Research in Emergency Care (REACH)

REACH is a regional collaborative hub in emergency care research led by co-directors from the University of the West of England and the University of Bristol.

It aligns researchers from these two universities with direct support from health and care providers and commissioners, so they can share priorities, expertise and resources to coordinate and strengthen research capacity, delivery and infrastructure.

It also acts as a repository of academic expertise to enhance service and workforce design and delivery in the region, supporting a process of service co-design, research and evaluation that informs current healthcare priorities.

REACH builds on the successful Bristol Health Partners Avoiding Hospital Admissions Health Integration Team (ITHAcA) which from 2012 to 2020 aimed to reduce avoidable hospital admissions across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. Find out more about what ITHAcA achieved.

Follow REACH on Twitter: @REACHBristol


REACH from REACH on Vimeo.


REACH logo

Mission statement

To work collaboratively across the city of Bristol and throughout the surrounding region to complete, disseminate and implement high quality research with impact in urgent and emergency care, and to build future research capacity.

Read more about REACH’s Strategy and the Steering Group’s Terms of Reference.


To improve urgent and emergency care for patients by ensuring that research is aligned with local and national priorities and findings are disseminated and implemented through policy and practice.

Centre for Health and Clinical Research
University of the West of England

Centre for Academic Primary Care
University of Bristol

Organisational structure

REACH is led by a co-director from each of the two universities with links to relevant Health Integration Teams (HITs), NHS commissioners, health and care providers, NIHR Applied Research Collaboration West (ARC West), West of England Academic Health Sciences Network (WEAHSN) and other organisations across the wider South West, in close collaboration with patient and public groups.

RAECH organisational structure


  • Jonathan Benger, Professor of Emergency Care, University of the West of England
  • Sarah Purdy, Pro Vice-Chancellor, University of Bristol

Steering group

This group meets every three months to direct the collaborative hub’s strategy and oversee progress against key objectives. It agrees how best to share investment and return across the partners and ensures that REACH considers and addresses current priorities in healthcare policy and delivery, including the NHS Long Term Plan and associated initiatives as implemented by commissioners and providers locally, regionally and nationally.

Steering group members include senior representatives from:

  • University of the West of England
  • University of Bristol
  • University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust
  • North Bristol NHS Trust
  • Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
  • South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
  • Community healthcare providers
  • Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group
  • NIHR Applied Heath Collaboration (ARC) West
  • West of England Academic Health Sciences Network