Health and Care Research Wales is a networked organisation, supported by Welsh Government, which brings together a wide range of partners across the NHS in Wales, universities and research institutions, local authorities, and other agencies.
Our work is led by Professor Kieran Walshe who is the Chief Adviser for Research in the Population Healthcare Directorate, Welsh Government and Director of Health and Care Research Wales, with a team within the Research and Development Division, Welsh Government which has responsibility for health and care research policy, strategy and funding. Health and Care Research Wales is accountable, via Research and Development Division and the Chief Medical Officer, to the Minister for Health and Social Services.
An Advisory Board of Health and Care Research Wales will bring together representatives of key stakeholders to advise the Director on strategy, planning and delivery matters.
A number of organisations and groups contribute to and collectively make up Health and Care Research Wales, including:
- Research and Development Division, Welsh Government
A team with responsibility for setting policy and strategic direction, managing work programmes and administering Health and Care Research Wales funding schemes.
- Funded health research centres and units
Based largely in Welsh universities and research institutions and competitively awarded infrastructure grants to cover some of their core costs. These centres and units provide essential capacity and capability in health and social care research, and are expected to demonstrate sustained performance in securing research grants and awards from a wide range of funders. They are also expected to publish and disseminate their research findings in high impact journals and other channels, as well as engage with Welsh Government and other stakeholders to provide research that meets need and contribute to policy and practice.
- Health boards and NHS trusts
Every health board and NHS trust in Wales has a research and development director, accountable to an executive member of the board, and an R&D department with responsibility for research support and delivery as part of the Health and Care Research Wales Support and Delivery Service. All health boards and trusts are strongly encouraged to have their own research and development strategies and plans, and to provide an annual report on research and development. All health boards and NHS trusts receive some funding for research delivery from Welsh Government through Health and Care Research Wales. They also invest in research and development from their own resources (for example through providing clinical professionals with time to participate in and lead research) and have external research income from research funders and commercial/industry partners.
- Support and Delivery Centre
As part of the Support and Delivery Service, the Centre provides ‘once for Wales’ support such as coordinating study set-up, contracts and costings. It manages the research directory, implements funding policies, provides a communications, engagement and involvement service, and a training and information service. In addition, it provides regulatory approvals as part of the UK Approvals Service.
- Senior research leaders
A group of senior researchers from across Wales who are selected competitively on the basis of their track record as internationally recognised leaders in health and social care research. They provide advice to Health and Care Research Wales and act as ambassadors and advocates for health and care research both in Wales and internationally.