THE first researchers will soon be moving into a new £3 million Bradford-based centre set to improve the health and wellbeing of children and the elderly.

The Wolfson Centre for Applied Health Research, in the grounds of the Bradford Royal Infirmary, brings together researchers from the Universities of Bradford and Leeds with clinicians from Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

It has been made possible due to a £1m award from national charity the Wolfson Foundation, which gives grants to support and promote excellence in the fields of science, medicine, the arts and humanities, education and health and disability.

The new building hosts the Centre for Ageing, one of the UK’s most successful research groups in applied health research for older people, and the National Institute for Health Research’s National Patient Safety Centre.

Its work around child health will include the ground-breaking ‘Born in Bradford’ and ‘Born in Bradford’s Better Start’ cohorts.

The three areas it will address have been identified as key health priorities for the county.

The centre will look at how to reduced inequalities in the the health and development of young people, and seek out the early-years interventions which are most effective.

Th Wolfson Centre will also look at healthy ageing and develop new models of care for frail elderly patients, those with dementia and those facing debilitating musculoskeletal conditions. It will also work to improve systems of care for people who are terminally ill.

The third area it will look at is high quality and safe care, as health data shows huge variations in the standard of care received by patients in hospitals and clinics.

One survey has shown there are almost 12,000 preventable adult deaths a year in England alone.

Research in the centre will develop new methods of care that are safe, patient-centred and harness the potential of new technologies.

Professor John Wright, Director of the Bradford Institute for Health Research at the Foundation Trust, said: "This project is so exciting because it will improve the health and wellbeing of people in our communities by speeding up the translation of research into real benefits for patients.”

Professor Gail Mountain, Professor of Applied Dementia Research and Head of Dementia Studies at the University of Bradford, added: “The Centre for Applied Dementia studies is passionate about improving the improving the lives of older people including those with dementia.

"The Wolfson Centre is a great opportunity for us to engage in a forward thinking research agenda with clinical and research colleagues It will provide exciting new pathways for our early career researchers and facilitate new partnerships, locally, nationally and internationally."

Professor Paul Stewart, Executive Dean for the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Leeds, said the research will be a fundamental step in improving health outcomes for people in the Bradford and West Yorkshire region.

Last month, it was announced that a new health research collaboration to tackle healthcare challenges will be hosted in Bradford.

The Bradford Institute for Health Research, which is part of the Trust, will host one of fifteen Applied Research Collaborations.

It will tackle the biggest challenges the health and care system faces over the next five years including urgent care, healthy childhood, frailty in older people and reduced life expectancy for people with mental health conditions.

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