Wednesday, 11 October 2017
A new clinical research facility for children and young adults was officially opened (11 October 2017) at the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales by the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport, Vaughan Gething.
The Children and Young Adults Research Unit (CYARU), which is the first of its kind in Wales, will be a place for people to come who wish to develop and engage in high quality child health research.
The CYARU offers the first protected research space for under 18s in Wales and offers significant potential to expand and enhance the current levels of research and development within paediatric services across Wales.
Studies supported by the CYARU will offer access to state-of-the-art therapies not otherwise available to the children of Wales.
The CYARU Unit became operational in April 2017 and has undertaken its first trial with the RHINO study. (http://rhino-health.org/)
The Medical Research Council (MRC) funded the RHINO study, which is the largest study of preterm born children in the world, led by Professor Sailesh Kotecha from Cardiff University’s School of Medicine.
The recently published Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) State of Child Health 2017 Recommendations for Wales called for the development of a research capacity to drive improvements in children’s health. The health board is actively engaging with the RCPCH to help achieve this aim.
Health Secretary, Vaughan Gething said: “I’m delighted to see a facility for paediatric research open here in Wales. The CYARU will help develop the excellent care and support already provided for children and their families here at Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital.
“The health research community in Wales has a critical role to play in unlocking a wealth of knowledge and develop treatments that will benefit the future health of our children. I’m confident this unit will make a significant contribution to health research here in Wales, and around the world.”
Dr Sharon Hopkins, Director of Public Health and Deputy CEO at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board said: “We have an ambitious plan for child health research in Wales to complement the research plan Welsh Government has for the whole of Wales.
“Research undertaken in this facility will help Wales make a positive contribution to global wellbeing.
“Paediatric research hosted and developed at the CYARU has the potential to have a major impact on the health and well-being of not just local children and young people, but on children and young people nationally and internationally.”
Dr Mair Parry, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health Officer for Wales, said: “Research is essential to advancing the science of paediatrics and improving the health and well-being of children, yet only 5% of all medical research spending goes to child-specific programmes in the UK. The opening of this new facility in Cardiff is a really positive step towards realising the significant increase needed in paediatric research.
“The Unit’s opening is indicative of a wider commitment to paediatric research from Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and should be celebrated. But state-of-the-art facilities are just one part of the picture; equally important is that clinicians have protected time to conduct child health research.
“The UK Child Health Research Collaboration aims to address these challenges, and the RCPCH Children’s Research Fellowship Fund has been established to increase academic capacity in paediatric research. We look forward to working with colleagues at the new research unit to continue to drive innovation and improvements in child health.”