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South West Peninsula
PenCLAHRC Matters - October 2016

Dear <<First Name>>,

Welcome to the October edition of the PenCLAHRC Matters newsletter. We are now well into Autumn and the end of the year is fast approaching. This milestone will mark the halfway point in our current round of funding and we are already starting to think about how we can communicate our achievements and build on these going forward. With that in mind, I'm pleased to be able to share with you a number of training, project and grant successes below.

In particular, the impact our training is having on service delivery – with the South West Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust putting into practice skills learnt on one of our operational modelling courses, along with a focus on the work one of our six Health Service Modelling Associates is carrying out in Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust.

In addition, two large PenCLAHRC supported studies are celebrating grant success, both looking at the impact of physical activity – one on alcohol and substance use disorders, and the other on reducing smoking rates.

It is always useful to look across the national CLAHRC portfolio to see what work is being conducted outside of our region. It is now possible to do this with the recently launched CLAHRC Partnership Programme project database. I would encourage colleagues to make use of this resource, as there may be opportunities for cross-CLAHRC collaboration that you aren’t already aware of.

You can read about these stories, and more, below.

With best wishes, 

Stuart Logan
Director of PenCLAHRC

PenCLAHRC training puts evidence into practice

A series of courses designed and run by PenCHORD, PenCLAHRC’s operational modelling team, are helping to put evidence at the heart of an organisation’s decision-making process.

Designed to give healthcare managers experience in computer simulation, a recent session was attended by Hannah Trebilcock, a Clinical Audit Officer with the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT).

Using her new found skills, Hannah was able to create a detailed computer model of the regional trauma system to explore a range of scenarios for ambulance journey times and admission rates at different hospitals.

Dave Boyle, Clinical Development Officer at SWASFT, believes Hannah’s training has been central to the team’s ability to make robust recommendations to the Clinical Commissioning Group on different service configurations and the potential impact of proposed changes.  He said of this work:

The information we were able to present was clear, simple to understand and easy to explain. It allowed us to make an evidence-based decision - rather than a best guess - and gave us confidence in our proposal. I’d strongly advise anyone involved in decision-making to make the most of this fantastic approach.”

To watch a video about the impact of this work, click the image at the top of this story or read more by visiting the news section of our website.

Study looking at the impact of physical activity on alcohol and substance use disorders receives NIHR grant

A PenCLAHRC supported study involving a systematic review of research to see if, and how, physical activity and exercise can help those with alcohol and substance use disorders has received funding from the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) programme.

It is estimated that alcohol and substance misuse costs the UK economy £21 billion (£3.5 billion in healthcare) and £15 billion (£488 million in healthcare) respectively. 

The research team will analyse evidence from existing research, which in turn will lead to a better understanding of if, and how, physical activity could be used as a tool for prevention, reduction and treatment of alcohol and substance use disorders.

Read more about this news story on our website.

HSMA Project Focus - Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust

The Health Service Modelling Associates (HSMA) programme aims to bring academics from Exeter and Plymouth universities together with health organisations to carry out operational research to a high standard, with the best tools and knowledge available, and at a pace the NHS needs to put such research rapidly into practice.
Recognising that the more informed their decisions are the better the outcomes for patients will be, the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust is one of six organisations supporting the scheme.

Nic Harrison, Senior Business Analyst in the Contracting and Business Intelligence team, is working one day a week for a year on a Trust related project exploring the potential impacts of the implementation and refinement of the North Devon District Hospital Emergency Assessment Unit.

Nic is receiving training and mentoring from PenCHORD, along with support from a Workplace Supervisor from within his organisation.

Read more about this story on our website.

PenPIG member contributes to study looking at effectiveness of treatments for depression

PenCLAHRC Patient Involvement Group (PenPIG) member Nigel Reed provided support to a recent study showing a simple and inexpensive therapy to be equally effective at treating depression as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Nigel formed part of the COBRA study team – one of the largest studies in the world to assess treatments of depression through a randomised controlled clinical trial of two psychological interventions; Behavioural Activation (BA) and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT).

Dr Kristin Liabo, who leads the PenCLAHRC Patient and Public Involvement team said:

“Nigel’s involvement in the COBRA trial is an excellent example of a member of the public using the skills acquired as a member of PenPIG to influence large and important world-leading research. We are proud of Nigel’s contribution to COBRA and this shows how members of the public can influence a broad range of medical research.”

Read more about this in the news story section of our website.

Reduce smoking study receives NIHR funding

A national study supported by PenCLAHRC has received £1.8 million of funding from the NIHR Health Technology Assessment (NIHR HTA) programme. Researchers from Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry (PUPSMD) will test the effectiveness of new support to help smokers who want to reduce but not quit.

A recent pilot study, which recruited Plymouth smokers, showed preliminary evidence that providing personal Health Trainer support to reduce cigarette consumption and increase physical exercise, may reduce smoking rates, encourage more quit attempts and increase short-term abstinence.

The NIHR funding will allow the research team to build on these findings and produce evidence that this type of intervention has the potential to not only help individuals but also produce savings for health and social care too.

Read more about this in the news story section of our website.

Health app designer shortlisted for Health Service Journal Rising Star award

Dr Craig Newman, Mobile Health Tech Innovation Lead at Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry and Principal Clinical Psychologist at Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, has been shortlisted in the ‘Rising Star’ category of the prestigious Health Services Journal (HSJ) Awards 2016.

The HSJ awards recognise, celebrate and promote the finest achievements in the NHS across 23 categories.

Craig’s nomination recognises his impressive achievements in the development of health apps, which are of positive benefit to clinicians and patients worldwide.

As part of the PenCLAHRC supported NeuroCoRe project, Craig was instrumental in the development of ACEmobile - a free-to-use mobile technology-based app that supports the assessment of dementia worldwide and was the first of its kind.

For more on this story visit the news section of our website.

NIHR CLAHRC Partnership Programme launch project database

October saw the launch of the CLAHRC Partnership Programme's project website, a new resource that brings together the work of all 13 NIHR CLAHRCs.

With each CLAHRC boasting a substantial portfolio of world-class applied health research, the database will enable users to learn more about all CLAHRC projects from one place – demonstrating the impact the CLAHRC programme has had since its inception.

The launch comes as the NIHR celebrates its tenth anniversary. Over the last decade the NIHR has contributed significantly to the health and wealth of the nation and become the most comprehensive research system in the world.

Meet the PenCLAHRC team

PenCLAHRC has grown hugely in size since our doors first opened in 2008 and we now have almost 100 CLAHRC-supported staff and students across the South West. In our continuing series, we are interviewing PenCLAHRC colleagues to help give a flavour of the broad range of people that make up our collaboration.

In this edition, we caught up with PenCLAHRC Associate Research Fellow, Sean Manzi.


What do you do at/with PenCLAHRC?
I am a postdoctoral research fellow based in the PenCHORD team. Many of my projects involve working directly with healthcare providers to untangle the problems they have with service provision such as patient flow, inefficient systems and the design of new systems using operational research techniques. I also have an interest in the simulation of human behaviour particularly simple decision making in complex systems.

How long have you worked at/with PenCLAHRC?
It will be two years this November.

What do you like most about your job?
The intellectual freedom to learn and use a wide variety of methods while collaborating with lots of different people from across the health service and academia.

What’s the hardest part about your job?
Saying no. There are so many interesting things going on and ideas flying about that you have to be careful not to be working 24 hours a day.

If you weren’t doing this job, what would you be doing?
Still doing research but probably somewhere with more sunshine!
PenCLAHRC Staff News
Welcome to our new members of staff:

Noreen Orr -  Research Fellow (Evidence Synthesis Team)
Kath Wilkinson - Associate Research Fellow 
Rachel Collins - Research Assistant (REACH team)
Emma Cockcroft - Associate Research Fellow (Patient & Public Involvement Team)
Viktorija Kesaite - PhD student
Charlene Ronquillo - Associate Research Fellow in Implementation Science

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

PenCLAHRC opportunities

Associate Professor (Reader) in Health Services Research
Closing date: 2 November 2016
For more information, visit our webpage

Communications Assistant
Closing date: 2 November 2016
For more information, visit our webpage

Events Diary

Searching and Review Clinic
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. Visit the Searching and Review Clinic page on our website for more information and future dates

PPI Advice Clinic
Whatever your query, from finding out more about PPI to creating a PPI strategy for a research bid you can speak to one of our researchers at these clinics who can advise you. These are generally held every two weeks. Visit the events page for futher details and dates.

Making Sense of Evidence: Understanding Diagnostic Studies
A one-day workshop about the use of diagnostics in practice, this course is aimed at health care professionals based within the South West. 
Date: 4th November 2016
Click here for more information

The Art and Science of Non-evaluation Evaluation - Lorelei Jones and Justin Waring
An IHR seminar from Lorelei Jones, University College London and Justin Waring.
Date: 7th November 2016
Location: South Cloisters, St Luke's Campus, Exeter (VC to Plymouth)
Click here for more information

New Technologies for Patient Safety: Unpacking the Black Box of Implementation Challenges and Opportunities
Seminar by Nicola Mackintosh, King's College London. (More details to follow).
Date: 1st December 2016
Location: Baring Court 217, St Luke's Campus, Exeter (VC to Plymouth)
Click here for more information

To view other training, workshop and seminar opportunities, visit the events section of our website.

Recent Publications
Bailey S, Ukoumunne O, Shephard L, Hamilton W. How useful is thrombocytosis in predicting an underlying cancer in primary care?: a systematic review. Family Practice

Manzi S, Nichols A, Richardson J. A comparison of waste compositions at health and social care facilities. British Journal of Health Care Management

Stephens S, Ford E, Smith H, Paudyal P. Effectiveness of Psychological Interventions for Postnatal Depression in Primary Care: A Meta-Analysis. Annals of Family Medicine

Hancock J, Matthews J, Ukoumunne O, Lang I, Dickens C. Variation in ambulance call rates for care homes in Torbay, UK. Journal of Health & Social Care in the Community

Le HND, Gulenc A, Gold L, Ukoumunne O, Bayer J, Wake M, Hiscock H. Utility-based quality of life in mothers of children with behaviour problems: a population-based study. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health

Ukoumunne O, Farrand P, Woodford J, Llewellyn D, Anderson M, Venkatasubramanian S, Dickens C, Adlam A. Behavioural activation written self-help to improve mood, wellbeing and quality of life in people with dementia supported by informal carers (PROMOTE): study protocol for a single-arm feasibility study. Pilot and Feasibility Studies

Britten N, Moore L, Frost J. Context and complexity: the meaning of self-management for older adults with heart disease.Sociology of Health and Illness

Grigore B, Peters J, Hyde C, Stein K. A comparison of two methods for expert elicitation in health technology assessments. BMC Medical Research Methodology

Manzi S, Nichols A, Richardson J. A study of health and social care waste management behaviour. British Journal of Healthcare Management

Van Belle S, Wong G, Westhorp G, Pearson M, Emmel N, Manzano A, Marchal B. Can “realist” randomised controlled trials be genuinely realist?. Trials

Hardwick R, Anderson R, Cooper C. How do third sector organisations use research and other knowledge? A systematic scoping review. Implementation Science

Dean S, Taylor RS, Zwisler A-D, Norton RJ, Dalal H, Tang LH, Wingham J. Home-based cardiac rehabilitation for people with heart failure: A systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Cardiology

Heslin M, Callaghan L, Barrett B, Lea S, Eick S, Morgan J, Bolt M, Thornicroft G, Rose D, Healey A, Patel A. Costs of the police service and mental healthcare pathways experienced by individuals with enduring mental health needs. The British Journal of Psychiatry

Dean S, Poltawski L, Forster A, Taylor RS, Spencer A, James M, Allison R, Stevens S, Norris M, Shepherd AI, Calitri R. Community-based Rehabilitation Training after stroke: protocol of a pilot randomised controlled trial (ReTrain). BMJ Open

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