Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

RCSI research featured in HRB ‘A Picture of Health’ Report

07 December 2010

A new report published by the Health Research Board (HRB) demonstrates the potential impact of HRB-funded research on people's health, health service efficiency and the economy. It shows the progress that is being made in health research, from medical discoveries and creating new devices and therapies, to innovating healthcare policy or practice and changing people's attitudes and behaviours around health.

The publication, A Picture of Health - a snapshot of HRB funded research 2010, captures just some of the achievements that flowed from more than 200 HRB-funded researchers, working across ten hospitals and ten third-level institutions including the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland who completed research projects in 2009.

The stories illustrate that Irish health research is making an impact locally and globally. Some RCSI research examples include:

Bye bye bed sores

Rotating patients with bed sores at a 30 degree tilt instead of a 90 degree rotation can reduce bedsores four-fold, save time and reduce costs.

Dr Zena Moore, a HRB research fellow at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, has shown that applying this simple change to standard nursing practice in just the 12 hospitals where the research was conducted would generate estimated savings of €250,000 through a reduction in staffing costs and wound dressing alone.

Alcohol leads to unsafe sex

Research conducted by Dr Grainne Cousins found that people seem to be ignoring safe sex advice and are not using a condom, in particular after binge drinking. While 90 per cent of people who had up to five alcoholic drinks used protection, this dropped to 60 per cent when they had more than six drinks.


According to Enda Connolly, Chief Executive at the HRB, ‘Given the economic challenges that we face over the coming years, it is essential that health research demonstrates the contribution it can make; not only for people's health, but also in terms of driving innovation and efficiency in the health service and creating commercial opportunities that will benefit our economy.'

'This publication illustrates just some of the impacts that stem from our investments in health research. However, these findings must be applied in policy and practice if we are to reap the benefit of the new knowledge to drive change, reduce costs and still improve outcomes,' he explains.

‘Overall, the commitment by the government to continued funding of research in these difficult economic times makes sense as the benefits, efficiencies, cost savings and business opportunities that can be achieved can make a significant contribution to health management and economic growth,' he says.