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South West Peninsula
PenCLAHRC Matters - October 2014

Dear <<First Name>>,

Welcome to the October edition of PenCLAHRC Matters. With the summer well and truly over activity has been picking up in PenCLAHRC, with lots of exciting opportunities on the horizon.

This month I'm pleased to be able to tell you more about the work we have been doing in developing our PhD research programme for the coming years. We have 14 new PhDs in the pipeline, including four specifically for nurses and allied health professionals in the important area of dementia care.

Our project teams have also been busy and I am delighted to report three of our research projects have recently been enjoying funding success. You can read more about them all, below.

With best wishes, 

Stuart Logan
Director of PenCLAHRC

Funding success for PenCLAHRC projects

A number of our projects have been successful recently in securing funding to support their research.

The ReTrain stroke rehabilitation project has been awarded funding from the Stroke Association to conduct a pilot randomised controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of the ReTrain exercise rehabilitation programme. The team are currently recruiting staff to support this trial (see below).

The Healthy Lifestyles programme (HeLP) has been awarded additional funding by the NIHR Public Health Research programme to carry out a 24 month follow-up on their programme to encourage children and their families to make healthy lifestyle choices. This is due to the success of the project, which has exceeded its original recruitment targets.

The Supporting Teachers and Children in Schools project (STARS) has also been successful in securing additional funding to link their work in promote emotional and social well-being in schools to the National Pupil Database.


We are currently in the process of developing our PhD projects for the current phase of CLAHRC funding and are looking to recruit a number of students. 

Using Video Calls to Prevent Loneliness in Care Homes.
The project - Pilot cluster randomized controlled trial of the use of video calls to help prevent loneliness for care home residents at risk of cognitive decline- will be based in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Plymouth University. It will be supervised by Professor Ray Jones, Professor Catherine Hennessy and Professor Adrian Taylor.The closing date for applications is 7th November. Further information and application details are available here.

PhD fellowship opportunities for Nurses and Allied Health Professionals
PenCLAHRC has recently been successful in securing funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to support up to four PhD fellowships in the area of dementia care. These fellowships will be based in Exeter and Plymouth and are exclusively available to nurses and allied health care professionals. The closing date for applications is Tuesday 18th November 2014. Further details are available here.

Two of our new PhD projects have already started. Rebecca Hardwick will be exploring 'Research use and knowledge mobilization in third sector organisations involved in health care provision' and Harriet Hunt will be studying 'Accuracy and feasibility of increasing GP testing for dementia'.

In other good news, one of our first cohort of PhD students, Claire Parker, has successfully defended her thesis, which looked at understanding of the role of psychiatric disorders in exclusion from school. Congratulations Dr Parker!

You can read more about all of our PhD projects here.

PenCLAHRC Job Opportunities

This month we also have several job opportunities. Our Medical Statistics team is looking to recruit an Associate Research Fellow/Research Fellow. The closing date for applications is 20th November. Click here for further details.

The ReTrain stroke rehabilitation project is looking to recruit a Research Fellow/Trial Manager (click here for more info) and an Associate Research Fellow (click here for more info). Closing date for both posts is 2nd November.

8th PenCHORD Seminar

Our operational research team, PenCHORD, are holding their 8th Seminar, Showcase and Workshop event on 12th November 2014. The subject of the seminar will be 'Implementation of Operational Research in Clinical Settings'.  Prof Martin Utley and Dr Sonya Crowe from the Clinical Operational Research Unit (CORU) of University College London (UCL) will be speaking at our event.  In addition, PenCHORD will be running an interactive workshop session in the afternoon.

Attendance is free of charge. To register, please complete this short survey.  Contact PenCHORD@exeter.ac.uk with any questions or queries.

CLAHRC Partnership Programme - Patient and Public Involvement

The CLAHRC Partnership Programme works with all 13 CLAHRCs to promote their research and outputs. Its most recent newsletter focused on the area of Patient and Public Involvement (PPI). It featured a number of stories from PenCLAHRC's PPI team such as PenCLAHRC supports BMJ on use of PPI, PenCLAHRC at the INVOLVE conference and PPI support for question generation. You can read more here.

New short courses in Applied Health Services Research

Several short courses for health professionals interested in health services improvement and research are now avaliable at the University of Exeter Medical School and featuring tutors from PenCLAHRC. Topics include Fundamentals of Health Economics (2 day course, November), Advanced Health Economics (2 day course, March) and Systematic Reviews (2 day course, November). Free places on these courses are available for nurses, midwives and other allied health professionals working in the South West. For more information on these courses contact UEMS_CPD@exeter.ac.uk or 01392 722964.

NIHR Faculty World Magazine

Issue 5 of the NIHR's Faculty World Magazine is now available. This issue focuses on nursing and features Professor Dave Richards, Mental Health and Dementia Theme Lead for PenCLAHRC. Read more here.



PenCLAHRC people

Meet current PenCLAHRC staff and students online via our Staff Database.

Welcome to Kerry Pearn who joins PenCLAHRC as Associate Research Fellow within the PenCHORD team.

Events Diary

Research Seminar: Research In and With Care Homes: understanding what supports effective health care.
Speaker: Professor Claire Goodman
Date: Thursday 30th October 2014
Time: 12:30 - 13:30
Location: Lecture Theatre, Veysey Building, Salmon Pool Lane, Exeter EX2 4SG. Further details are available here.

Seminar: Past Caring: a family carer-led research project. When bereavement begin for carers and what the effects are.
Presenters: Victoria Jones (Carer), Rosemary Whitehurst (Former carer) and Rachel Purtell, Folk.us Director (Institute of Health Research, University of Exeter Medical School)
Date: Monday 3rd November
Time: 12pm – 2pm with lunch
Location: Lecture Theatre, Veysey Building, Salmon Pool Lane, Exeter EX2 4SG
Further details and booking information are available here.

Qualitative Research Advice Clinic
Qualitative researchers will be available to give face-to-face advice and signposting for your qualitative research queries on the following dates:
Monday 3rd November, 2-4pm
Wednesday 26th November, 2-4pm
Thursday, 11th December 2014, 2-4pm
Please book a time via the UEMS store. All sessions will be in the Veysey Building.

PenCLAHRC Searching and Review Clinics
Whether you are an academic or an NHS professional who needs to know where to start on the systematic review process or how to go about designing a search strategy, you can book an appointment with one of our reviewers or information specialists. For further information and future dates click here.

NIHR CLAHRC Yorkshire and Humber and NIHR CLAHRC North Thames are jointly holding a ‘Trials within Cohorts’ Symposium, 10th - 11th November, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, Manson Lecture Theatre. Visit this link for more information and booking details.

Recent Publications

Heaton J. Use of Social Comparisons in Interviews About Young Adults’ Experiences of Chronic Illness. Qualitative Health Research, October 2014.

Whear R, Thompson Coon J, Bethel A, Abbott R, Stein K, Garside R. What Is the Impact of Using Outdoor Spaces Such as Gardens on the Physical and Mental Well-Being of Those With Dementia? A Systematic Review of Quantitative and Qualitative Evidence. Journal of American Medical Directors Association 2014, 15 (10): 697–705.

Murphy, S., Jones, K. By the way knowledge: Grandparents, stillbirth and neonatal death. Human Fertility 2014, 17 (3): 210-213.

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