Will the Minister confirm whether there are plans to increase the funding of health and care research Wales and, if so, by how much?
I recognise that over the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the vital importance of science, and health and care research. The research community and NHS organisations have recently played a significant role in contributing to a range of therapeutic and vaccine trials under the leadership of Health and Care Research Wales, where we have seen life-changing impact.
Beyond the pandemic, research is key to the way we continue to improve the prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment of disease, and shape our health and care service provision. A thriving research landscape creates opportunities for economic growth.
On 23 March, alongside the other UK nations, I published a new strategy Saving and Improving Lives: The Future of UK Clinical Research Delivery (https://healthandcareresearchwales.org/uk-government-sets-out-bold-vision-future-clinical-research-delivery) which sets out bold ambitions to help the NHS put research at the heart of everything it does and make it an essential part of effective patient care.
This development, alongside a new Health and Care Research Wales strategy, will require a review of the health and care research budget in order to support implementation plans.