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10 May 2022

The development and implementation of medical processes, procedures and treatments, are built on the foundations of the hundreds, if not, thousands of hours of time invested in research.

Hywel Dda University health board (UHB) has, for a number of years, played an active role in supporting research to improve patient care and services.

This includes the health board collaborating with partners, including the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) (opens in new tab) to support the delivery of a healthier mid and west Wales (opens in new tab), as well as with Aberystwyth University (opens in new tab) to help transform healthcare with the opening of a clinical research facility (opens in new tab).

Earlier this year, Dr Peter Cnudde, who is a high-volume joint replacement surgeon at Prince Philip Hospital, Llanelli, received funding from Health and Care Research Wales as part of the NHS Research Time Awards. The aim of this award is to build research capacity and capability in the NHS by offering staff the opportunity to apply for protected time to engage in research activity.

Dr Cnudde’s area of research interest is development of a technology-enabled patient pathway for arthroplasty, surgery where the damaged joint is replaced by an artificial one.

He has been developing the health board’s arthroplasty service with his colleagues to become a tertiary referral centre, taking on complex cases from within the health board and Powys. He led the implementation of Enhanced Recovery (ERAS) Pathway and the health board-wide patient documentation and information. Dr Cnudde was offered the prestigious Rothman-Ranawat fellowship from the Hip Society (USA).

Dr Cnudde, who was recently appointed an honorary professor in the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Science at Swansea University, said: “My current research interests, and past publications, are mainly in the field of arthroplasty and its long-term effects. The aim is to implement value-based changes to improve care of arthroplasty patients.

“For both the benefit of the patients and the healthcare system, it is imperative that arthroplasty operations are performed on the right patient at the right time using the right implant in the right setting in order to reduce harm to the patient and also minimise both human, economic and emotional costs.

“I wish to expand the research possibilities within Hywel Dda and conduct high impact clinical trials that will benefit our patients locally but also have global significance. The recent award would give me the dedicated time to expand the research possibilities within Hywel Dda.

“The aim of the research project is to ensure that we are able to adopt a consistent, patient-centred approach focusing our service on experience, outcomes and values that are important to patients and based on high-quality research.”

Dr Leighton Phillips, Director of Research, Innovation and University Partnerships at Hywel Dda UHB, said: “The health board is wholly committed to undertaking and supporting research activities. We’re very proud of the work that Dr Cnudde and others are doing, and the Research and Innovation department will continue to closely support him whenever and wherever we can.”

Anyone interested in learning more about how Hywel Dda UHB can support with research activities, please contact Dr Leighton Phillips via Leighton.Phillips2@wales.nhs.uk.