Health Minister Vaughan Gething has officially launched the Welsh Centre for Emergency Medicine Research at Morriston Hospital.
The centre, located in the hospital’s Emergency Department, is a hugely successful partnership between ABMU and Swansea University.
Today’s launch builds on years of cutting-edge work in emergency, biomedical, epidemiological and clinical research by a multidisciplinary team led by Professor Adrian Evans.
Mr Gething said: “I am pleased to officially launch this new centre, which will provide ground-breaking research.
“Collaboration is at the heart of the centre’s ethos and the work undertaken will help improve healthcare services for Wales and beyond.”
Professor Evans was the first professorial appointment in emergency medicine in Wales. He was brought in with a remit to develop Swansea and Wales as a leading academic centre in emergency medicine research.
Over the years the research programme’s multidisciplinary group of clinical and non-clinical scientists has developed an international reputation.
The programme has produced more than 100 publications and developed collaborations not just across the UK but with world-leading international centres in Denmark, New Zealand and the United States.
The programme has also seen exchanges of young academics between these world-leading centres, allowing them to gain up-to-date knowledge and skills for research in the future.
It has attracted millions of pounds in research funding from several prestigious granting bodies.
Professor Evans said: “This growth in academic emergency medicine research not only brings funding but also will help with recruitment because it enhances the health board’s reputation.”
Although Professor Evans had the original vision for the centre back in 2003, and has led its development since, he said its success had not been down to one person but the commitment of a lot of people.
“We can only undertake quality research if we have excellent clinical care.
“ABMU Health Board has many excellent departments, clinicians and nursing staff, which has enabled us to carry out quality research across the health board and within the specialties.
“Without their support, cooperation and enthusiasm it would not have been possible.”
ABMU Chairman Andrew Davies said: “I would like to congratulate Adrian and his team for the work they are doing and for establishing this centre, the only one of its kind in Wales.
“The quality of the research they are undertaking is second to none and there have been some outstanding success stories.
“Their pioneering work further enhances the reputation of Morriston Hospital as a worldwide leader in innovation.
“This helps us attract high calibre staff and, more importantly, provides tangible and significant benefits for patients – not just our own patients but those across the UK and beyond.”
The centre has full support and endorsement of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine.
Its President, Dr Taj Hassan, said: “The college believes this initiative will help to advance education and research in emergency medicine within Wales and throughout the UK and will indeed provide for a strong profile on the international stage.”
Professor Keith Lloyd, Head of Swansea University Medical School, said he fully supported the formation of the Welsh Centre for Emergency Medicine Research.
“This centre will be a major step forward in the development of emergency medicine within Wales and the UK, and will further enhance our reputation both nationally and internationally.
“It will enhance our research profile but also play a major role in recruitment and retention in the future.”
Professor Evans added: “Getting to where we are now is only the first step and a lot of hard work will be required to facilitate and maintain its growth for the future.
“There are already plans to appoint further posts in academic emergency medicine and this shows the commitment of the health board and the university for its future development.”