Protect tomorrow by helping today: people encouraged to sign up to innovative research project

People in Swansea and the surrounding areas are being encouraged to find out more about an innovative research project designed to better understand the health of the nation.

The largest project of its kind in Europe, HealthWise Wales is a confidential research study which aims to increase public involvement with research and develop an in-depth knowledge of the health of people living in Wales. The information gained will be used to improve the health and well-being of future generations and help the NHS plan for the future. 

Doeth am Iechyd Cymru / HealthWise Wales The HealthWise Wales team will be bringing their stand to the Main Building of Swansea University's Singleton Campus between 9am and 5pm on Friday 7th October to give members of the public the opportunity to learn more about the initiative and sign up to take part in the research.

The study hopes to recruit 260,000 people aged 16 and older over a five-year period. Participants will be contacted every 6 months to answer questions about their lifestyle, health and wellbeing. Personal and medical information of those taking part will remain confidential and will only used for research.

Speaking ahead of the event, Minister for Social Services and Public Health, Rebecca Evans said: “HealthWise Wales is a fantastic opportunity for us all to help improve the health and wellbeing of future generations, by taking part in an innovative research study today. If you’re over 16 and live in Wales, you can help us better understand the health of the nation. You’ll be contacted every six months to answer questions about your health, well-being and lifestyle. 

“Researchers will study your health over the next few years, so that we can understand how to find better treatments, improve health and social services, and increase health and wellbeing for the people of Wales. We need as many people as possible to take part — whatever your age, wherever you live, and whether you're healthy or unwell. I encourage anybody living in Swansea and the surrounding areas to visit the roadshow event on Friday to find out more.”

A team of researchers at Cardiff University are leading the population research study, working in partnership with Swansea University.

Professor Shantini Paranjothy from Cardiff University, Scientific Lead for the project, said: "The public are at the heart of the study - it’s open for anyone over the age of 16 registered with a GP in Wales to take part - young or old, fit or unwell and wherever they live. There are so many factors that affect our health and wellbeing - this comprehensive study will help us to understand them better so we can plan how to improve the nation's health for future generations. We need as many people to sign up as possible - the more people involved, the better the results will be." 

Ronan Lyons, Professor of Public Health, Swansea University Medical School, said: "Swansea University is delighted to be part of this major Welsh research initiative that will provide the insights to tackling and improving the health and wellbeing of people across Wales. Our Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) system is recognised across the world as leading the field in providing access to research data whilst ensuring that protecting the privacy of the participants remains paramount.”

The final roadshow event will be held at the main concourse of the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff on October 13 and anybody with an interest in taking part is encouraged to go along to find out more.