New emergency care research hub for Bristol launched

Media Relations Team, 09 October 2020

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Man in green scrubs and face mask pressing large computer monitor.

UWE Bristol and the University of Bristol have joined forces with healthcare partners in the city to set up a collaborative research hub to improve the delivery of emergency care in Bristol and the surrounding area. The new hub, Research in Emergency Care, Avon Collaborative Hub (REACH), was launched today (Friday, 9 October).

In 2019, an average of 70,231 people attended accident and emergency departments (A&E) each day in England. GPs offered one million appointments a day, 50% of which are for same day appointments and urgent problems.

Both universities have well-established research programmes in urgent and emergency care. At UWE Bristol, through the Centre for Health and Clinical Research, the focus is on emergency hospital admissions, hospital care and ambulance services, while at the University of Bristol, through its Centre for Academic Primary Care, the emphasis is on general practice and community-based services.

REACH will align researchers from the two universities to create a more formal collaboration. They will work closely with local health and care providers and commissioners, sharing priorities, expertise and resources to coordinate and strengthen research capacity, development and infrastructure.

REACH will be led by a co-director from each of the two universities with links to relevant Health Integration Teams, NHS commissioners, health and care providers, the Applied Research Collaboration West, the West of England Academic Health Sciences Network, other higher education institutes, healthcare providers and commissioners across the wider South West, in close collaboration with patient and public groups. 

Jonathan Benger, Professor of Emergency Care at UWE Bristol and National Institute for Health Research Senior Investigator, said: “The city of Bristol has a growing national and international reputation for high-quality research in urgent and emergency care. REACH will cement this reputation and deliver huge benefits for the NHS, patients and the professionals involved in their care.”

Sarah Purdy, Professor of Primary Care and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience), at the University of Bristol, added: “This exciting new collaboration will help us develop the region’s emergency care research portfolio and attract further funding for research.

“It also gives us the opportunity to provide academic support to health care services locally and nationally who are looking to co-design services, get involved in research or evaluate services to inform health care priorities and provision.

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