Specialist wound research centre officially opened

Media Relations Team, 16 November 2018

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Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex at the opening of the Scar Free Foundation centre.
Photo credit: James Allan

A new centre aiming to minimise the psychological and physical impact of scarring among armed forces personnel and civilians wounded in terrorist attacks has been opened.

The Scar Free Foundation Centre for Conflict Wound Research, which will include work by UWE Bristol's Centre for Appearance Research (CAR) and other partners, was opened by Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

The new world-class centre is a ground-breaking national facility that marks a vital step in achieving the foundation's goal of achieving scar free healing within a generation. It has the potential to improve the lives of people in the UK who live with a physical scar which affects their wellbeing. Over 6,000 British armed forces personnel have sustained injuries in recent conflicts that are likely to have altered their appearance is some way. CAR's three-year project, funded by The Scar Free Foundation, will explore the psychosocial impact of these disfiguring injuries and develop bespoke psychosocial interventions to help veterans and their families adjust to living with scars.

Brendan Eley, Chief Executive of the Scar Free Foundation, said: “The physical and emotional effects of scarring are serious and often life changing. Our aim is to deliver scar free healing within a generation by establishing a pioneering programme of medical research in the UK. The launch of this centre is an important part of achieving our goal, and by working with world leading experts, scientists, and researchers, we are discovering revolutionary new treatments that will transform the lives of millions worldwide.”

Along with UWE Bristol, the centre has been established in partnership with the University of Birmingham, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and The CASEVAC injured veterans club. Research undertaken at the centre will cost £4.8 million over three years. This is being funded by the Chancellor using LIBOR funds of £3 million alongside an additional £1.5 million from the foundation's partners.

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