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Investing in medical expertise

28 Chwefror 2008

Medical appointment

Cardiff University has secured significant Welsh Assembly Government funding to help tackle obesity, suicide and other major health topics in Wales.

A total of £1.8M has been awarded to 14 separate research teams from Cardiff University’s School of Medicine which together will inform future Assembly policy.

Cardiff University’s award is the largest share of new Assembly Government funding worth £3.8m which has been earmarked for research projects into major health issues and conditions.

Professor David Fone, Chair of Health Sciences Research, Primary Care and Public Health at the School of Medicine is heading one of the projects looking at the determinants of mental disorders. He said: "Mental disorders of anxiety and depression are common in Wales, with up to one-third of adults reporting symptoms of poor mental health. This study seeks to analyse neighbourhood risk factors for poor mental health in order to give better information on which to plan effective strategies to improve mental health in the population."

The funding - provided by the Welsh Assembly Government and the Medical Research Council - is being awarded under the Research Funding Scheme (RFS), which was set up to promote research and evaluation in a broad range of health and social care topics. The funding is more than double that committed in 2006.

Announcing the funding, Health Minister Edwina Hart said: "I am delighted to announce this funding, which will help develop further understanding of these issues and improve patient care by providing an evidence base for the development of future policy.

"Issues such as obesity and suicide are just two areas where there is a real need to develop greater understanding of the conditions in order that the health service can provide the best possible prevention, support and care for those affected."

Cardiff University research awards range from promoting the early recognition and prevention of child abuse to examining bipolar disorder as well as a number of successful PhD awards. The Research Funding Scheme was launched in 2005 and forms part of a commitment to assist career researchers in Wales, whilst supporting high-quality research that will contribute to the development of an evidence base to inform policy making.