Child seeing Doctor

Producing Evidence to Make a Difference

We work with policy makers and practitioners across the UK and globally to produce evidence to inform delivery of care and improvement of health and wellbeing across the population.

Our researchers are concerned with how health care is organised and delivered; how we can best make use of data and technology to improve health; and measuring and promoting the health and wellbeing of the population, with a particular focus on the care of people with chronic conditions related to physical and mental health.

We achieve this through interdisciplinary research and by linking anonymised real-life health, social and education data to answer questions about population health and what works in health and social care as part of Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) and Administrative Data Research UK (ADR UK). We use this to support world-leading research and collaborate with others to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic

Patient and Population Health and Informatics Research Highlights

Innovative methodologies are used and often utilise anonymised linked data sources, randomised trials, experimental study designs and mixed methods approaches including qualitative components. The research undertaken is supported through infrastructure grants, allowing us to build programs of research leading to impact in policy and practice, supporting the development of new collaborations and studies all in turn providing a lively environment for postgraduate research students. 

Young people

Children and Young People’s Mental Health

Half of all mental health problems are established by the age of 14, and three quarters by 24 years of age. With increases seen in anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicide over the last decade our programme of multi-disciplinary research aims to transform the understanding, care and outcomes of young people with poor mental health. With over £3M in funding over the last five years, we lead the Adolescent Mental Health Data Platform and the Data Science theme of the Wolfson Centre for Young People’s Mental Health. Our work is developed in partnership with young people and our research rapidly translated into policy and practice including resources for schools and youth workers and guidance for practice.

Ambulances on mountains

When 999 is not the answer

Every emergency ambulance service has a small group of callers who make a high number of 999 calls – many times a month, or sometimes many times a day. An emergency ambulance may not be the best source of help for this group, who instead would benefit from longer term, intensive input to help resolve their health or social care needs. We are currently working on two studies: INFORM is seeking to understand who is calling and why, by examining routine data in Wales and talking to the people who make the calls; and STRETCHED is evaluating case management interventions with high intensity users in four different ambulance services in Wales and England. These two studies should help ambulance services and their partner care providers to understand more about this particular aspect of demand on their services and how patients’ needs can be better met in way which reduces that demand.

Nurse and Patient

Improving services for people with gastrointestinal and hepatic disorders

Systematic reviews of the burden of gut and liver disease in the UK and Europe and analyses of routinely collected data have informed the development of services for people with gastrointestinal and hepatic disorders.  For example, identification of the persistently high mortality following admission to hospital with severe liver disease has informed proposals by the Lancet Commission on Liver Disease to improve hepatology services across the UK. This programme led by Professor John Williams and Dr Stephen Roberts has received a total funding of £515,000 has resulted in numerous publications in The Lancet, Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Journal of Crohns & Colitis, BMJ Health Care Informatics and BMC Gastroenterology in the last two years.

Nurses, doctors and patients

Improving outcomes for patients with renal and prostate cancers

The South West Wales Cancer Institute (SWWCI) has been a major contributor to a series of randomised phase III clinical trials which have changed the outcomes for patients with metastatic renal cancer and melanoma. The BMS 067 trial in patients with metastatic melanoma has demonstrated that doublet immunotherapy produces a five-year survival of 53% with the survival curve being flat at this time point indicating the long-term durability of this survival gain. Similarly, immunotherapy with single agent Nivolumab has produced substantial life expectancy gains in patients with metastatic renal cancer treated in the second or third-line setting. These treatments have become standard of care around the world as a result of these pivotal trials.

Farmer and son

Improving the lives of UK Farmers

The Economic and Social Research Council’s Administrative Data Research UK (ADR UK) has invested £600,000 to better understand farming households. Public sector data across the UK on agricultural and land use activities, are linked with demographic, educational and health data, creating the first UK-wide de-identified data platform focused on agriculture. We aim to provide evidence that will help government support farmers, their households and communities and co-develop the work with the farming community in terms of the research questions and the interpretation and communication of findings. This work will inform future policy decision making, potentially leading to better responses to challenges such as responding to environmental pressures, generating better health outcomes, and improving farming household income.

Xray of pelvis

Improving Emergency Care for People with Hip Fracture

Professor Helen Snooks has worked with the Welsh Ambulance Service and Swansea Bay University Health Board to develop and test the safety and feasibility of paramedic administered fascia iliaca block (anaesthetic) to provide pain relief at the scene of 999 calls for people with suspected hip fracture. The RAPID feasibility trial, funded by Health and Care Research Wales (£230,000) and carried out in the Swansea area, has led to the development and funding of a large scale multi centre definitive randomised trial with 5 ambulance service and Emergency Department sites across England and Wales. A team led by Professor Snooks and supported by Swansea Trials Unit has been awarded £1.8 million by the National Institute for Health Research through its Health Technology Assessment programme to undertake the RAPID 2 trial over the next 4 years. This programme of work has also included doctoral training and studies, leading to the award of PhD to Dr Jenna Jones, in 2021.

Our Research Sub-Themes

Over the last six years, our international recognised research centres within Patient and Population Health and Informatics (PPHI) have won over £135m in new research project grants; research infrastructure grants; patient and public involvement grants; postdoctoral fellowships; and postdoctoral research and postgraduate training grants, awarded by high-esteem funders. 

Our Patient and Population Health Informatics Experts

Professor Sinead Brophy

Professor (CIPHER), Health Data Science
+44 (0) 1792 602058
Available For Postgraduate Supervision

Professor Gwyneth Davies

Professor, Health Data Science
+44 (0) 1792 513067
Available For Postgraduate Supervision

Professor Michael Dennis

Professor Emeritus (Medicine), Medicine
+44 (0) 1792 602166
Available For Postgraduate Supervision

Professor Greg Fegan

Honorary Professor, Medicine Health and Life Science
Available For Postgraduate Supervision

Professor David Ford

Professor of Informatics, Health Data Science
+44 (0) 1792 513404

Professor Hayley Hutchings

Professor, Health Data Science
+44 (0) 1792 513412
Available For Postgraduate Supervision

Professor Ann John

Professor of Public Health and Psychiatry, Health Data Science
+44 (0) 1792 602568
Available For Postgraduate Supervision

Professor Kerina Jones

Professor, Health Data Science
+44 (0) 1792 602764
Available For Postgraduate Supervision

Professor Keith Lloyd

Executive Dean PVC - Faculty of Health & Life Sciences, Medicine Health and Life Science
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Available For Postgraduate Supervision

Professor Ronan Lyons

Clinical Professor of Public Health, Health Data Science
+44 (0) 1792 513484
Available For Postgraduate Supervision

Dr Stephen Roberts

Reader, Health Data Science
+44 (0) 1792 513433
Available For Postgraduate Supervision

Professor Alan Watkins

Professor, Health Data Science
+44 (0) 1792 513410
Available For Postgraduate Supervision

Professor John Williams

Professor Emeritus (Medicine), Medical School
+44 (0) 1792 513401
Available For Postgraduate Supervision