New £3m research centre moves another step forward

Wolfson CAHR Bradford

A new Yorkshire centre which will improve the health and wellbeing of children, the elderly – and the safety of patients in hospitals and clinics, has taken another step forward.

The Wolfson Centre for Applied Healthcare, to be established at Bradford Royal Infirmary, brings together researchers from the Universities of Leeds and Bradford with clinicians from Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. It has been made possible thanks to a £1m award from national charity the Wolfson Foundation.

The Wolfson Foundation is a charity awarding grants to support and promote excellence in the fields of science, medicine, the Arts and humanities, education and health and disability.

Now plans for the centre have been submitted to Bradford Council’s area planning panel, seeking formal approval to turn the ground-breaking research centre idea into a reality.

By combining the expertise of health researchers with clinicians who have daily contact with patients, the centre will ensure that its findings are put rapidly into practice – resulting in better health and social care for those who need it most, right here in Yorkshire.

The three areas it will address have been identified as key health priorities for the county:

Healthy Childhood: a child’s health is the foundation for their lifelong mental and physical well-being, yet a recent UNICEF report showed the UK is lagging behind our European neighbours on this important measure. The centre will examine how to reduce inequalities in the health and development of young people, and seek out the early-years interventions which are most effective.

Healthy Ageing: as our life expectancy has increased, so has the number of elderly people living with long-term medical conditions, limiting their quality of life and placing a growing burden on health and care services. The Wolfson Centre will develop new models of care for frail elderly patients, those with dementia and those facing debilitating musculoskeletal conditions. It will also work to improve systems of care for the terminally ill.

High Quality and Safe Care: health data shows huge variations in the standard of care received by patients in hospitals and clinics; a recent survey showed there are almost 12,000 preventable adult deaths a year in England alone. Research in the centre will develop new methods of care that are safe, patient-centred and harness the potential of new technologies.

Professor John Wright, Director of the Bradford Institute for Health Research at the Foundation Trust, said: “Our planning application is an important next step in this ground-breaking partnership between the Universities of Leeds and Bradford and the NHS in Bradford.

“We are looking forward to working with our partners to develop the new national Wolfson Centre for Applied Health Research. This project is so exciting because it will improve the health and wellbeing of people in our communities by speeding up the translation of research into real benefits for patients.”

Professor Paul Stewart, Executive Dean for the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Leeds added: “The award for funds to develop this centre is pivotal for the University of Leeds as we seek to extend our outreach and partnership with colleagues in Bradford. Our research will focus on at risk populations, extremes of age, and delivery of high quality and safe care will be fundamental steps in improving health outcomes for both patients in Bradford and the West Yorkshire region.”

Professor Gail Mountain, Professor of Applied Dementia Research and Head of Dementia Studies at the University of Bradford, said: “The Centre for Applied Dementia studies is passionate about improving the improving the lives of older people including those with dementia.  The Wolfson centre is a great opportunity for us to engage in a forward thinking research agenda with clinical and research colleagues  It will provide exciting new pathways for our early career researchers and facilitate new partnerships, locally, nationally and internationally. We are really pleased to be part of this joint initiative.”

A decision on the final planning approach is expected to be made by the council within the next few weeks, with work on the centre due to start in March 2018.

The planning application is now available on the council website: www.bradford.gov.uk

ENDS …

For further media information, please contact any of the press offices from the organisations involved in this project:

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Virginia Mason or Sarah Smith on 01274 382265/3901 or communications@bthft.nhs.uk

University of Leeds

David Lewis on 0113 343 8059 or d.lewis@leeds.ac.uk

University of Bradford

Mark Thompson on 01274 236510 or M.Thompson@bradford.ac.uk

Note to Editors:

The Wolfson Centre for applied Health Research is a collaborative partnership between the University of Leeds, University of Bradford and Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The Centre, to be established beside Bradford Royal Infirmary, is due to open in 2019.

Bringing together researchers from all three institutions, it will host a centre for child health, including the ground-breaking 'Born in Bradford' and 'Born in Bradford’s Better Start' cohorts. It will also host the Centre for Ageing, one of the UK’s most successful research groups in applied health research for older people, and the National Institute for Health Research’s National Patient Safety Centre.

By combining the expertise of health researchers with clinicians who have daily contact with patients, the centre will ensure that its findings are put rapidly into practice – resulting in better health and social care for those who need it most.

The Wolfson Foundation

The Wolfson Foundation is an independent grant-making charity that aims to promote the civic health of society by supporting excellence in the fields of education, the arts & humanities, health and science. Established in 1955, over £800 million (£1.7 billion in real terms) has been awarded to more than 10,000 projects across the UK, all on the basis of expert peer review.

www.wolfson.org.uk