Major research study has the potential to transform the health of Wales

Wales’ Minister for Social Services and Public Health, Rebecca Evans, has said HealthWise Wales has the potential to transform the nation’s health and wellbeing (Welsh Government, 2017).

HealthWise Wales is the largest research study of its kind ever to have been undertaken in Wales. The plan is to recruit 260,000 people aged sixteen and older. People who volunteer to take part in the project are asked a series of questions which will help researchers to better understand the health of the people of Wales. The information collected will also be used to help the NHS plan for the future.

Rebecca Evans said “The research can help us understand how to find better treatments, improve health and social services, and increase the health and wellbeing of the people of Wales. The more people who get involved, the more powerful the results will be so I encourage everybody across Wales to take part.”

She was speaking as a new TV, radio, train and newspaper ad campaign was rolled out across Wales. The adverts feature real people who have signed up and are encouraging others to do the same. Helen O’Sullivan from Wrexham registered to help others overcome illness, Warwick Leek from Rhondda Cynon Taf signed up to help raise awareness of mental health issues, while Sara Crowley from Aberdare volunteered to take part to help improve treatments for diabetes. Helen O’Sulivan, who has experience of cancer, said “I read about HealthWise Wales online and, for me, it’s about trying to inspire other people. I feel so lucky, and have received great care from the NHS. I registered because I wanted to pro-actively help other women deal with their health issues.”

Professor Shantini Paranjothy from Cardiff University, Scientific Lead for the project, said “I am delighted to lead this project which has great potential to increase the public’s understanding and involvement in health and social care research in Wales. Everyone living in Wales aged 16 and over can get involved with HealthWise Wales. I’ve signed up because I wanted to contribute my information to make a difference to the population’s health and wellbeing.”

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