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The University of Southampton

Health professionals celebrate ten years of research in primary care in University-run network

Published: 19 April 2004

WReN, the Wessex Research Network, is marking ten years of activity across the South. It was set up by the University of Southampton to encourage primary health care professionals to undertake research projects in their practices. Among its members are GPs, nurses, physiotherapists, health visitors, dentists, pharmacists and optometrists.

Projects have included large trials of Vitamin D injections for fracture prevention, problem solving for depression and exercise for back pain, all carried out through GP surgeries across the region.

"Research in primary care is essential, as that is where 90 per cent of patient contacts take place," said WReN Academic Manager Dr Jenny Baverstock. "It increases knowledge, benefits staff morale and is obviously good for patients.

"Recent presentations by network members included a trial of minor surgery comparing GPs with hospital doctors, research into the management of eating disorders, and a study of the psychosocial impact of erectile dysfunction."

The Network, which has more than eight hundred members, operates across the former Wessex Regional Health Authority area of Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight. Members receive help and support, ranging from advice on funding sources, through research management and governance support, to training in the skills necessary to complete publications.

Notes for editors

The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship. The University has over 19,200 students and 4,800 staff and plays an important role in the City of Southampton. Its annual turnover is in the region of £250 million.

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