient safety will be to investigate and identify priority patient safety challenges in eye care and inform recommendations for improvements in services and patient safety reporting by optometrists. The student will also gain the practical experience of working in partnership with the professional body, Optometry Wales.

Supervisors: Dr Jennifer Acton, Dr Andrew Carson-Stevens & Prof Rachel North

Application deadline: 8 July

Further information:

How do we support women with long-term health conditions with decisions about starting a family?

Blog post by Rhiannon Phillips

31 May 2019

PRIME Research Fellow, Dr Rhiannon Phillips has written a guest blog on our work around pregnancy and long-term conditions for the WRISK project. The WRISK project is a collaboration between the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (bpas) and Heather Trickey at the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University. Working with stakeholders from a wide range of disciplines, the project draws on women’s experiences to understand and improve the development and communication of risk messages in pregnancy. 

Read the blog post here:

Health and Care Research Wales Senior Research Leaders Announced

02 April 2019

Congratulations to Adrian Edwards (PRIME Centre Wales Director and Professor of General Practice, Cardiff University), Helen Snooks (PRIME Associate Director and Professor of Health Services Research, Swansea University) and Kerry Hood (PRIME Executive Committee member and Professor of Trials, Cardiff University) who have all been selected to be part of the new group of Health and Care Research Wales senior research leaders.

Individuals have been appointed following a competitive process and assessment by an independent panel of senior UK health and social care experts.

Professor Snooks comments:

"I am delighted to receive this award which reflects the achievements of my team in the Swansea based section of PRIME, focussing on prehospital emergency and primary care, their interfaces and particularly the care of vulnerable groups.

The award will allow us to further invest in capacity building for research both in the academic and NHS settings, as well as ensuring opportunities for dissemination are used to maximise impact in the real world of policy and practice."

Health and Care Research Wales senior research leaders will act as ambassadors for Health and Care Research Wales and play a leading role in raising the profile of health and social care research in Wales on a national and international level.

Read more

Asylum Seekers Report EngSanctuary seekers and health professionals in Wales call for accessible health and wellbeing services for all

02 April 2019

Findings from the 'Health Experiences of Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Wales (HEAR)' study led by PRIME researchers at Swansea University have been published in a new Public Heath Wales report.

The study found that people seeking sanctuary, including refugees and asylum seekers, are struggling to access health and wellbeing services in Wales.

People seeking sanctuary reported feeling their needs were not recognised, and that they had experienced problems navigating through services, including language difficulties and a lack of appropriate interpretation. 

Some respondents said the stress of being an asylum seeker or refugee contributed to their poor physical and mental health. 

In a survey conducted as part of the HEAR study, nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of respondents said they did not know how to contact, or had not heard of, the 999 ambulance service.

Read full story and report on the Public Health Wales website

PRIME Associate Director shortlisted in inaugural Welsh Women's Awards

01 April 2019

Congratulations to Clare Wilkinson,  Professor of General Practice at Bangor University and Associate Director at PRIME Centre Wales, who has been shortlisted in the inaugural Welsh Women's Awards 2019

Prof Wilkinson leads the North Wales Centre for Primary Care Research at Bangor University and conducts research into improving primary care and early cancer diagnosis for people in Wales.

Professor Wilkinson comments:

“I am honoured to be nominated among such outstanding women in Wales, it is a delight to see all the categories and the women who populate them".

Read more.

Making decisions about research: How can we support families?

28 March 2019

Victoria Shepherd, NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow at PRIME and CTR, Cardiff University recently hosted an event 'Making decisions about research for others - how can we support families?' held 25th March.

As part of her PhD, Victoria has been developing a decision-support tool to support making decisions about research for others with impaired capacity.

The aim of the event was to bring together family members, carers, researchers, research nurses and others with an interest in helping families make decision and ask them to consider the tool, and offer feedback before it is finalised. 

Following the day, Victoria has produced a report from the event which summarises the discussion, available online at:

Can Machine Learning hold the key to making the most from patient safety incident reports? 

10 March 2019

Improving patient safety…. the answers are in the data, but the challenge in the sheer quantity of data to analyse.

Learning from patient safety incident reports is a vital part of improving healthcare. However, the volume of reports and their largely free-text nature poses a major analytic challenge.

A recent study led by the Patient Safety team at PRIME Centre Wales, Cardiff University, has found that supervised machine learning can be used effectively to classify patient safety incident report categories.

Read the full article in the Health Informatics Journal.

People in Wales encouraged to suggest technologies to improve care

4 March 2019

Health Technology Wales (HTW), an independent and innovative national body, has opened a Topic Call on St David’s Day.People are being encouraged to suggest non-medicine technologies that could improve health and social care in Wales.

From clinical commissioners and frontline care providers, to patients and members of the public, anyone can suggest a topic on Health Technology Wales’ website.

“Health Technology Wales will provide independent, evidence-informed Guidance on the clinical and cost effectiveness of non-medicine technologies to provide assistance to the Welsh care sector in its health technology adoption decisions,” said Dr Peter Groves, Chair of Health Technology Wales.

Non-medicine technologies can include; devices and diagnostic tests, implants, surgical procedures, psychological therapies and changes in treatment pathways. Topic referrals can also reflect the priority areas of the Welsh Government.

Health Technology Wales is currently planning its 2019 work programme to support a strategic, national approach to the identification, appraisal and adoption of non-medicine health technologies into Welsh health and social care settings.

Speciality Leads Awards 2019

25 February 2019

PRIME Centre Wales staff will continue to have ongoing involvement with the Health and Care Research Wales Speciality Leads following the recently completed recruitment process for 2019-21.

Congratulations to PRIME colleagues:

  • Mr Nigel Rees (PRIME stakeholder lead for Welsh Ambulance Services Trust) and Dr Ceri Battle who have been announced as the new Speciality Leads for injuries and emergencies (taking over from Professor Helen Snooks, PRIME Associate Director)
  • Dr Andrew Carson-Stevens (PRIME lead for Patient Safety) announced as Speciality Lead for Primary Care, taking over from PRIME Director Adrian Edwards
  • Professor Ivor Chestnutt (PRIME lead for Oral and primary dental care) who continues in the role as Speciality Lead for Oral and dental heath.

Specialty Leads in Wales provide important strategic support as part of the Health and Care Research Wales Support & Delivery Service, building networks of principal investigators within their specialty and supporting the uptake of studies throughout Wales.

They map onto the 30 National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) therapeutic areas and provide strong UK-level engagement for Wales.

The full list of new leads can be viewed at:

SAPC 2019 call for abstracts is open - deadline 17th February

Primary Care: Arriving? Or departing?

The annual conference will showcase the latest research and education in academic primary care from the UK and around the world in keynote presentations, parallel sessions of verbal presentations, posters, workshops and symposia. The programme will also feature lightning presentations (short 5 minute slots), poster pitches and a creative arts stream.

Visit the call for abstracts page to submit your work:

Award at Cancer Research UK Early Diagnosis Research Conference

22 February 2019

The WICKED research team, based at Bangor University, won the prize for the best scientific poster at the CRUK Early Diagnosis Conference in Birmingham 12th to 13th February.

The poster entitled "Development of a primary care behaviour change intervention to expedite the diagnosis of symptomatic cancer in Wales a multi-dimensional approach" presented by Stefanie Disbeschl, illustrated an overview of the work on the research programme to date.

On behalf of the team, co-leaders Clare Wilkinson and Richard Neal, said: 

'This is a terrific prize for the team to win, and a reflection of the quality of the research programmes to date, and the upcoming primary care feasibility trial.

Our goal is to improve cancer diagnosis through primary care in Wales. We are indebted to Cancer Research Wales for their funding, and for the support of PRIME Centre Wales'.

Read more about the WICKED study here.

The research team pictured opposite (left to right): Rebecca-Jane Law, Stefanie Disbeschl, Julia Hiscock, Ruth Lewis and Maggie Hendry).

Job opportunity: Senior Research Fellow

The Welsh Institute for Health and Social Care (WIHSC) are seeking to appoint an enthusiastic and committed candidate to the post of Senior Research Fellow. The post-holder in this important position will make substantial contributions to research, publication and income generation aligned to the research and evaluation activities of WIHSC and the School of Care Sciences.

The post-holder will be expected to contribute to the University’s REF submission and have a track record of income generation and publications, having completed their PhD in a relevant area in recent years. They will possess a breadth and depth of specialist knowledge in the field of health and social care policy, commissioning and provision across the statutory, independent and third sectors within Wales and the UK. 

Enquiries about the post: to WIHSC Director, Professor Mark Llewellyn
( or 01443 483070)

Further information:

KESS2 East PhD in Medicine:

Understanding the relationship between HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, sexually transmitted infections, and antimicrobial resistance in Wales (UNREST)

Working in partnership with Cardiff University, Public Health Wales, and Terrence Higgins Trust Cymru; this mixed methods KESS2 East PhD studentship will aim to understand the relationship between PrEP, STIs, and antimicrobial resistance in Wales.

The PhD will involve: i.) Literature reviewing and critical appraisal of current evidence; ii.) Epidemiological research methods using routinely collected data; iii.) Qualitative interviews with individuals accessing PrEP through sexual health clinics; iv.) Causal modelling methods.

The student will join a research team that crosses the disciplines of public health, statistics, sociology, and systematic reviews. Research students are all members of Cardiff University’s Graduate College, which exists to foster an intellectually stimulating environment where students are encouraged to share and develop research interests with peers from other Schools and to feel part of a wider cross-disciplinary research community.

The student will also spend time at the partnership organisations gaining considerable experience of HIV and sexual health from both public health policy and advocacy perspectives.

Application dedaline: 15 April 2019

Further information:,-sexually-transmitted-infections,-and-antimicrobial-resistance-in-wales-unrest

Preparedness of primary dental care for the phase-down of dental amalgams

Dental amalgam has been the primary material for the restoration of cavities resulting from dental decay for well over a century.  The material is durable, safe, easy to use and has been the bedrock of tooth restorations in dental practice for many generations. 

However, increasing concerns over the effects of mercury on the environment, (mercury release from crematoria being a particular concern), has seen legislation being enacted by the European Union to phase out the use of dental amalgam.

The study reported in the British Dental Journal describes the state of preparedness of general dental practitioners in Wales in relation to these changes and their perception of the use of alternative plastic (white) filling materials.  The study was funded by PRIME’s predecessor body, the Wales School for Primary Care Research.

Lynch, C.D., Farnell J.J., Stanton, H., Chestnutt I.G., Brunton, P.A. and Wilson, N.H.F. (2018) No more amalgams: Use of amalgam and amalgam alternative materials in primary dental care. British Dental Journal, 225, 171-176. DOI: 10.1038/sj.bdj.2018.538

2020 Year of the Nurse Celebrating Nursing and Midwifery endorsed by WHO Executive Board

31 January 2019

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) and the Nursing Now campaign are delighted to support the endorsement by the World Health Organization Executive Board (WHO EB) to designate 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife. The recommendation was made yesterday evening in Geneva by Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO. The proposal will go to the World Health Assembly in May for its consideration.

Noting that 2020 will be the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, and recognising her contribution to health and humanity, Dr Tedros said that, “Nurses and midwives play such a vital role in delivering Health for All”. Click here to watch Dr Tedros’ speech. Read more

Improvements needed to out of hours palliative care

29 January 2019

A better understanding of risks and causes of harm for out of hours palliative care is urgently needed to ensure patient safety, a study conducted by the patient safety team at PRIME and funded by terminal illness charity Marie Curie and the RCGP has found. 

Out of hours care refers to care needed by anyone – not only those with palliative care needs - between 6.30pm and 8am Monday to Friday, on weekends and during bank holidays.  Out of hours palliative care is for people with a terminal illness who have end of life care and support needs. 

With General Practice looking after an ageing population with increasingly complex care needs, it is vital to have good palliative care support for patients and their families, out of hours in people’s homes.

Read more

Making decisions about research for others - how can we support families?

28 January 2019

Following on from the DECISION Study, a decision support intervention is being developed to help family members make a decision about research participation on behalf of someone who lacks capacity to consent. We are holding an event to discuss the prototype tool and gather feedback in order to further refine it.

It is a half day event on the morning of Monday 25th March in Cardiff, and we are inviting those with experience as researchers in this area, and those with lived expertise as families of someone living with dementia, to join us.

If you have been involved in research with adults who lack capacity to consent, or are a family member of someone living with dementia, please contact Vicky Shepherd ( ) for more details or to register an interest in joining the event.

PhD studentship open to applications 

What works to support the mental health of young people leaving statutory social care in Wales?

The Wales Doctoral Training Partnership, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), and Welsh Government are offering a fully funded PhD opportunity.

The successful candidate will evaluate what works to support the mental health of young people leaving statutory care. We anticipate that you will use a mixed methods realist approach to co-produce theory with care leavers, social workers and policy-makers to explore what it is that works to support care leaver mental health.

You will conduct a rapid realist systematic review and case studies of models of transition in Wales. Case studies will involve interviews with care leavers, social workers and other relevant practitioners, and policy-makers.

The collaborator, Health and Care Research Wales, will provide you with direct access to relevant policy-makers in Welsh Government. This close relationship between research and policy is a unique opportunity to ensure that your research has both relevance to and impact on social care practice.

Applications are sought from candidates with backgrounds in social science (especially psychology, health services research, social care research). Experience or interest in realist approaches and both qualitative and quantitative research is desirable.

Deadline for applications: 1 February 2019

Further information:

Call for applications – Let’s celebrate your achievements!

Nominations are now open for the Research Impact Awards 2019.

Let’s showcase the hard-working, high-achieving staff from the Support and Delivery service that have made a difference to research and development in Wales.

But we can only honour these research stars with your help.

Read more and nominate.

PhD Studentship open to applications 

This longitudinal, cross-Wales, multicentre case study will be looking at the 'what, when and how' to teach genomics to (mainstream) health professionals.

A three year, EU funded, PhD studentship available from April 1st 2019 in collaboration with Genomics Partnership Wales. [

This studentship is funded by the EU through the Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS). The successful candidate will be looking at learning needs and preferences of NHS staff; approaches to education delivery and measuring changes in knowledge and attitudes.

Wales and other countries are investing heavily to embed genomic healthcare within their health services and so this is a very timely study as staff education has, to date, lagged significantly behind investment in technological infrastructure. I’d encourage anyone with an interest in (health) workforce development and training, (adult) education or behaviour change to apply.

The genomics education for NHS staff (that will occur alongside this PhD) will be delivered through Genomics Partnership Wales and so candidates do not need a background in genomics. We have a supervision team that includes an educationalist and a psychologist (who has worked with previously with the Director of Studies on behaviour change, genomics and the health workforce).

Closing date for applications: 27 January 2019

Further information: Please see link below for further details or contact project supervisor Emma Tonkin: (  / 01443 483156).

PRIME research in @ResearchWales magazine

14 December 2018 

The fifth issue of the @ResearchWales magazine is now live, featuring the latest health and social care research news from across Wales including PRIME Centre Wales' focused news stories:

  • 'The Welsh ‘code-breaker’ making our visits to the GP safer' - looking at how analysis of patient safety incident records is being used to improve patient safety in primary care in Wales and beyond, led by Andrew Carson-Stevens is (pages 16-17).
  • 'PRIME & Swansea Centre for Health Economics helping to improve community care services' - looking at the evaluation of the community based pathfinder service for treating Wet Age Related Macular Degeneration (Wet AMD) in the community, led by Rachel North (page 5). 

Read the magazine here.

PhD - Engaging high-risk disadvantaged populations in shared decision making about low-dose computed tomography lung cancer screening

Fully funded PhD studentship open to applications

Low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) lung cancer screening has become the standard of care for high-risk groups in the US, and the case for implementation of stratified screening is building in the UK. Despite a 20% reduction in lung cancer mortality (Aberle et al, 2011), LDCT screening is not without harms, and in accordance with healthcare policy in Wales (Bradley et al, 2014; Atherton et al, 2016) patients need to be educated about the potential benefits, harms and limitations of screening so that they make a decision that is right for them. Lung cancer disproportionately affects individuals from disadvantaged communities in Wales, and if LDCT screening is to be introduced, we need to understand how we can best support disadvantaged populations to become involved in shared decision making regarding their lung screening decision in a way that avoids widening socioeconomic inequalities in lung cancer outcomes. 

The aim of the proposed PhD is to understand how we can best support shared decision making regarding low-dose computed tomography in high-risk disadvantaged populations in Wales, with a view to developing a patient decision support intervention. 

Deadline for applications: 27 February 2019

Further information:

PhD - Adverse childhood experiences and their association with child health and development in low and middle income countries

Fully funded PhD studentship open to applications

Supervisors: Lisa Hurt, Victor Adekanmbi

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are potentially traumatic events that may have lasting effects on health and wellbeing. Exposure to ACEs has been shown to be associated with poor child and adult outcomes in high income countries, but very little is known about their burden or effects in low and middle income countries (LMICs) and whether they are important predictors of child outcomes once socio-economic status has been accounted for. 

This PhD project will: 

  1. Examine the burden of ACEs in LMICs; 
  2. Examine whether there is an association between ACEs and child health and development outcomes in LMICs; and 
  3. Examine how ACEs might be understood and used in preventative public health programmes in LMICs. 

Deadline for applications: 27 February 2019

Further information:

PhD - Antimicrobial stewardship for asthma exacerbation

Fully funded PhD studentship open to applications

Division of Population Medicine, Cardiff University

Supervisors: Dr Nick Francis, Prof Shantini Paranjothy

This project addresses the priority area antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which is a key public health threat. Use of antibiotics drives AMR and most antibiotics are prescribed in primary care. Previous research and antimicrobial stewardship activities have addressed overuse of antibiotics for many conditions, but antibiotic use of asthma exacerbations is under-researched. More than one in ten people have a diagnosis of asthma at some point.

Most asthma exacerbations are not caused by bacterial infections, systematic reviews of poor quality studies have not found convincing evidence of benefit from antibiotic treatment, and guidelines recommend against antibiotic treatment, but around half of GP consultations for asthma exacerbations are treated with antibiotics.

This project aims to better describe the use of antibiotics for asthma exacerbations (including children who are prescribed asthma medications but do not have a diagnosis of asthma), determine the effect of antibiotics on reducing serious outcomes such as pneumonia and hospital admissions in people with asthma exacerbations, and understand the factors leading to antibiotic prescribing for asthma exacerbations in primary care. 

Deadline for applications: 27 February 2019

Further information: