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PenCLAHRC Matters - The NIHR CLAHRC for the South West Peninsula's E-Newsletter (July 2012)

Dear <<First Name>>,

This month I’m delighted to tell you that the NIHR have decided to offer a three month extension to our existing contract, until 31st December 2013.  This is obviously extremely good news for us. The Department of Health have also confirmed their intention to hold a new, open, competition for NIHR CLAHRCs, later this year.

I am also pleased to be able to tell you that further information about the establishment of Academic Health Science Networks has been published. The deadline for expressions of interest is 20th July, with invitations to follow shortly after to submit full proposals by 30th September. I am working closely with the project group established by NHS partners to prepare the application and, in particular, focusing on where PenCLAHRC’s work can add value.

Away from new initiatives, we are now at a phase in our pilot where a number of projects are coming to an end. You might have seen the recent local South West TV coverage of the COCOA study into mental health services for offenders, led by Richard Byng in Plymouth, which has produced its final report. Plenty of new projects are getting going. The recently funded STARS study is now recruiting schools to a trial of a classroom-based intervention to support teachers in managing behavioural problems, as is the HeLP trial which aims to reduce obesity in school children. This month, we are also able to announce the conclusion of the most recent round of question generation and prioritisation which will lead to three new PenCLAHRC-supported projects from this Autumn.

Finally, I'd like to wish you an enjoyable summer, hopefully in better weather.

Stuart Logan
Director of PenCLAHRC


Teaching methods trial to cut disruptive classroom behaviour    
The Supporting Teachers And childRen in Schools study (STARS), which is supported by PenCLAHRC, has received funding of £1.7m to test the effectiveness of the Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management course, a US initiative. Disruptive behaviour in the classroom has an adverse effect on both teachers and pupils: it is a common source of stress for teachers and can affect the mental health and academic achievement of pupils. The course has the potential to transform the classroom experience for both teachers and pupils. Starting in September this year, STARS will work with teachers from 80 primary schools in the Devon, Plymouth and Torbay local education authorities. The research team are also looking to recruit schools for September 2013 – more information, and more detail about the study, can be found here. See also the BBC news coverage.  

HSRN Briefing on CLAHRCs
Last month the NHS Confederation published their Health Services Research Network (HSRN) Briefing, entitled “Integrating research into practice: the CLAHRC experience”. The paper looks at the work of the nine NIHR CLAHRCs, which are situated across the country, and demonstrates how they provide a powerful model to connect innovation, evidence and implementation. Although it has been said that getting research into practice takes 17 years, CLAHRCs have shown that it’s possible within three years, through collaborative partnership working. Intended to be particularly useful for the NHS management community, the briefing highlights PenCLAHRC’s Tranexamic Acid/CRASH2 project as a case study, and also features comments from our Director, Stuart Logan, and a member of the Peninsula Public Involvement Group, Faith Harris-Golesworthy. Read more here.

PenCLAHRC’s ‘Project of the Month’: COCOA
The Care for Offenders: Continuity of Access (COCOA) research study was the first to systematically examine healthcare received by offenders across the criminal justice system. According to the study’s final report, offenders with mental health problems need improved and on-going access to health care, in order to break the cycle of repeat offending, unemployment and ill-health. The findings suggest that prison and community sentences offer the best opportunities to provide and develop innovative healthcare solutions for offenders. COCOA, which was funded by the NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research programme, and supported by PenCLAHRC, also set up a pilot system as a part of the general practice outreach service in Plymouth and the probation service are now considering how the model can be implemented further across Devon and Cornwall. Read on for further information.

Christian Gericke joins Medical Research Council Panel
One of PenCLAHRC’s Deputy Directors, Christian Gericke, has recently been appointed to the Medical Research Council’s Strategic Skills Fellowship Panel, a high indicator of peer esteem in the health research community. He will join the subpanel on Population Health and Economics of Health.

SKIP on BBC Radio Devon
The Supporting KIds, avoiding Problems study (better known as SKIP) recently featured on BBC Radio Devon’s ‘Medical Matters’. Tamsin Ford and Claire Parker were interviewed by David Fitzgerald on Tuesday 19th June, focusing on Claire’s current PhD study. The SKIP project looks to address the reasons why some children are struggling in schools, and hopes that through systematically checking children’s developments through a series of screening tests, issues can be identified and dealt with at an early stage. To find out more, click here. Devon schools are currently receiving SKIP’s newsletter via Devon County, but you can also view the latest issues online and request to receive it yourself.

PenCLAHRC looks to the future 
Staff, clinicians, postgraduate students and service users involved in PenCLAHRC have been considering how to build upon the successes of the pilot phase and start planning for the future. This exercise began in earnest at the annual Learning Together Event held in March 2012. Senior staff led open discussion sessions on the following areas: Child Health, Mental Health, Behaviour Change, Primary Care, Care of the Elderly/Dementia and the Environment and Human Health. Some key themes emerged from across the groups. The outputs are informing discussions within the Executive Group and with our partners about a strategy to sustain the activities of the CLAHRC.

Events Diary

• 25th July 2012 - Peter Gill, “Measuring the quality of care for children in UK general practice: What is the role of emergency admissions?”. More information

25th July 2012 – Workshop: Introduction to Stata, Exeter. More information

Recent Publications

• Paudyal P, Perry M, Child S, Gericke C. Evaluation of a patient-initiated review system in rheumatoid arthritis: an implementation trial protocol. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders.

• Telford C, Green C, Logan S, Langley K, Thapar A, Ford T.
Estimating the costs of ongoing care for adolescents with Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology.



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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.