The new funding, which will maintain SAIL Databank for at least the next five years, comes as part of a £44 million investment package from Welsh Government into health and social care research to improve care and services.
Containing billions of person-based records, SAIL Databank is a rich and trusted population databank. It improves lives by providing researchers with secure, linkable and anonymised data that can be accessed and analysed from anywhere in the world.
SAIL Databank is pivotal to Health and Care Research Wales’ vision to create an infrastructure that supports the delivery of world-class health and social research using routinely collected data.
Health and Care Research Wales is a national, multi-faceted, virtual organisation funded and overseen by the Welsh Government’s Research and Development Division. It provides an infrastructure to support and increase capacity in research and development (R&D), runs a range of responsive funding schemes and manages the NHS R&D funding allocation.
Health and Care Research Wales has been the principle funder of SAIL Databank since it began in 2007, with support from Swansea University Medical School and the NHS Wales Informatics Service.
In the latest of many significant collaborations SAIL is partners in BREATHE, a UK-wide consortium to transform research into respiratory conditions. SAIL Databank will be the trusted environment to securely hold and provide access to UK-wide respiratory health data.
SAIL Databank will enable the UK’s research community to remotely access this data to help improve the lives of people living with respiratory conditions in the UK, particularly important with the outbreak of Covid-19. The funding from Health and Care Research Wales will also allow SAIL Databank to continue to develop, not just its health-related data, but also its administrative data.
Through major programmes like ADR Wales, SAIL Databank is helping to drive positive change in public policy around areas such as the justice system and housing.
Director of SAIL Databank, Professor David Ford, said: “This funding commitment will enable us to continue devising further improvements and developments to benefit health and well-being, as well as acquiring new data from Wales and across the UK, making health and other data safely but conveniently available for world-class research.”
Professor Kieran Walshe, Director of Health and Care Research Wales, said: “Investing in health and social care research in Wales is essential. Research has provided us with the evidence for the services and care we provide today, and future research will help develop new treatments and services to improve care for people and communities in Wales.”