@ResearchWales Issue 6

Page 1


Page 12

Meet our new senior research leaders and specialty leads

Page 09

Page 14

Let’s talk research

Getting your research noticed

Promoting health and care research to the

Tips to help you think creatively about

public in an engaging and interactive way

sharing your research

Health and Care Research Wales Magazine - Issue 06 - June 2019


Health and Care Research Wales Magazine - Issue 06 - June 2019

The magazine to showcase health and social care research in Wales

Contents 2

PAG E 1 2

New senior research leaders and specialty leads announced

PAG E 0 9

Let’s talk research

PAG E 1 6

PAGE 1 4

Calendar of events

Getting your research noticed

PAG E 0 3

PAGE 0 4



Carys Thomas & Michael Bowdery, joint

Research news from across Wales

interim directors, Health and Care Research Wales

PAG E 0 9

PAGE 1 2

Let’s talk research

New senior research leaders and specialty leads announced

Bringing research to life for the public

Your guide to our senior research leaders and

through personal stories and experiences

specialty leads

PAG E 1 4

PAGE 1 6

Getting your research noticed

Calendar of events

Discover top communication tips to help you share your research

Save the date: key research and development events

Health and Care Research Wales Magazine - Issue 06 - June 2019

Foreword W

elcome to Issue 6 of

It was pleasing to see health and social care

Social Care Research Awards, Research for

@ResearchWales. This issue

research, and the work of Health and Care

Patient and Public Benefit grants and Health

celebrates and highlights the successful

Research Wales, featuring prominently in the

Research Fellowships all due in the coming

partnerships and collaborations our Health

Chief Medical Officer’s annual report, which


and Care Research Wales infrastructure is

was published in May. It was good to see

developing at national, UK and international

Dr Frank Atherton recognising how crucial

Finally, as we look to ensure members of


research is in safeguarding and improving

the public are central to all health and

the future health of the nation.

social care research in Wales, this is a good opportunity to highlight two upcoming

Partnership and collaboration is a key theme for us for 2019 as we look to celebrate

Health and Care Research Wales looks

effective working with others in all its guises

forward to playing a significant role this year

and in its various forms. This includes activity

in supporting activities as part of Welsh

The Let’s talk research events will be a

at a strategic level, where we continue to

Government’s precision medicine statement

chance for members of the public to meet

work closely with a wide range of partners

of intent, including the developments

with researchers and find out more about the

including the other UK government health

relating to advanced therapies to benefit

research taking place every day in Wales and

departments, research councils, charities,

patients in the future.

how they can be part of it (see page 9).

level, we continue to work with others to

We’re entering a busy period as we gear up

By engaging with more people in Wales,

provide joint funding opportunities. The

to the 2020 strategy and we will be reaching

we can demonstrate how our excellent

UK Prevention Research Partnership, for

out to you, our research community, to

health and social care research makes a real

example, has just made its first set of awards

support that work. Of course, lots of work is

difference to health and wellbeing.

and new opportunities are in the offing with

already underway that will help shape the

third sector research funders like Fight for

next five years, with a research development

We hope you enjoy reading this issue of the

Sight and the Scar Free Foundation.

infrastructure call currently live (bids are

magazine and discovering more about the

being assessed as we write), and increasing

great work of the research community in

It’s an exciting time as we welcome a new

consideration being given to value-based


cohort of senior research leaders who will

healthcare as a means of strengthening the

help us shape the future of Health and

support and delivery infrastructure.

public engagement events being held in July.

the public and industry. At the programme

Care Research Wales, and a new group of

Carys Thomas & Michael Bowdery

specialty leads who are ready to help drive

Look out too for the customary range of

up research participation opportunities for

Health and Care Research Wales schemes,

Joint interim directors, Health and Care

people in Wales (see page 12).

with calls for Clinical Research Time Awards,

Research Wales

Health and Care Research Wales Magazine - Issue 06 - June 2019



£16 million European collaboration aims to improve quality of life for people with neurodegenerative diseases Researchers in the Centre for Trials Research

Professor Busse said: “This project joins our

(CTR) at Cardiff University are exploring how

growing portfolio of research in the area of

digital technologies, such as wearable fitness

Huntington’s disease, working closely with

trackers, can be used to support people with

patients and members of the public, and

Huntington’s disease.

is an important step with the potential to contribute significantly to our knowledge

As part of a £16 million collaboration to

and treatment of Huntington’s disease, and

address the health and social care of people

the growing problem of dementia.”


with diseases of the brain, Professor Monica Busse, director for Mind, Brain, Neuroscience

Health and Care Research Wales, along

Trials at CTR, will lead an international

with Department of Health and Social Care

team who will assess how sleep, nutrition

England, Alzheimer’s Society and Health and

and physical activity impact Huntington’s

Social Care Northern Ireland, has committed

disease. The Multi-Domain Lifestyle Targets

£2.15 million to the Joint Programme –

for Improving ProgNOsis (DOMINO HD)

Neurodegenerative Disease (JPND) funding

research team will also look at developing

awards which fund this new research. JPND is

new ways to help people manage symptoms.

the largest global research initiative aimed at tackling the challenges of neurodegenerative

Huntington’s disease is an inherited


neurological condition that causes difficulties with movement and coordination. It also

The team in Wales will lead a consortium

causes cognitive impairment that gets worse

across Europe which includes Ireland, Spain,

over time. There are currently no treatments

Poland, Germany and Switzerland.

for the condition.


diversity can bring to research as well as

Dr Emma Yhnell helps bring equality and diversity to research

“I am delighted to have been voted into this


role by the BNA membership. Enabling all areas of society to contribute to research and feel appreciated and valued for doing so is vital.”

Health and Care Research Wales research fellow Dr Emma Yhnell has been elected Equal Opportunities and Diversity Representative on the British Neuroscience

Research news from across Wales

Association (BNA) Committee. Dr Yhnell, who works in the Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute at Cardiff University, has worked with patient groups as well as individuals who have felt isolated or under-represented, and said she is aware of the benefits that equality and


Health and Care Research Wales Magazine - Issue 06 - June 2019


Pioneering emergency research centre opens in Morriston Hospital Wales’ first Centre for Emergency Medicine Research opened earlier this year and is set to further develop collaborations with worldleading international centres in emergency medicine research. This launch is the result of a partnership of Swansea Bay University Health Board and Swansea University, with the health board’s


research and development department providing governance support.

‘Fantastic progress’ in stroke research in Wales

It will provide a home for the development of groundbreaking research into emergency medicine, and builds on years of cuttingedge work in emergency, biomedical,

Wales is now recruiting three times as many patients every year into stroke studies than it was in 2016, thanks to a network of stroke

epidemiological and clinical research. The centre has opened as part of a

research champions.

into a leading academic centre in this area. The programme is led by Professor Adrian Evans, with Health and Care Research Wales specialty lead Dr Ceri Battle as its director of epidemiology. As well as the opening of the centre, the programme has also seen exchanges of young academics between world-leading centres, and has attracted millions of pounds in research funding from several prestigious granting bodies. Professor Evans said: “Getting to where we are now is only the first step and a lot of hard work will be required to facilitate and maintain its growth for the future. “There are already plans to appoint further posts in academic emergency medicine and this shows the commitment of the health board and the university to its future development.”

individual registered clinical trials units to support their public involvement and

The champions – who are based at health

engagement, there has been no formal

boards across Wales – have played a major

assessment of these materials and no way of

part in driving up recruitment from an

sharing them across the Network.

average of 150 people per year to 540 people in the last year.

This work package (one of three funded by UKCRC for PPI&E work) will focus on

“This is a substantial change,” commented

assessing the availability and quality of

Jonathan Hewitt, Health and Care Research

existing PPI&E resources for both the public

Wales speciality lead for stroke. “It has

and researchers that are specific to clinical

moved Wales from the lowest recruiting


region in the UK, per capita, to one of the highest.” Two Cochrane fellowships in stroke research have also been established in Wales, in collaboration with colleagues in Scotland, to support researchers in the early stages of their career. “We have many other stroke studies in set up and the research pipeline looks promising,” added Jonathan.

Taking a lead in public involvement

trials. The aim is to provide a repository of high quality information accessible to the public and researchers. Dr Thorne said: “Patient and public

Dr Kym Thorne, Swansea Trials Unit senior

involvement is an important part of so

trial manager, has been appointed as lead of

many aspects of research such as the study

a work package that will support patient and

design, patient engagement and recruitment,

public involvement and engagement (PPI&E)

analysis and dissemination of results. This

across the UK Clinical Research Collaboration

work package will bring useful resources

(UKCRC) Registered Clinical Trials Unit

together in a central location, providing easy


access for researchers across the Registered Clinical Trials Units Network and promoting

“Our challenge now is to maintain the fantastic progress that we have made, expand further and encourage more of our own chief investigators to come through with their own studies.”

programme to develop Swansea, and Wales,

It has been set up in response to

sharing of good practice to support patient

recommendations made in a report by

and public involvement and engagement.”

the UKCRC Registered Clinical Trials Unit Network Patient and Public Involvement

The project is being led by Dr Heather Bagley

and Engagement Task and Finish Group,

based at Liverpool Clinical Trials Research

which found that although there are already


a number of resources being used in the

Health and Care Research Wales Magazine - Issue 06 - June 2019


As well as a presence on Twitter and in the media, bilingual lobster signs were installed on three Welsh beaches to reinforce the message. Inspiration for the signs began with Singleton Hospital dermatology consultant Avad Mughal’s summer holiday. “While I was on holiday in west Wales last summer I was looking out at people on the beach and realised they were my future workload. What could I do to make it smaller?” he said. “We have signs telling people not to bring dogs on beaches or to pick up litter so why not have one reminding them to put on sun


Cymru, in collaboration with Swansea Trials Unit, aimed to do just that, with the

How a cartoon lobster helped promote sun protection on Welsh beaches Wales has among the highest rates of skin

help of a cartoon lobster. The campaign #DontBeALobster set out to encourage the public to be safe in the sun with simple messages: protect yourself from the sun even on Welsh beaches, wear sunblock, big hats, put on a t-shirt, don’t burn in the sun. Don’t be a lobster. To promote the campaign the red dragon

cancer in the UK each year and with skin

on the Welsh flag was replaced with a

cancer rates in Wales increasing by 63% over 10 years, it’s clear that it’s time to take action.

cartoon lobster and the flags were flown in many well-known Welsh locations including castles, the Severn Bridge and the

block?” The campaign had fantastic engagement, with an estimated international reach of 44 million people via social, internet and print media. Google Trends also showed an increase in people in Wales searching for ‘skin cancer’, ‘skin care’ and ‘sun cream’. Skin Care Cymru is now working together with members of Swansea Trials Unit, PRIME Centre Wales and Swansea Bay University Health Board to develop research proposals to look at changes in awareness and behaviour as a result of the campaign.

Millennium Centre.

An innovative campaign by Skin Care

WELSH HE A LT H E CO N O M IC S U P P O RT S ERV ICE A recent economic evaluation of a new rapid

To address this unmet need, Swansea

cancer diagnosis centre has shown it to be

Bay University Health Board and Cwm

less costly and more effective compared to

Taf Morgannwg University Health Board,

usual care.

in collaboration with the Welsh Cancer Network, established two rapid diagnosis

Researchers at the Welsh Health Economic

centres. In the Swansea Bay University

Support Service (WHESS) collaborated

Health Board Centre, patients with vague

with Cancer Research UK and Swansea

symptoms are seen within five days and

Bay University Health Board (SBUHB) to

leave either with a cancer diagnosis or

undertake the evaluation of SBUHB’s

further investigations booked.

investment into its rapid diagnosis centre. WHESS evaluated economic data from the

Rapid cancer diagnosis centres found to be ‘excellent’ value for money

The earlier cancer can be diagnosed, the

first year of the Swansea Bay University

better. Diagnosis at a more advanced stage

Health Board rapid cancer diagnosis centre

not only results in worse patient outcomes,

and found it represents excellent value for

but also increased health care costs. 50%

money for the health board. As a result,

of potential cancer patients in the UK do

Swansea Bay University Health Board has

not present a ‘red flag symptom’, which can

now implemented a permanent centre,

lead to an urgent referral, and previously no

leading the way in the course of cancer

pathway existed in Wales for patients with

diagnosis in Wales.

vague symptoms to have cancer ruled out.


Health and Care Research Wales Magazine - Issue 06 - June 2019


There’s no place like home – how encouraging home kidney therapies could improve lives in Wales Chronic kidney disease affects around 15% of the world population, and is associated with high morbidity and mortality. With the rapid increase in diabetes, the number of patients developing kidney failure is likely to increase over the next decade, putting pressure on NHS services. Patients with advanced kidney failure can

patients’ treatment choices, the ‘Dialysis

across Wales, especially in rural communities

choose from a number of different treatment

Options and Choices’ study team at the

and areas of deprivation.

options, including transplant, supportive

Wales Kidney Research Unit is collecting data

care and haemodialysis (to filter waste in

from renal data sets and the SAIL databank,

Study lead, Dr Gareth Roberts, consultant

their blood) at home or at a specialist unit.

as well as interviewing people with kidney

nephrologist, Cardiff and Vale University

Unit based haemodialysis is associated with

disease, their family members and carers.

Health Board said:

the lowest quality of life for patients, higher

The team wants to learn more about people’s

levels of risk and higher treatment costs,

understanding of the available treatment

“Learning from people’s experiences and

yet the majority of patients in Wales are

options, what they value most when making

opinions will help in understanding what

still choosing to receive haemodialysis at

tough decisions and the support networks

is most important to people when making

specialist units rather than at home.

available to them.

decisions about kidney treatment.

Continuing to expand unit based

The team expects immediate outcomes

“This will inform future education

haemodialysis is not a sustainable option for

of the study to support a redesign of the

programmes in Wales, help others make the

the NHS and for many patients home therapy

current education programme across Wales,

right treatment decision for them and their

may be more appropriate.

to help support more patients and carers

family and make best use of NHS resources.”

to get their preferred treatment choice, and To better understand what influences

potentially improve access to home therapies

The first robust evaluation of the soft opt-out organ donation system in Wales, undertaken by Wales Kidney Research Unit researchers and other key stakeholders across Wales, has been published in the BMJ. You can read more about the study in Issue 1 of @ResearchWales.


New UK-wide documents introduced for setting up studies A UK Local Information Pack was introduced

Guidance on the use of the UK Local

on 5 June to support and standardise the

Information Pack has been published on

process of setting up NHS/Health and Social

the Site Specific page of IRAS Help to help

Care research in the UK.

applicants with the changes.

The UK Local Information Pack is the set of

Information for commercial sponsors and

documents organisations use to formally

contract research organisations can be found

start preparing to deliver a study.

on the Health and Care Research Wales website.

Researchers can now benefit from a consistent package to support study set-up and delivery across the UK.

Health and Care Research Wales Magazine - Issue 06 - June 2019



New palliative care model could transform services for young people Turning 18 years old is usually a time for celebration, but for thousands of young people in the UK who are living with lifelimiting or life-threatening diseases, making the transition from children’s to adult’s palliative care between ages 16 and 18 can cause feelings of confusion, anger and alienation. Palliative care patient Emma knows this first hand, and although her transition into adult care was relatively smooth, she still felt frightened, alone and that staff didn’t know how to care for her. Despite two decades of research and initiatives, young people with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions still find

New research, led by Professor Jane Noyes

Emma said: “There are many issues when you

from the National Centre for Population

reach 18 and still need respite care. There

Health and Wellbeing Research and

are no facilities that are suitable for young

funded by Together for Short Lives, has

adults with very different medical conditions

recommended a new model of care that

… whatever our conditions we deserve the

could change that experience for thousands

same level of respite care that we have as a

of young people.


The research team studied 77 interviews

The core elements of the new model

with children and young people, their

promote the continuity of aspects of

families and professionals about their

palliative care such as health promotion,

experiences of palliative care, collected in

condition-specific planning and care

previous studies.

pathways, and psychological support. The team believes that this model can be

Childhood experiences of care shape

achieved in practice by having specific 16

expectations of adult services and the study

to 25 year old transition services, greater

found six areas where conflicting realities

engagement with relevant support groups,

existed between children’s and adult’s

and using digital technologies and social

services, which explains why young people

media to create communities of support for

and their families experience a gulf between

young people with rare conditions in adult

the two. These included being treated as an


adult and the oldest patient in children’s services compared with being treated as

The findings and recommendations from

a child and the youngest patient in adult

their study provide new insights and

services, and being relatively one of many

guidance that can be used to bring about

with the condition in children’s services to

changes in practice, help target care

being one of very few with the condition in

more effectively and ultimately lead to a

adult services.

significantly better service and quality of life for patients like Emma and their families.

transition unsatisfactory.


Arts programme gives dementia carers new skills and confidence Activities like poetry, film and music can help care home staff to think more creatively when they’re caring for residents with dementia, new research has found. Care staff from 14 care homes in Flintshire took part in an 18-month study – funded by Health and Care Research Wales and the Wellcome Trust – which tested an arts-

strengthened their understanding of their

through the arts can also enhance the skills

based staff development programme called

residents, including the importance of non-

of dementia care staff and enable them

Creative Conversations.

verbal communication. It also gave them the

to develop a deeper understanding of the

confidence to try more creative approaches

residents they care for.”

to care.

The programme uses creative activities to

The research project was carried out in

increase awareness of the possibilities within dementia care. It also aims to provide staff

Dr Katherine Algar-Skaife, who led the

partnership between Bangor University’s

with practical communication skills, which

research, said:

Dementia Services Development Centre Wales (the research group from Ageing &

they can use to develop caring relationships with residents. Staff who took part in the study found

“The arts are increasingly recognised as

Dementia @ Bangor in the School of Health

important and beneficial activities for people

Sciences), Dementia Positive, TenFiveTen

living with dementia.

Consultancy and Flintshire County Council Social Services.

the approach of learning through the arts “In this project we have shown that learning


Health and Care Research Wales Magazine - Issue 06 - June 2019


Welsh researchers partner with elite cyclists to study type 1 diabetes Diabetes Research Unit Cymru (DRU Cymru) researchers have been monitoring the gruelling demands endured by a unique group of elite cyclists in their drive to find out more about diabetes. Team Novo Nordisk is the world’s only professional cycling team made up of riders with type 1 diabetes. Led by Dr Richard Bracken, DRU Cymru lead for Exercise

seven hours in the saddle every day at a 10-

Nutritional, glucose and physiological data

Physiology and Lifestyle, the research team

day training camp.

was collected during the team’s intensive training and exhaustive cycle testing

travelled to Spain to monitor the cyclists and how their bodies coped with spending up to

The researchers now plan to use the results


of the study to help other people with diabetes who want to be more physically

“We want to uncover clues which might give


the healthcare community more confidence when it comes to encouraging the wider

Dr Bracken explained: “Team Novo Nordisk

type 1 diabetes community to do physical

compete all over the world and promote a

activity,” said Dr Bracken.

can-do attitude to having type 1 diabetes. The findings will now play an important role “We wanted to find out more about the

in building a better understanding of the

bespoke physiology of these elite athletes

condition and they are set to be published in

to better understand their responses to

leading diabetes science journals.

extreme exercise and the strategies they use – things like food intake, sleep and medication adjustments.”

Free entry Family friendly stands Activity zone for children Talks celebrating research

Health and Care Research Wales Magazine - Issue 06 - June 2019



ENRICH Cymru network expands to enable more research

growing interest in mid Wales.”

potential interests and leads. Further to this, being able to accompany ENRICH Cymru

Care homes across Wales are currently

at conferences, I have gained invaluable

taking part in a number of ongoing research

networking opportunities. Without the help

projects, including an evaluation of the

of the ENRICH Cymru network I don’t believe

impact of intergenerational activities on

my research would be where it is now.”

residents, staff and visitors. A growing network of ‘research ready’ care homes across Wales is helping researchers to carry out key social care studies.

Health and Care Research Wales is providing The study is being led by PhD student Kate

additional resources over the next year to

Howson who describes ENRICH Cymru as “a

further develop the ENRICH Cymru network,

crucial link”.

to extend its reach across care homes in Wales and to develop a sustainable model

The Enabling Research in Care Homes

“ENRICH Cymru has enabled me to

network (ENRICH Cymru) – co-hosted by

for the future.

disseminate my research advert on various

the Wales School for Social Care Research and the Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research at Swansea University – was launched in 2018.

platforms resulting in numerous enquiries

The Health and Care Research Wales

and care homes keen to be involved with the

‘Research Aware’ training developed

research,” added Kate.

specifically for care homes, is also being rolled out across care homes within the

The network aims to encourage and enable more research to take place in care homes, a

“Stephanie Watts has kept in regular

ENRICH Cymru network.

contact, liaising and informing me of

sector where research isn’t as well developed as other healthcare settings. “The network promotes the exchange of research ideas and knowledge, and fosters the co-creation of research relevant to the current issues in the care home sector,” said Stephanie Watts, ENRICH Cymru coordinator. “Awareness of and interest in the network is expanding rapidly. There are 20 homes registered across north and south Wales, with

Stephanie Watts enrols The Old Vicarage Nursing Home in Sketty

R& D FO RUM 2019

Shining a light on Health and Care Research Wales at UK conference

joint interim director of Health and Care Research Wales, and Dr Fiona Verity, director of the Wales School for Social Care Research, offered a Welsh perspective on this

This year’s NHS Research and Development (R&D) Forum conference, held at the Hilton Metropole hotel in Brighton in May, saw exhibition stand, posters and speakers from across the Health and Care Research Wales support and delivery service.

sessions, the conference brought together support and delivery research teams from across the UK to meet, learn and share their experiences of working in research. One session, focused on supporting social care research, was chaired by Carys Thomas,


delegate’s choice poster award for the third year running. Lynette Lane, senior training and development manager at Health and

Dr Nicola Williams, national director of

poster about the innovative Foundation in

support and delivery at Health and Care Research Wales offered an invaluable chair of the programme group. Dr Williams

Care Research Wales, created the winning Research Practice training course run by the training team at the Support and Delivery Centre.


Lynette said: “I didn’t want my poster to be a

“The NHS R&D Forum conference continues

really stop and take notice.

to grow as increasing numbers of our

With a number of workshops and plenary

display at the event, with Wales winning the

discussion as part of a panel of experts.

input into the development of the event as

research in Wales highlighted through an

Eight posters from Wales were chosen for

professional workforce strive to make a difference to how research is supported and delivered. I’m always impressed by how Wales is continuing to lead the way in developing good practice, influencing policy and sharing resources.”

‘walk on past’ type poster, I wanted people to

“There was a lot of planning and creativity involved but essentially I took time to work out how to be different and how to give my poster something others maybe wouldn’t have. The information on our Foundation in Research Practice course was important and different compared to other UK training, and

Health and Care Research Wales Magazine - Issue 06 - June 2019


It’s a PRIME time to improve urgent eye care If you’ve got an eye problem where would you go for help? Just over half of people in Wales said they would go to their GP, and the number of people attending A&E for eye problems is increasing. This is putting a strain on these services that often don’t have the appropriate eye examination equipment. Almost a third of eye issues could be resolved by simply popping in to your local opticians or pharmacy, and a new collaborative public health study could help to ease the pressure on these services by describing the frequency and burden of unsafe urgent eye care, and estimating its cost. The study, funded by Cardiff University

of eye care services. Based in the school of

Research Wales primary care specialty lead

Optometry and Vision Sciences (OPTOM), in

and patient safety research lead for PRIME

collaboration with the Schools of Medicine

Centre Wales, said: “The patient safety (PISA)

and Pharmacy, the design of the study has

group at PRIME Centre has extensively

benefitted from the support provided by

investigated ‘what’s unsafe general

PRIME Centre Wales to access health services

practice?’ and is now working in an era of

research expertise in primary and emergency

making recommendations and designing

care. The PRIME Centre Wales Service

interventions to improve the safety of

Users for Primary and Emergency care

primary care systems.

Research (SUPER) group is providing public

in partnership with Cwm Taf Morgannwg

involvement support throughout the study.

University Health Board and supported by the Wales Centre for Primary and Emergency Care Research (PRIME Centre Wales), will use questionnaires and interviews, alongside Wales-wide data, to discover how much urgent eye care could be provided by opticians and pharmacies. The team

“Our collaboration with OPTOM will create a pipeline of principal investigators in

Together, the centre and the research team

community optometry with expertise to

are working to define patient safety in eye

investigate unsafe healthcare and design

care by investigating which eye conditions

solutions to improve future services in health

are prone to unsafe mismanagement, harmful

boards across Wales, as well as generate

delays in intervention, or misdiagnosis.

internationally-leading methodological advances and research to extend the patient

hope this will unburden A&E and GP

Dr Andrew Carson-Stevens, Health and Care

services and improve patient experiences

so I wanted people to stop and read about it.

in a record breaking 24 seconds, winning her

“My poster centrepiece was a head full

the top spot on our leaderboard.

safety enquiry to eye health.”

of metal cogs lit up with tiny lights, representing thought processes and new

The NHS R&D Forum hosts the event,

ideas. The concept was certainly unlike

in association with the Health Research

any others and people stopped to read the

Authority and attracts over 600 delegates,

information rather than just walking on by. I

including policy leads from the Department

felt I accomplished my goal, but winning the

of Health, NHS England, NIHR, with charities,

Delegate Choice Award proved it is good to

academic and industry partners attending

be different and to stand out.”


Health and Care Research Wales’ exhibition

The NHS R&D Forum is a non-profit

stand also proved a great success, with

professional network and community of

Support and Delivery Centre staff discussing

practice for the health and care research

the one Wales approach to research set-up,

management, support and leadership

delivery and sharing.

workforce across the UK. The NHS R&D Forum community comprises primarily of

Delegates also took part in our ‘One Wales…

research managers, directors, support and

it’s marble-ous!’ game, with the aim of

clinical delivery staff.

building a marble run with four inputs and

The 2020 event will be held in Newcastle -

one output in the fastest time. Claire Symms

Health and Care Research Wales are proud to

keep checking our events pages for updates

from NHS South Norfolk CCG completed it

be a Gold Sponsor for this event.

when more details are released.

Health and Care Research Wales Magazine - Issue 06 - June 2019



New senior research leaders and specialty leads announced Our new Health and Care Research Wales senior research leaders and specialty leads have been announced – and they’re all ready to champion the excellent research taking place in Wales.

Wales strategy. They’ll also play a leading

“networks” to be able to “expand the number

role in raising the profile of health and social

of commercial and non-commercial trials”

care research in Wales on a national and

taking place in Wales.


hey’ve fought off tough competition to claim the top roles, which they are

international level. Our 2016 senior research leaders and Our specialty leads will build networks of

specialty leads have done an excellent

principal investigators within their specialty

job over the last three years and we would

and support the uptake of studies in Wales,

like to thank them for their time and the

as well as engaging with UK counterparts.

contribution they have made.

Their ambitions range from “giving

We are excited to welcome our new group

people living with diabetes the maximum

of top researchers and we look forward to

opportunity to receive novel therapies” to

working with them.

becoming “a leading nation in pre-hospital

taking on for the next three years.

emergency medicine and emergency

Click on their photos to find out more about them.

Our senior research leaders have some big

medicine research”. There are also plans

tasks ahead including helping to develop the

for “strong cross-border and international

next phase of the Health and Care Research

collaborations” as well as specialty

Senior research leaders

Professor Jon Bisson

Professor Vanessa Burholt

Professor Colin Dayan

Professor Kerenza Hood

Professor Dyfrig Hughes

Professor Ian Jones

Professor Shantini Paranjothy

Professor Andrew Sewell

Professor Helen Snooks


Professor Adrian Edwards

Professor William Gray

Professor Ronan Lyons Professor Paul Morgan

Professor Rhiannon Tudor Edwards

Health and Care Research Wales Magazine - Issue 06 - June 2019

Professor John Williams CBE

Specialty leads

Dr Matthew Morgan - critical care

Dr Chin Lye Ch’ng - hepatology

Dr Kate Button - musculoskeletal disorders

Professor Julia Sanders - reproductive health and childbirth

Dr Tamas Szakmany - anaesthesia, peri-operative medicine and pain management

Dr Robert Jones - cancer

Dr Richard Anderson - cardiovascular disease

Dr Philip Connor - children

Dr John Ingram - dermatology

Professor Stephen Bain - diabetes

Dr Sunil Dolwani - gastroenterology

Dr Raza Alikhan - haematology

Dr Ceri Battle - injuries and emergencies (shared role)

Nigel Rees - injuries and emergencies (shared role)

Professor Jon Bisson - mental health

Dr Aled Rees - metabolic and endocrine disorder

Dr Khalid Hamandi - neurology

Professor Keir Lewis - respiratory

Professor Ivor Chestnutt - oral and dental health

Dr Andrew CarsonStevens - primary care

Dr Sian Griffin - renal

Dr Jonathan Hewitt - stroke

Dr Manju Krishnan - stroke (deputy)

Professor Iain Whitaker - surgery

Health and Care Research Wales Magazine - Issue 06 - June 2019



Getting your research noticed The communications team at Health and Care Research Wales often receives questions from researchers about how to best publicise their work.


e are living in a world of information overload. There are over 1.8 billion

websites out there and on average 571 new ones are created every minute. Therefore, we need to share information about research in ways that are as easily accessible as possible. So how do researchers get their research

your research, think about it upfront and

as well as for dissemination at the end. These

throughout every stage of the research

can take the shape of designated websites,

process. Also, see the sharing of information

webpages and written communications such

as integral to the project lifecycle from

as newsletters, social media handles, events

developing a research idea, to recruiting

and more. These methods don’t replace more

participants through to disseminating the

traditional methods which are also very

research findings at the end. After all, early

important, but add to them and help to reach

and ongoing awareness of your study can

a wider audience.

help support recruitment and make it easier to engage people with the findings later on. “How and where you share your research can also make a huge difference in reaching the people you want to. There are now a variety of channels that can be used including social media and easily accessible approaches on


websites/webpages such as blogs, podcasts, videos and infographics.

Cheryl Lee, our communications manager, shares her top tips and ideas on how researchers can publicise information about their research, to reach a wider audience.

“The reach of these channels extends beyond traditional methods and they have many

time to spread the word about what you’ve discovered. But what if you tried things a bit differently?

innovatively about when, where and how you share your research, as well as who you share it with, to achieve maximum impact. If research is going to have real-world impact then it must reach policy makers and

style. Being able to blog about your research in plain, clear language will help you share your research with a wider, more general audience. Blogging is a great aid to discoverability.


they can generate greater interaction and

Twitter is an online news and social

collaboration, boost influence, for example,

networking service, with around 321 million

with funders, and raise the profile of research

active users. You can use Twitter to easily

on a larger scale.

and quickly share your research with a large

“It’s likely that you are doing lots of these

interact with other users to tell your research

things already. But if you do need a bit of


help and inspiration then here are some of my top tips and ideas to share with you.”


Communications plan

Facebook is an online social media and

Setting up communications for your study is

monthly active users and it holds the key to

essential for informing stakeholders and the

the largest and most diverse social media

public about the progress of your research,

audience in the world. Share your research

practitioners, as well as wider audiences,


individual and written in a conversational

number of people. Follow, retweet and

“It is sometimes helpful to think more

“Rather than waiting until the end of

A blog is a website or webpage run by an

benefits. As well as rapid dissemination,

“You’ve finished your research and now it’s

including members of the public.


networking service with around 2.3 billion

Health and Care Research Wales Magazine - Issue 06 - June 2019


through public pages, or with specific communities through private groups.

LinkedIn is specifically designed for business


and professionals. Research involves collaboration and a LinkedIn profile is

Infographics are visual representations of

another great way to network and share

information, data or knowledge intended


to represent information quickly and


clearly. Today people are overloaded with information, so getting your message out there requires more than just plain text.

Reddit is a social news website that has

Infographics are a great way of helping

become a major driver of traffic to blog

people to understand lots of complex

posts, videos, images and news articles.


“How and where you share your research can also make a huge difference in reaching the people you want to.”

The platform offers a great opportunity for

For more tips about sharing your research, through social media, events, blogging and more, contact the communications team.


researchers to engage with a 250 million strong user base, in specific subsections relevant to topic.

A podcast is a digital audio file made available on the internet for downloading to a computer or mobile device. Podcasts have rocketed in popularity over the past ten years – people are spending more time than ever with their headphones on, the perfect opportunity to communicate to them with

Research funders’ requirements All research funders expect researchers to effectively disseminate their research

their full attention.

findings and you will probably have to commit to publishing your work at the end


of the grant funding process. However, requirements and expectations differ

Audiences want to have information at their

between research funders and research

fingertips that is brief and easy to absorb,

funding schemes. You should always check

and videos are a great way to communicate

your terms and conditions and your funder’s

complicated concepts in a clear and

expectations when planning to publicise and

interesting way. You can create, edit and

disseminate your work.

Cheryl Lee

upload your video straight from your

Communications manager, Health and Care


Research Wales

Health and Care Research Wales Magazine - Issue 06 - June 2019


Calendar To find out more about any of these events, visit the Health and Care Research Wales events calendar.


Swansea Bay Health Day

MediWales Connects

27 June Institute of Life Science 1, Singleton Park, Swansea

02 July Great Hall, Swansea University

With expert talks, workshops, a science

Connecting you with NHS patient-facing

park tour, exhibition space and networking

clinicians, innovation leads, community

opportunities, the Swansea Bay Health Day

health, government and policy makers.

2019 will showcase the best offerings from across the life science sector in south west Wales.

Welsh Stroke Conference

Let’s talk research

03 - 04 July Cardiff Metropolitan University

06 July Storiel, Bangor

The Welsh Stroke Conference is one of the

Health and Care Research Wales is holding

biggest multidisciplinary events in Wales

two free festivals this summer to engage

and is a significant fixture in the educational

the people of Wales with the research

calendar for stroke in the UK. The conference

happening on their doorstep – and to help

was started in 2002 and has grown from

them discover their role in health and care

strength to strength each year.


Health Services Research Summer School

Let’s talk research

08 - 12 July Bangor University

27 July National Museum Cardiff

A series of masterclasses will provide you

Health and Care Research Wales is holding

with the opportunity to engage with and

two free festivals this summer to engage

learn from research leads and/or their team

the people of Wales with the research

members in specialist areas related to

happening on their doorstep – and to help

healthcare research.

them discover their role in health and care research.

Health and Care Research Wales Magazine - Issue 06 - June 2019

UKCRF Network Annual Conference

Cardiff Research Education Forum 2019

DECIPHer: Process Evaluation of Complex Interventions

27 - 28 July East Midlands Conference Centre

14 August University Hospital Llandough

11 September Glamorgan Building, Cathays Park, Cardiff

The UKCRF Network Annual Conference gives attendees an opportunity to meet colleagues and discuss topical issues regarding best practice in Clinical Research Facility (CRF) operations.

This is a drop in session where research training information and resources will be shared.

The aim of this one-day course is to provide participants with a working knowledge of the theory and practice of process evaluation of complex interventions.

National Social Care Conference

Pharmacoeconomics short course

Wales Women in STEM: Inaugural Symposium

11 - 12 September Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff

12 - 13 September The Management Centre, Bangor University

6 September National Museum Cardiff & National Slate Museum, Llanberis

This unique conference experience is the

This course offers a comprehensive overview

This event will celebrate the inauguration

foremost showcasing and networking

of pharmacoeconomic evaluation and health

of the Wales Women in STEM network, and

opportunity for the social care sector in

technology assessment methods for those

will look to the future for women in science,


working within the NHS or with an interest

technology, engineering and maths.

about how these decisions are made.

Health and Care Research Wales Conference

Welsh Public Health Conference

NCRI cancer conference

03 October Sophia Gardens, Cardiff

17 - 18 October International Convention Centre, Newport

3 - 5 November Scottish Event Campus, Glasgow

Theme: partnership and collaboration.

Theme: building a healthier Wales

The conference provides a platform for

Register your interest to attend.

researchers, clinicians, people affected by cancer and industry representatives to come together to discuss, present and showcase high-quality research.

Health and Care Research Wales Magazine - Issue 06 - June 2019


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Health and Care Research Wales Magazine - Issue 06 - June 2019

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