Woman in PPE

£3 million investment into the impact of COVID-19 on Welsh health and social care

1 December

Health and Care Research Wales will create the first Wales COVID-19 Evidence Centre on behalf of Welsh Government to analyse the impact of coronavirus and use research-based evidence to address new challenges as a result of the global pandemic.

The dedicated team at the new Evidence Centre will work closely with leaders in Welsh Government, the NHS and social care in Wales to provide the necessary evidence needed to make impactful decisions on diagnosis, care and procedures. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated the significance of research and evidence to health and care in Wales and their importance to decision-making at every level in the health and care system. 

As well as the short-term impact of the virus the Evidence Centre will look into longer term issues such as infection control and social distancing, consequences of isolation and the health effects of the economic disruption.

The brand-new Wales COVID-19 Evidence Centre builds on existing work from Health and Care Research Wales which has been at the heart of the international research effort, co-ordinating three vaccine trials to date as well as multiple urgent public health studies in partnership with the NHS and universities across Wales.  

Director of Health and Care Research Wales, Professor Kieran Walshe said: 

“Ending the pandemic relies fundamentally on research delivering solutions to diagnosis, treatment and prevention.  

“Many wider key decisions – such as how and when to deploy social distancing measures, or what advice to give to people on returning to work – need to be informed by robust evidence.

“We feel it’s important to create a dedicated team in Wales with the sole responsibility to focus on how COVID-19 has changed the health and care sector in the long term, to not only help those across the country but potentially across the world.”

Minister for Mental Health, Wellbeing and Welsh Language, Eluned Morgan, said: 

“Research is incredibly important in our battle against the coronavirus pandemic and what we discover now has the potential to benefit us for future generations to come. 

“This Evidence Centre will help shape our understanding of the far-reaching impacts of COVID-19 and what we learn from it will guide our decisions going forward.” 

Health and Care Research Wales is now looking to appoint a director to take lead responsibility for the Wales COVID-19 Evidence Centre who will oversee the centre which will be made up of some of the most talented academics and scientists across the country.    

The Health and Care Research Wales COVID-19 research in Wales webpage has details of all related research studies that are active, or in set up, in Wales.

For further information, please contact the communications team at Health and Care Research Wales.