£4m wound care research centre for Wales

A new wound care research centre opens in Wales with an aim to develop new treatments and lower hospital admissions.

The Welsh Wound Innovation Centre (WWIC) has opened in Llanrisant in a bid to reduce the emotional and financial cost of wound care to the Welsh NHS.

The centre is to be headed by Professor Keith Harding, head of Cardiff University’s Wound Research Unit, and seeks to develop improved treatments and reduce the time patients spend in hospital.

Professor Harding said: “Treating patients with wounds, whether chronic, acute or traumatic, is a surprisingly expensive problem for the health service – not to mention the emotional costs it inflicts on patients and their families.”

Figures suggest between 25% and 40% of hospital beds are currently occupied by wound patients, with the NHS Wales spending around £156m each year treating wounds – 5% of the NHS budget.

Health minister Mark Drakeford said: “Our population is getting older and the time and cost associated with treating and managing wounds is set to increase. Only by looking at new ways of treating wounds can we manage this trend and improve peoples’ quality of life.”

The new centre, which cost £4m, was funded by the Welsh government, the seven health boards and the private sector. Opening with an initial staff of 31, the centre hopes to attract investments from abroad and create an additional 45 jobs in the next five years.