Researchers at home and away have joined forces for a new international collaboration with the ultimate aim of improving patient care.
The Welsh Centre for Emergency Medicine Research, or WCEMR, at Morriston Hospital has marked its fourth anniversary by confirming a new addition to its list of global partnerships – this time in Australia.
A collaboration between Swansea University, Swansea Bay University Health Board and the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, it is one of the leading centres of emergency medicine research in the UK and Europe. It has produced more than 100 publications and attracted significant funding for its research.
The WCEMR has also developed several collaborations with world-leading research centres in Denmark, New Zealand and the United States.
Its latest collaboration is with the Alfred Emergency and Trauma Centre and Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.
Professor Adrian Evans, Director of the Welsh Centre, started this development with Professor Peter Cameron, Academic Director of the Alfred centre and Professor of Emergency Medicine at the university, three years ago.
“Peter is internationally recognised for emergency medicine research,” said Professor Evans.
“He was very keen to develop a formal collaboration between our two centres in Wales and Australia. But due to the Covid pandemic, everything was put on hold – until now.”
Professor Evans was the first professorial appointment in emergency medicine in Wales, back in the early 2000s.
He was brought in with a remit to develop Swansea and Wales as a leading academic centre in emergency medicine research.
The ongoing programme has already seen exchanges of young academics between Morriston and its international partners.
Now that is to be extended. And not just as a result of the collaboration with Melbourne but because of another key appointment too.
Dr Suresh Pillai, who holds an honorary appointment within Swansea University Medical School, has been appointed research lead for the All Wales School of Emergency Medicine.
He said: “This appointment will give me an excellent opportunity to coordinate a research network to develop the academic potential for emergency medicine trainees across Wales, as well as our international collaborations such as Melbourne.”
Professor Evans said: “It will be great for trainees in Wales to have the opportunity to cross-link with trainees in Melbourne to develop new skills and ideas as part of a collaborative research programme.”
Clinical research is a high priority for Swansea Bay University Health Board and the Royal College of Emergency Medicine.
Having a successful international research programme has also been beneficial in terms of recruitment at Morriston.
Professor Evans added: “Our academic achievements so far have enabled us to recruit excellent junior and middle-grade staff who wish to develop a future career in academic emergency medicine.
“We are already seeing the benefits of this, with newly qualified doctors wanting to take up these clinical academic posts in the future.
“The centre is attracting high-calibre people, from within and outside of Wales, who are keen to work here.”