Largest ever Welsh health research project launched

Thelargest research project of its kind, designed to better understand the healthof people living in Wales, was launched this week.

HealthWiseWales is a confidential research study, which aims to develop an in-depthknowledge of the health of the nation – the information gained will be used tohelp the NHS plan for the future.

The studyhopes 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 andsocial care research.

Personaland medical information of those taking part will remain confidential and willonly used for research- it will not be shared with insurance companies or with individual’s doctors.

Dr RuthHussey, Wales’ Chief Medical Officer said:

“HealthwiseWales is the largest research project of its kind ever launched in Wales and itwill help the NHS plan for the future. We are taking a new approach with peopleworking closely with researchers as equal partners.

“Ifyou’re over 16 and live in Wales, you can help us better understand the healthof the nation. Young or old, fit or unwell you will be contacted every sixmonths to get an ongoing understanding of your health. This is about peoplesharing their knowledge to improve health and care in Wales.

“We arecalling on people to register now for HealthWise Wales to inform the future byhelping today.”

A team ofresearchers at Cardiff University are leading the population research study,working in partnership with Swansea University. A pilot was launched in May2015 and 570 people have signed up to date; feedback from the pilot phase hasinfluenced the development of the campaign to recruit 260,000 people.

HealthWiseWales will engage with members of the public by holding roadshow event acrossWales to encourage people to sign up to the research, alongside TV adverts andsocial media activity.

ProfessorShantini Paranjothy, from Cardiff University’s School of Medicine, said:

“HealthWiseWales is a unique opportunity that builds on a strong tradition of populationhealth research in Wales. This large-scale project will use modern technologyto engage people in research and provide opportunities to contribute to thedesign and conduct of research studies.”