Unique Research Project Shaping the Future of Healthcare in Wales
The morning was opened by Andrew Rix, Chair of the Public Delivery Board, who addressed the importance of prudent healthcare. He expressed how the future of healthcare is shifting toward prevention and a focus on a "better understanding of health issues to determine effective treatments for diseases affecting thousands, such as diabetes and cancer."
Dr. Shantini Paranjothy, Scientific Lead, reinforced the public health challenges that Wales is facing. "We know that there are not just biological reasons for ill-health but also environmental factors too. We can research how these factors interact to better understand how and where we can act to improve health outcomes."
The project has exceeded recruitment targets for the pilot phase with 580 participants already signed up. These participants can look forward to receiving a questionnaire regarding diet in March 2016.
The audience then heard from Dr. Fiona Lugg and Julia Townson who spoke on the importance of the public's involvement and how their opinions and help will shape the progress of the project.
"We have listened to those in our focus groups and actioned on these issues. One issue that surfaced is we need to be more transparent in our rigorous process of data safety and total confidentiality. We take this seriously and protecting our participants' data is our key focus."
A preview of the national media campaign due to launch on February was also shared with participants. This campaign will mark the start of the drive to encourage people to be part of this unique and exciting nationwide project and to sign up and complete a ten minute questionnaire about their lifestyle and health. Taking part in this research will help the NHS to plan for the future.