Advancing health and wellbeing research and innovation for all
The UK – and the Great South West in particular – has an ageing population, and this has transformed the demands facing health and social care services.
As in the rest of the UK, life expectancy in our region varies by gender, socioeconomic factors and geography. Put simply, people in our poorest areas, tend to die younger. At GW4, we have the expertise to help address the health disparity across our region which experiences coastal, rural and city poverty and inequality.
We bring together three medical schools, two dental schools and a veterinary school. Our universities collaborate with the NHS including through the NIHR Biomedical Research Centres in Bristol and Exeter, the Centre for Trials Research and Clinical Innovation Hub in Cardiff, the Centre for Healthcare Innovation and Improvement in Bath, the South West Clinical Research Network, the NIHR Applied Research Collaborations and Schools, UK Health Security Agency and Public Health Wales.
New approaches to prevent chronic diseases
We represent the South West in national discussions between the life science clusters and support work with the NHS and policy makers on ways to improve population health, reduce health inequalities and deal with the growing global threats to health posed by climate change and antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
Our universities have internationally leading strength in population health supported by large studies including the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, PROTECT, School Health Research Network, HealthWise Wales and DECIPHER.
We are especially well-placed to trial new approaches to prevent chronic diseases and long-term illnesses associated with ageing and to support research in mental health and neuroscience. This is an area of complementary strength between our universities supported by substantial human imaging facilities in CUBRIC, PETIC and the Mirielle Gillings Institute.
GW4 universities have major strengths in digital health and clinical informatics including smart technologies and digitising health services and health data to relieve pressures. With GW4 home to one of the EPSRC Digital Health Hubs, our institutions are leading the development of regional secure data environments. This allows access to linked healthcare records on a large scale which can be vital in addressing health inequalities.