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PenCLAHRC Matters: The Inside Story - July 2013

Dear <<First Name>>,


Welcome to the July edition of the e-newsletter.

On 4th July 2013 five representatives for the Peninsula CLAHRC (including myself) attended an interview with the National Institute for Health Research for the second round of CLAHRC funding. Alongside our written application, we felt that the interview went well and remain optimistic about the outcome.  We hope that we will hear of this in the coming weeks. In the meantime, more information about the process for a second round of funding can be found on the CLAHRC in Transition page of the PenCLAHRC website.

The 3rd July 2013 also saw the launch of the South West Peninsula Academic Health Science Network (AHSN), which has been renamed the 'South West Health Innovation' (SWHI). PenCLAHRC played an important role in the preparation of the bid for the SWHI (submitted last year) and PenCLAHRC colleagues were among those in attendance, including our Deputy Director for Exeter Ken Stein and our Patient and Public Involvement team, pictured here manning the PenCLAHRC stand. Also present were over 100 leading figures across health research and clinical care, professional training and industry. PenCLAHRC will work closely with South West Health Innovation and, over the coming months, we will be jointly developing a longer term strategy to ensure that healthcare staff adopt new ways of working and use evidence based practice.

Stuart Logan
Director of PenCLAHRC



Blood Pressure research wins National Prize
Research carried out by Chris Clark (a local GP and Clinical Academic Fellow at the University of Exeter), which has contributed to national and international guidelines on the monitoring of blood pressure, has received the Royal College of General Practitioners Research Paper of the Year Award in the stroke category. Chris's study, a systematic review supported by PenCLAHRC and published in The Lancet in January last year, found that differences in systolic blood pressure between arms could be a useful indicator of the likelihood of vascular risk and death. This work added support to the calls for both-arm blood pressure checks to be performed as standard. The results of the study have since been used by the UK Vascular Check programme and for European hypertension guidelines. More on this story.


PenCLAHRC's 'Project of the Month': Peer Support for Parents of Disabled Children
Parents of disabled children are at risk of chronic physical and psychological health problems. Many parents seek informal and/or informal support from other parents, and NHS guidance encourages peer support between carers. However, there is a need to strengthen the evidence base for such organised social interventions, particularly if these services are to be commissioned.
A PenCLAHRC-funded study is carrying out a pilot evaluation of a one-to-one peer support programme offered to parents of disabled children in Devon and Cornwall by the charitable organisation Face2Face. The project, led by Val Shilling and Chris Morris at the Peninsula Cerebra Research Unit (PenCRU) comprises three streams of research: a systematic review; a costing study investigating what is needed to provide the service in terms of time, resources and money; and qualitative research consisting of interviews and focus groups with parents who have given or received support through Face2Face and relevant health and social care professionals. Information gathered from this exploratory research will inform future evaluations of the impact and cost effectiveness of peer support programmes.

Launch of South West Allied Health Professionals Research Network
The South West is home to world class health services research, the aim of which is to improve patient care and outcomes. It is also home to excellent clinical practitioners who have the best interests of their patients at the heart of their day-to-day working lives. But sometimes there is a gap between the research and the hands-on care of patients. An event in Exeter on 9th September - the first of its kind for the region - aims to close this gap and encourage more clinical practitioners to carry out their own research projects.The event will also mark the launch of the recently established Allied Health Professions Research Network (AHPRN) South West Hub, with which Vicki Goodwin is involved. Attendance at the event is free of charge but those wishing to attend must register in advance by Friday 16th August. Find out more.

PenCLAHRC student presents Alcoholic Liver Disease study
Matthew Allwood, an undergraduate student undertaking a placement year with PenCLAHRC, recently presented his work with PenCLAHRC colleagues on Alcoholic Liver Disease (ALD) at the British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG) Annual Meeting, which was held in Glasgow 24-27th June 2013. The poster presentation looked at recent changes in emergency hospital admissions due to long term, high level alcohol consumption. According to the study, it appears that although emergency hospital admissions are increasing, resulting mortalities are in fact decreasing, which is undoubtedly due to an improvement of patient emergency care. Another observation drawn from the data is that emergency hospital admissions due to ALD appear to be at their highest in the North of England, although as yet it is unclear as to why.
Matthew is nearly at the end of his placement year, and will return to studying for his fourth and final year of Bachelor of Clinical Science (BClinSci) with the University of Exeter Medical School in September. However, he is keen to keep in contact with PenCLAHRC and will be working with the Supporting Teachers and Children in Schools (STARS) team as part of his fourth year project.

Mindfulness 'can increase wellbeing and reduce stress in school children'
Mindfulness – a mental training method that develops sustained attention, enabling change in the ways people think, act and feel – could reduce symptoms of stress and depression and promote wellbeing among school children, according to a new study published online by the British Journal of Psychiatry. A team of researchers led by Willem Kuyken (in association with the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge and the Mindfulness in Schools Project) have showed that interventions to reduce stress in children have the biggest impact at this time of year, when the summer exam season is in full swing. Although there is growing evidence that mindfulness-based approaches for adults are effective at enhancing mental health and wellbeing, very few controlled trials have evaluated their effectiveness among young people.

PenCHORD launch Operational Research seminars
The Peninsula Collaboration for Health Operational Research and Development (PenCHORD) has launched a series of seminars for NHS staff and PenCLAHRC colleagues. The seminars will take place every two months and explore topics in Operational Research for Health, including modelling methods and techniques, case studies, current healthcare-based operational research, broader discussions on the place of operational research in healthcare and, in due course, training sessions for NHS staff.  Speakers will include a mix of key external speakers and PenCHORD members. Adam Pollard from the European Centre for the Environment and Human Health (ECEHH) presented at the inaugural seminar on 25th June. The next seminar will be held on 10th September 2013.

HSRN Symposium for PenCLAHRC
On 17-18th June researchers, service leaders, service users, carers and policy makers attended the sixth Health Services Research Network (HSRN) Symposium in Nottingham. Martin Pitt, Director of PenCHORD, chaired a session on operational research and systems modelling in the morning of Day 2, and also presented the Stroke Pathways project in the afternoon, as part of the CLAHRC-focussed session on implementation of evidence. Andy Gibson from PenCLAHRC’s Patient and Public Involvement team presented in the CLAHRC-focussed session on public involvement, also on Day 2, along with Stephanie Jibson and Heather Boult from the Peninsula Public Involvement Group. Read more here.

NIHR media competition round 2
A second round of the NIHR media competition has now been launched. If you are funded by the NIHR and are interested in communicating your research, you can submit a 6 minute video for consideration - closing date 30th September 2013. Find out more.

New email address?
Have you recently changed email address (e.g. from @pcmd.ac.uk to @exeter.ac.uk or from @rdeft.nhs.uk to @nhs.net)? If so, to ensure you continue to receive this informative e-newsletter, please can we ask you to update your details, either by clicking 'update subscription preferences' at the bottom of this email or emailing dawn.sambells@plymouth.ac.uk. Thank you!

Events Diary


• 25th July 2013 - Evidence Synthesis Team Search and Review Clinic, Exeter. More information.


31st July 2013 - Last day for Early Bird Rate for Public Involvement Conference. See below for more information.


9th September 2013 - Allied Health Professions Research Network (AHPRN) South West Launch, The Forum, University of Exeter. More information.


• 10th September 2013 - PenCHORD Seminar & Showcase, Exeter.
More information.



• 24th September 2013 - Prof Katrina Williams, The Annual Hugh Greenwood Lecture: "Autism Spectrum Disorders - so many questions, so few answers", Exeter. More information.


• October to December 2013 inclusive - Workshops: Introduction to Diagnostic Accuracy Reviews, Exeter. More information.


• 18th October 2013 - Workshop: Using Evidence to Make Clinical Decisions, Truro. More information.


• 13th-15th November 2013 – Public Involvement Conference: “New Developments in Public Involvement in Research”, Exeter.
More information.



Recent Publications


Hunt H, Hyde C, Stanworth S, Curry N, Perel P, Woolley T, Cooper C, Ukoumunne O. Thromboelastography (TEG) and thromboelastometry (ROTEM) for trauma induced coagulopathy in adult trauma patients with bleeding. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.


• O'Mahen H, Woodford J, McKinley J, Warren F, Richards D, Lynch T, Taylor R.
Internet-based Behavioral Activation Treatment for Postnatal Depression (Netmums): A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Affective Disorders.


• Russell G, Rodgers L, Ukoumunne O, Ford T.
Prevalence of parent-reported ASD and ADHD in the UK: findings from the Millennium Cohort Study. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.


• Thompson-Coon J, Adbul-Rahman A, Whear R, Bethel A, Vaidya B, Gericke C, Stein K.
Telephone consultations in place of face to face out-patient consultations for patients discharged from hospital following surgery: a systematic review. BMC Health Services Research.


• Bateman A, Sheaff R, Child S, Boiko O, Ukoumunne O, Nokes T, Copplestone A, Gericke C.
The implementation of NICE guidance on venous thromboembolism risk assessment and prophylaxis: A before- after observational study to assess the impact on patient safety across four hospitals in England. BMC Health Services Research.



Find more publications information on the new publications database.

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The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) for the South West Peninsula (known as PenCLAHRC for short) aims to bring together local universities and their surrounding NHS organisations to test new treatments and new ways of working in specific clinical areas, to see if they are effective and appropriate for everyday use in the health service.  Where potential improvements are identified, NIHR-PenCLAHRC helps NHS staff to incorporate them into their everyday working practices, so that patients across the local community receive a better standard of healthcare.