A NEW research centre to be established at the Bradford Royal Infirmary has taken another step forward as building plans have been submitted for approval.

The Wolfson Centre for Applied Healthcare Research brings together researchers from the Universities of Leeds and Bradford with clinicians from Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Its aim will be to help to improve the health and wellbeing of children and the elderly, and also the safety of patients in hospitals and clinics. 

It has been made possible thanks to a £1m award from national charity the Wolfson Foundation.

The Wolfson Foundation is a charity awarding grants to support and promote excellence in the fields of science, medicine, the Arts and humanities, education and health and disability.

Now plans for the centre have been submitted to Bradford Council’s area planning panel, seeking formal approval to turn the groundbreaking research centre idea into a reality.

By combining the expertise of health researchers with clinicians who have daily contact with patients, the centre will ensure that its findings are put rapidly into practice.

It will address three key health priorities including how to reduce inequalities in the health and development of young people and to pinpoint early-years interventions which are most effective. 

The Wolfson Centre will also develop new models of care for elderly patients, those with dementia and those facing musculoskeletal conditions. It will also work to improve systems of care for the terminally ill. 

And the centre's research will develop new methods of safe, patient-centred care, as well as harnessing the potential of new technologies. 

Professor John Wright, Director of the Bradford Institute for Health Research at the Foundation Trust, said: “Our planning application is an important next step in this ground-breaking partnership between the Universities of Leeds and Bradford and the NHS in Bradford. 

“We are looking forward to working with our partners to develop the new national Wolfson Centre for Applied Health Research. 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 Paul Stewart, Executive Dean for the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Leeds added: “The award for funds to develop this centre is pivotal for the University of Leeds as we seek to extend our outreach and partnership with colleagues in Bradford.

"Our research will focus on at risk populations, extremes of age, and delivery of high quality and safe care will be fundamental steps in improving health outcomes for both patients in Bradford and the West Yorkshire region.”

Professor Gail Mountain, Professor of Applied Dementia Research and Head of Dementia Studies at the University of Bradford, said: “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. We are really pleased to be part of this joint initiative.”

A decision on the final planning approach is expected to be made by the Council within the next few weeks, with work on the centre due to start in March 2018.

The planning application is now available on the Council website: www.bradford.gov.uk