News (2016 Archive)

Welsh Crucible opens call for applications January 2017

Welsh Crucible is a prestigious and award winning programme of professional and leadership development for the future research leaders of Wales. In 2017, we will select 30 exceptional researchers from across Wales to work together to explore how they can tackle the current research challenges facing Wales, as well as looking at the skills needed to take their research careers to the next level. Welsh Crucible will help you build networks, forge collaborations and enhance your professional profile. Please see the attached leaflet for more information.

Dates for your diary:

Welsh Crucible 2017 will take place through three two day events and applicants need to be in a position to commit to attending all 6 days.

  • Thursday 25th - Friday 26th May 2017 in Cardiff
  • Thursday 15th - Friday 16th June 2017 in Aberystwyth
  • Thursday 13th - Friday 14th July 2017 in Swansea

All programme costs will be covered for the 30 successful applicants.

Am I eligible to apply?

Applications are invited from excellent early to mid-career researchers in any discipline, with at least 3 years’ postdoctoral experience or equivalent. Applicants should be based in Wales and working either in a Welsh University or in research and development in business/industry, or the public/third sector.  The closing date for applications is midnight on the 3rd March 2017.

See for more information, follow us on @welshcrucible and take a look at our Welsh Crucible video:

KESS PhD studentship opportunity, University of South Wales

The patient health and NHS economic benefits of titanium 3D printed, patient-specific craniofacial implants and guides in reconstructive surgery 

Title: The patient health and NHS economic benefits of titanium 3D printed, patient-specific craniofacial implants and guides in reconstructive surgery 

Here is an exciting opportunity to study the impact personalised 3D printed implants and guides have on the patient who have undergone craniofacial surgery and the effect these devices have on health care and economics. The study will investigate how the technology has led to new approaches in patient treatments and clincial practices. The studentship also offers the opportunity to develop the use of this technology further in craniofacial reconstruction and surgery. 

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

The selected candidate will apply their medical and statistical skills to develop the knowledge surrounding the application of this new technology from a patient perspective, its application in the operating theatre, its cost and time benefits, and how healthcare professionals view the technology. The successful candidate will be given the opportunity to develop transferable knowledge and skills in a range of areas such as medical device research (both clinical and commercial), biomedical engineering, health economics and advanced critical care. 

Further information

Application Process: 

To download an application package, please visit: Participant Application Package 

For any queries on eligibility, please contact: KESS Team at Research and Innovation Services, University of South Wales: Tel: 01443 482578 

For informal enquiries or further programme information, please contact: Dr Mark Williams (

Closing date for applications: Wednesday 1st February 2017 

Interviews will be held week starting 13th February 2017 

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NIHR CRN online survey - digital technology in research

9 December 2016

The Clinical Research Network eStudy Project have launched an online survey for investigators and their teams to complete. They want to understand how both commercial and non-commercial researchers are incorporating elements of digital technologies into their studies, and also learn about attitudes towards this adoption process. 

The survey team want to hear about all study types and complexities - about the successful or unsuccessful inclusion of digital technology in everything from Clinical Trials of a medical device or Investigational Medicinal Product, right through to use of technology in health and social care settings.

Read more and complete the survey

National Institute for Health Research Dissemination Centre supports NHS decision makers across the UK

December 2016

The NIHR Dissemination Centre has been set up to make health research evidence easier to reach for those who need it.

The Dissemination Centre produces three key products:

  1. Signals – short summaries on health research that has appeared recently in peer-reviewed journals.
  2. Highlights – short digests of up to six NIHR funded research studies or systematic review.
  3. Themed Reviews – extensive review of ‘the state of the evidence’ on a key health or social care issue.

For more information click here

Your Involvement Matters Dec 2016

Read the latest edition of our public involvement and engagement newsletter featuring:

  • Public involvement news
  • Involving People Network
  • HealthWise Wales
  • Health and Care Research Wales 
  • Research engagement

Download it here

UK compatibility for NHS research

1 December 2016

There are currently different processes for setting up research studies in the NHS in England, which were introduced by the Health Research Authority (HRA) in April 2016.

Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have not changed processes for permissions and work is currently underway across the four nations, with a commitment to develop a consistent UK wide system for NHS research governance and set up.

We are committed to supporting researchers through the current processes and we can also advise on HRA requirements if you have a cross-border study. 

The Research Ethics Committee (REC) review process has not changed in light of the introduction of the HRA Approval Process. Read the full statement

Research with Impact: 2016 conference retrospective

25 November 2016

Take a look at the presentations and photos from the conference held on 13 October 2016 at the SWALEC stadium, Cardiff. You can also read the follow-up report

Cancer Delivery Plan for the NHS to 2020

15 November 2016

The Delivery Plan sets out Welsh Government's vision for the population of Wales and what this means for NHS cancer services.

In this refreshed cancer delivery plan, the Welsh Government’s commitment to delivering the best possible care and support to everyone affected by cancer is reaffirmed. 

PRIME Centre Wales Annual Report 2015-16

24 October 2016

PRIME Centre Wales (Wales Centre for Primary and Emergency Care Research) has had an busy first year.

We've recently published our annual report, detailing some of the exciting advances that we've made.

You can download the report here or read the report by clicking below.

Read Report

Prof Helen Snooks @Collaborate2016

20 October 2016

Professor Helen Snooks was among the guest speakers at Collaborate 2016 conference held 19th October at Swansea University.

Collaborate 2016 was dedicated to celebrating and promoting collaborative projects and partnerships across industry, academia, Government, health boards and other organisations in the life science community.

Bringing together representatives from across the region and beyond, the event was hosted by the Swansea University Medical School, ARCH Programme Team, ABM and Hywel Dda University Health Boards.

Prof Helen Snooks' presentation entitled: 'Collaborating for successful research that makes a difference in the real world' can be viewed below.

Pharmacy Research Wales launches a new strategy for research in Wales

19 October 2016

The Pharmacy Research Wales collaboration is delighted to be formally launching ‘Pharmacy Research for Wales: a 5 year strategic action plan for research in Pharmacy’. 

There is room for improvement in the way the NHS in Wales uses the £800 million it spends on medicines each year. It is of vital importance that much needed new services and initiatives in the use and safety of medicines are underpinned by high quality evidence of clinical and cost effectiveness.

The pharmacy research workforce must be ready to meet these current and future demands. The strategy therefore seeks to increase the capacity and capability of pharmacy professionals in Wales by creating equity in the research training opportunities available to pharmacy professionals and to harness the unique, patient-focused perspectives that they can bring to medicines use research. 

Read more.

Photo prize at Health and Care Research Wales Conference

17 October 2016

Researchers from PRIME Centre Wales were awarded best photo in the 'Having an impact' category in the Health and Care Research Wales photo competition, awarded at the Health and Care Research Wales Conference held 13th October, Swalec Stadium, Cardiff.

The photo entitled, 'Seeing my cells' captures researcher Grace McCutchan at the Greenman festival with Tenovus Cancer Care in their ice-cream van laboratory, as part of the team's research engagement activities.

The team were taking 'cheeky cell-fies' of cheek swabs from members of the public to show the participants' cells under a microscope. The was a 'teachable moment' to offer advice to members of the public on how to keep cells healthy and reduce cancer risk.

Grace (pictured below), a postgraduate research student at Cardiff University, comments:

"The Green Man Festival was brilliant and it was great to talk to so many people about Tenovus and share our research".

@ResearchWales Magazine Launched - Read the first edition

14 October 2016

Health and Care Research Wales have launched a new magazine at the 2016 Health and Care Research Wales Conference, and the fabulous first edition is now available.

This lavish and all-encompassing publication showcases all the latest news, features and events from health and social care research across Wales.

Read the first edition here

Bangor's CHEME publishes key findings on early years intervention

The Centre for Health Economics & Medicines Evaluation (CHEME) at Bangor University launched an important report at the 2016 Health and Care Research Wales conference. Funded by Public Health Wales, this document considers the economic evidence in support of investment in services and programmes targeted at children under 7 years.

The report shows how investment in the health and well-being of babies and young children presents Wales with an invaluable opportunity to benefit from both short and long-term dividends spanning the whole of society.

Read more and download the full report

Call for abstracts – South West SAPC 2017: 23-24 March, University of Oxford

Abstract submission deadline: 20 November 2016 

The South West Regional Conference of the Society for Academic Primary Care is coming to the University of Oxford in 2017, hosted by the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences. Abstract submission and conference registration is now open. Taking place in the Medical Sciences Teaching Centre, one of the most sought after conference venues in Oxford, this year’s conference provides an apt setting to discuss some of the latest ideas in primary care with colleagues from across the region. Conference accommodation is situated in New College, one of Oxford’s oldest Colleges. 

Keynote speakers include:

  • Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard: Chair Elect Royal College of General Practitioners, Interim Head of Primary Care, University of Birmingham.
  • Professor Peter Horby: Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Global Health, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford.
  • Professor Sue Ziebland: Professor of Medical Sociology, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford. 

For full details visit

Launch of ExChange

4 October 2016

The Cascade Research Centre in the Cardiff University School of Social Sciences are pleased to announce the launch of ExChange, a new Welsh social care network for researchers and practitioners. ExChange is an all-Wales network that brings together workers, researchers and those who use services to share experience and expertise and learn from one another.

For more information click here

New collaborative has set out plans to get patients more involved in decisions about care

20 September 2016

Research has shown that when clinicians and health care professionals work together with their patient, more appropriate decisions are made about their care.

Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive and director of health and social care at NICE, said: “This can lead to improved patient safety, better patient satisfaction and more efficient use of resources.”                                             

Called the ‘Shared Decision Making Collaborative’, the group of organisations made up of NICE, NHS England, the General Medical Council, professional bodies, patient organisations and universities (including PRIME Centre Wales Research fellow Natalie Joseph Williams), will work together to ensure shared decisions about care become a reality in everyday clinical practice.

A consensus statement and action plan outlines each organisation’s intentions and commitments to promote a move away from paternal medicine, so that care is delivered with the patient, not at the patient.

As part of the collaborative, NICE will look at its guidance to identify points in a clinical pathway where a decision about care needs to be made. Evidence to support that decision will be made available to both the patient and health care professional. 

Tools to help patients make a decision, such as options grids or patient decision aids, will also be embedded into existing guidance. 

The General Medical Council has said it will incorporate shared decision making into its professional capabilities framework – a framework which sets out the knowledge, skills and behaviours that doctors need.

Thorax: Lung screening leaves no lasting harm

Research led by Kate Brain featured in industry news

17 August 2016

The recently published results from the Lung Cancer Screening trial (UKLS) are discussed in an editorial in AuntMinnie, international news website for radiologists and related professionals in the medical imaging industry.

The full article can be viewed here and in the pdf below:

"First do no harm": Delivering safe primary care... but don't we do that anyway?

Dr Andrew Carson-Stevens authors article for RCGP Clinical News

25 August 2016

No GP goes to work in the morning aiming to deliver unsafe care. Our working life is becoming ever more challenging and we all aim to “primum non nocere” (“First do no harm”). Whilst we are all consciously striving to deliver evidence-based safe care, how do we know that we achieve this aim? Dr Andy Carson-Stevens explains how increased safety doesn't necessarily mean increased workload. Read more.

Revised DH contract will benefit researchers and patients

4  August 2016

The Department of Health (DH) and the Health Research Authority (HRA) have been working together to review the standard DH contract for NIHR funded research. Research projects funded by an NIHR research programme will be able to receive payments for start-up in advance of ethical approval.

To read the full article please click here

Introduction of screening could significantly reduce lung cancer deaths

28 July 2016

The introduction of lung cancer screening in the UK could significantly reduce deaths in high risk groups, without causing participants the undue stress sometimes associated with medical tests.

Published today in Thorax, a trial led by Dr Kate Brain looked at long-term psychosocial outcomes of CT screening for lung cancer and found that it did not cause unnecessary anxiety, even though fear and stigma can sometimes be barriers to participation in screening. Read more

Health and Care Research Wales Mentoring Scheme Pilot

27 July 2016

On Monday 8 August Health and Care Research Wales will be launching the Health and Care Research Wales Mentoring Scheme Pilot.

The pilot stage of the scheme will match Health and Care Research Wales funded students and fellows with our Senior Research Leaders in a developmental mentoring relationship. Read more

PRIME Centre Wales Annual Event 2016 - Call for Abstract Submissions

25 July 2016

Please see attached template for the call for abstracts for the Elevator Pitches session to be held at the PRIME Centre Wales Annual Event on November 15th, Wrexham Ramada Plaza hotel.

The abstracts must fall in to one of the following categories:

  • Research findings
  • Research ideas
  • Innovation in research
  • Dangerous ideas

The only criteria is that they must be of relevance to primary and emergency care research in Wales. Ideally they should also link to one of PRIME Centre Wales’s Work Packages or Cross-Cutting themes.

The deadline for submission of abstracts: 5 September 2016.

Please return all abstract submissions to

Prevention better value than cure – new report

14 July 2016

A new Public Health Wales report launched 14th July 2016 highlights 10 key areas for action that Wales should prioritise to enable significant improvements in our health and wellbeing, a reduction in inequalities, and a maximum return on investment for our economy. 

Read more

Blog Post: Dr Kate Brain

The Sondland-Durant Early Detection of Cancer Conference

8 July 2016

Dr Kate Brain, Reader, Division of Population Medicine, Cardiff University; and
Screening, Prevention and Early Diagnosis lead for PRIME Centre Wales & Wales Cancer Research Centre authors a blog post on the inaugural Early Detection of Cancer Conference held in Portland, Oregon on 21-24 June. The conference heralds an exciting international partnership between Cancer Research UK and the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health and Science University. Read more

The double-edged sword of ovarian cancer information

New research findings led by Dr Stephanie Smits published in ecancer medical science

6 July 2016

For women at an increased risk of ovarian cancer but who haven’t yet developed the disease, the most effective option for managing their risk is to surgically remove their fallopian tubes and ovaries. However, when interviewed, the women faced with this choice reported that the information available online often increased feelings of worry and fear rather than better informing their choices – suggesting that patients’ independent research needs to be guided by their healthcare professionals. Read more

GPs/trainees - request to share your knowledge on antenatal nutrition

22 June 2016

Good nutrition during pregnancy is important for maternal and child health, but what is the standard of care currently provided to pregnant women by GPs?

To find out, researchers at the University of Glasgow are asking GPs across the UK about the nutritional advice they give to pregnant women and whether they received enough nutrition education during their training. If you are a GP/GP trainee, take 10 minutes to fill out our online survey and have your say. 

Participants have the chance to win a £50 food hamper and will help to improve future GP training opportunities.

Complete the survey at:

FRAIT study team at Chief Nursing Officer for Wales Conference 2016

26 May 2016

Dr Carolyn Wallace and colleagues from the FRAIT (Family Resilience Assessment Instrument and Tool) team presented 'Testing an All Wales Family Resilience Assessment Instrument (FRAIT) for Health Visiting Using Hydra Minerva Suite Simulation Technology' at the Chief Nursing Officer for Wales 2016 ShowcaseConference, held 25th May in Cardiff.

The paper demonstrated how the Hydra Minerva Simulation Suite technology at the University of South Wales was utilised to test the FRAIT during its development in July 2015 prior to  testing in practice.  The Hydra Minerva suite (traditionally used for police and emergency training) comprises of a central viewing hub with five participation pods focussing on decision making skills.

The Hydra Minerva suite technology was used to facilitate controlled, safe testing of the draft version of the FRAIT with 28 health visitors, following which amendments were made.

In the photo left to right Prof. David Pontin (USW), Michelle Thomas (USW), Dr Carolyn Wallace (PRIME/USW), Georgina Jones (ABMUHB), Jane O'Kane (ABMUHB). The FRAIT team are a collaboration of individuals from PRIME Centre Wales, University of South Wales, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board and Hywel Dda University Health Board.

Enhancing NHS Approvals Programme

May 2016

The Health and Care Research Wales Support Centre has been commissioned by Welsh Government to lead a programme of work to further improve and simplify NHS approvals for research studies taking place in Wales.

The projects within the programme will consider approaches across the rest of the UK, review current processes across Wales and aim to make recommendations on a number of areas, with initial recommendations across the majority of projects due in summer 2016.

This webpage provides initial information about the programme and will be updated as the programme progresses.   


Unlocking innovation 'key' to NHS research success

May 2016

Doctors need to be given freedom to do research alongside clinical work to aid medical advances, according to a pioneering scientist Dr Kunnathur Rajan.

"I want to see pockets of excellence that exist grow throughout Wales." Prof Jon Bisson, Director of Health and Care Research Wales. Read more

Care at the Scene - Research for Ambulance Services

4 May 2016

The role and the scope of ambulance services has changed radically over recent decades. The ambulance service is now expected to provide complete pre-hospital care.

The majority of 999 calls are not traffic accidents or heart attacks. More typically, calls involve people with complex and ongoing health problems experiencing a crisis. This could be an elderly person with heart failure and diabetes having had a fall, someone with lung disease experiencing breathlessness or a person at risk of suicide ringing in distress.

Care at the Scene brings together recent research evidence on urgent and emergency care, focused on the ambulance service. Almost 40 studies are featured in this themed review (22 completed, 17 ongoing) which were funded by the NIHR in the last ten years. 
Read more

Spotting skin conditions

3 May 2016

Researchers at PRIME Centre Wales have created an online tool to help parents diagnose and better understand a common viral skin condition that particularly affects children.

Molluscum contagiosum is a viral skin disease that commonly affects children aged up to 14. It can affect people of all ages, but most adults’ immune systems are strong enough to fight it off. Read more

Researcher interview: Rhiannon Phillips

PRIME Research Fellow Interview in Your Involvement Matters Newsletter

20 April 2016

Dr Rhiannon Phillips, Research Fellow at PRIME Centre Wales is interviewed in the first edition of 'Your Involvement Matters' newsletter produced by the Involving People Network at Health and Care Research Wales. Rhiannon discusses public involvement in the breastfeeding peer support study currently being conducted by Cardiff University, Swansea University and Public Health Wales.

Read the full story in pages 13-16 of the newsletter.

Your views wanted on proposed improvement priorities for Social Care Wales

6 April 2016

The Social Services Improvement Agency (SSIA) are about to launch a consultation to seek views on what the improvement priorities for Social Care Wales should be for their first three years; building on work undertaken by the Transition to Social Care Advisory Panel and its Improvement Sub-Group. Further information on this work can be found on Welsh Government’s website.      

Cross – border arrangements for provision of NHS R&D local site-specific information for cross – border studies 

April 2016

As part of the roll out of Health Research Authority (HRA) Approval in England, operational and policy leads from the 4 nations have worked closely to ensure compatibility of NHS research approval systems across the UK. Read more

3Cs over 65s Club at Beddau Library: Companionship, Conversation and Creativity

7 April 2016

Professor Joyce Kenkre, Associate Director of PRIME Centre Wales visited the “3Cs” over 65s group on 4th April 2016 to offer support and congratulations to the group. The group was successfully awarded funding in a bid led by Mair Williams, Coordinatorfor a 12 week pilot project from VAMT Community Capacity Fund. 

Senior Citizens were consulted in the local area and it was established that there was an identified need to develop a support network of peers/professionals to help encourage friendships in and outside the group, give older people confidence in meeting new people, empowerment to find out about services that they can access, revive their interest in new topics/hobbies and improve their quality of life.  Read more

PRIME Centre Wales research leaders selected for new health care group

2 April 2016

Health and Care Research Wales has announced the appointment of a new group of Health and Care Research Wales Senior Research Leaders, including a number of staff from PRIME Centre Wales including Adrian Edwards (Cardiff University), Kerry Hood (Cardiff University),Richard Neal (Bangor University), Helen Snooks (Swansea University). Read more

Congratulations to Powys teaching Health Board LD Team on Award 

1 April 2016

Congratulations to the learning disability nurse team for their success at the annual Powys THB Excellence Awards in the Epilepsy Nurse Trial for Adults with Learning Disabilities (EpAID) research study

The primary aim of the trial was to establish whether nurses with expertise in epilepsy and intellectual disabilities (ID) can improve clinical outcome in the management of epilepsy in adults with (ID), when compared to treatment as usual. 

Funded by National Institute for Health Research, this study is on the UK CRN portfolio database and was sponsored by Cambridge & Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust and Cambridge University. Powys Teaching Health Board was one of only two Welsh sites that participated in the study. 

The team's involvement in the study was supported by Professor Joyce Kenkre, Associate Director, PRIME Centre Wales. Read more

Health and Care Research Wales Mentoring Lead

March 2016

Health and Care Research Wales is pleased to announce that Professor Paul Morgan has agreed to take on the role of Health and Care Research Wales Mentoring Scheme Lead.

Professor Morgan will bring a wealth of expertise to the role, having played a key role in the Academy of Medical Sciences Mentoring Scheme, sitting on the Academy’s Mentoring Advisory Group and being instrumental in the development of the Health and Care Research Wales Mentoring Scheme. Read more

Director of the School for Social Care Research appointed

2 March 2016

Health and Care Research Wales is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Fiona Verity as Director of the School for Social Care Research. Fiona is Professor of Social Work and Social Care in the College of Human and Health Sciences at Swansea University.

The School for Social Care Research is a key part of the Health and Care Research Wales infrastructure and will bridge the gap between academic research and social care services in Wales. Read more

New research funding awarded for early diagnosis of cancer in primary care

1 March 2016

PRIME Centre Wales Associate Director, Dr Richard Neal and colleagues from Bangor University have been awarded funding from Cancer Research Wales for pioneering research programme in early diagnosis of cancer in primary care. The research programme entitled 'WICKED (Wales Interventions and Cancer Knowledge about Early Diagnosis)' will focus on the development and evaluation of primary care interventions to expedite the diagnosis of symptomatic cancer in Wales.

The programme aims to develop and evaluate an intervention for GPs and their teams, with the intention of achieving prompter referral of suspected cancer and achieving earlier, and cost-effective, diagnosis of symptomatic cancer in Wales; thus improving survival.  Read more

Largest ever Welsh health research project launched

29 February 2016

HealthWise Wales, which is the largest research project of its kind and designed to better understand the health of people living in Wales, was launched this week.

HealthWise Wales is a confidential research study, which aims to develop an in-depth knowledge of the health of the nation - the information gained will be used to help the NHS plan for the future.

The study hopes to recruit 260,000 people aged 16 and older over a five-year period. HealthWise Wales will involve large numbers of people in Wales in health and social care research. Read more

“Quality at the heart of Welsh NHS” finds new international report

12 February 2016

A new international report has concluded that quality is at the heart of the Welsh NHS and patient-centred care is a major priority. Read more

Participation in health research may be linked to better care and performance

9 February 2016

A NIHR review has found positive evidence that engaging clinicians and healthcare organisations in research is linked to improvements in the delivery of healthcare. In the central part of this three-stage review, most (28/33) papers found a positive impact of research on quality or outcomes.

Seven of these studies were able to show a relationship between research activity and patient outcomes. Other studies related research activity to the quality of care. In these, patients were more likely to get better standards of care at hospitals undertaking research. Read more

PRIME Centre Wales Visit to Age Cymru Gwent Hospital Discharge Service 

8 February 2016

Dr Carolyn Wallace, PRIME Work Package co-lead for long term conditions and co-morbidity and Reader of Integrated Care at University of South Wales, recently visited the Age Cymru Gwent hospital discharge services in Monmouthshire and Caerphilly to learn about how they work closely with statutory services by enabling older people return home safely.

Dr Wallace found out about the essential services provided by the teams including benefits checks and applications, liaising with social work on behalf of the older person, in some areas applying anti embolism stockings, undertaking the food shopping so that they have the essentials at home.

The service operates Monday to Friday, is free of charge and is in addition to any help that social services or other agencies may already be providing. Read more