Press release

Proposed changes to the Health and Social Care Bill are a step in the right direction, says Wellcome Trust

The Government’s latest statement on the proposed health reforms is an important step towards ensuring that the new health system supports and promotes research, according to the Director of the Wellcome Trust, Sir Mark Walport. However, he states that these words must now be turned into actions.

Sir Mark says: "I am pleased that the Government has listened to the voice of the research community.Research and innovation are essential components of the NHS - they improve patient care and contribute to the economy. The Wellcome Trust spends over £600 million a year on research and over eighty per cent of this is spent within the UK. Yet at present the NHS continually fails to capitalise on discoveries from research that could lead to better methods of preventing, diagnosing and treating ill health.

"The Government's new direction on the reforms will help to make the NHS a stronger and more willing partner in research.

"While this statement is an important step in the right direction, legislation alone will not be enough to foster a culture of research throughout the health system. The spirit of these proposed changes to the Bill must now be turned into practice and this will require leadership and commitment at all levels in the NHS. Further progress will be needed, such as the development of electronic patient records, to ensure that the NHS can provide the best integrated healthcare for the population at a price that is affordable."