A new organisation – ARC Wessex- has been awarded £9 million pounds from the National Institute for Health Research, also known as the research arm of the NHS.

Cara Charles-Barks, CEO of Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, said: ‘It is excellent news that £9 million over the next five years has been secured to carry out health research. Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust’s backing for the bid helped gain this funding and it will allow clinicians across our region to conduct valuable research. I am convinced every penny spent on research will help improve health and well-being of people in Salisbury and the surrounding area.’

ARCs – Applied Research Collaborations – are teams of researchers working together to solve some of the big health issues in their communities. The 15 In England and the Wessex region cover Dorset, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and South Wiltshire.

The team in Wessex is spread across four universities, NHS Trusts and local authorities, with doctors, nurses, health professionals and care staff working with academics to find practical solutions for patients and health and care systems. Applied health research is research that seeks an answer to a question in the real world and to solve a problem.

Salisbury District Hospital is working with researchers from the Universities of Portsmouth, Southampton, Bournemouth, Ulster and international experts from Canada.

It will have a share of £50,000 in its first year to ascertain if health and activity websites and apps can help people with long term illness, like diabetes, stroke, asthma or arthritis to become more active and exercise to help them manage the effect of the illness.

Research has shown that exercise can help improve the mood and quality of life for people with a long term condition, and can prevent the illness from getting worse.

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