Blood pressure difference linked to heart disease
A new study, led by University of Exeter Medical School
and supported by PenCLAHRC, has found that blood pressure differences between each arm can indicate an increased risk of dying of heart disease.
The study took blood pressure measurements in both arms of more than 3,000 people in Scotland who had been identified as having a greater risk of heart disease or hypertension, but who had not yet had an episode of either.
The team found that a difference in systolic blood pressure measurements between the two arms was associated with almost double the risk of death from heart related diseases, when the cohort was followed up over a period of eight years.
You can read about this story in more detail on our website
Public Health England
(PHE) has recently funded a PenCLAHRC project which will establish the size of the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual (LGB) population in England.
By estimating the population size and approximating it going forward, PHE hopes to be able to improve the effectiveness of health care provided to the LGB community compared to the rest of the population. Project lead Dr Kerryn Husk
commented on the project:
“Both an accurate estimate of the current LBG population, together with a robust method to estimate the size of that population going forward, will help PHE to understand the effectiveness of health services provided to the LGB community compared with the rest of the population. This in turn will give PHE access to data which can be used to ensure that those health services are doing their job, as well as identify gaps in provision or areas where services may be better delivered
Please visit our news story page
to read more about this project.
Success for the South West Anaesthesia Research Matrix Team
The South West Anaesthesia Research Matrix (SWARM) team were celebrating earlier this month after winning the Anaesthesia Team of the Year
category at this year’s British Medical Journal (BMJ) Awards
, which took place on 5th
May in London.
Set up four years ago, SWARM is a PenCLAHRC supported trainee-led audit and research collaborative between six NHS organisations in the South West region. Over the past four years the network has run 10 high quality collaborative projects, held annual research training meetings, and widely presented and published its results.
You can read more about this story by visiting our news page.
Swarm team, Picture credit: Plymouth Hospital
PenCLAHRC’s operational research team, PenCHORD
, have successfully welcomed the first cohort onto their new Health Service Modelling Associates
(HSMA) Programme. Having launched in April, the 12 month pilot programme will see the selected six associates undertake advanced modelling within their own NHS organisations.
The associates spend one day a week working on their projects and are supported by an HSMA workplace supervisor who helps facilitate the implementation of their project. Associates are also supported throughout the programme by their PenCHORD mentor who provides them with support and advice.
The scheme aims to increase the impact of operational research within the NHS across the South West.
You can read more about the programme and the associates by visiting our news page
PenCLAHRC Director made NIHR Senior Investigator
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has recognised PenCLAHRC Director, Professor Stuart Logan
, as being one of the most outstanding health researchers in the UK and have made him a NIHR Senior Investigator for his commitment to the field.
Speaking of this achievement, Professor Logan said:
“I am delighted to be appointed as an NIHR Senior Fellow. NIHR was established as the research arm of the NHS 10 years ago and has transformed our ability to conduct research and for research to benefit patients. I’m proud to have the opportunity to contribute to this effort.”
To read more about this, visit our website.
PenCLAHRC join forces with local music group to help improve aphasia recovery
Aphasia is a speech and language disorder caused by damage to the brain, often as a result of having a stroke. Those suffering with aphasia can have difficulty communicating, whether it be talking, reading, writing or understanding spoken language.
However, a research team, based at PenCLAHRC, have joined forces with local music charity Plymouth Music Zone
(PMZ) to help tackle communication problems caused by aphasia. Working alongside clinicians, the team designed a programme that involved a group singing session using a specially prepared song book to musical accompaniment.
Participants in the session reported that singing and music making with others helped them develop a sense of group belonging, and felt that, if the singing sessions continued, participation in them would help improve their wellbeing.
You can read the full story here.
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 this new 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 Research Fellow, Jo Day
What do you do at PenCLAHRC?
I work on two projects (CHIK-P
) seeking to understand how to reduce the gap between what is known from research and what is done (or should not be done) in everyday practice.
How long have you worked at PenCLAHRC?
I joined PenCLAHRC in November 2012, so just over three and a half years.
What do you like most about your job?
The variety! I enjoy speaking to clinicians, academics, practitioners, patients, service users and public through the different projects I work on and the potential to impact positively on health and social care outcomes.
What’s the hardest part about your job?
The variety! Keeping up to speed with the information, initiatives, organisational changes and people relevant to the projects I work on and sitting at my desk for long periods of time.
If you weren’t doing this job, what would you be doing?
Building or renovating a house and doing a lot more physical activity.
You may not know this about me, but…..
I enjoy living by the sea.
Project Focus: PenCHORD project reduces waiting times
PenCLAHRC’s operational research team PenCHORD
have been working alongside Devon Partnership Trust
in order to reduce waiting times for mental health assessments. With their previous system in need of updating, the trust wanted to introduce a new ‘choose and book’ system which would allow patients to select their preferred assessment centre location.
The PenCHORD team were called upon to help validate and improve this new system before it was officially rolled out. Through using the latest techniques in computer modelling, the team were able to create a detailed simulation of the referral and assessment pathways, allowing them to assess the likely demand at each centre, predict the number of appointment slots needed and determine the best location for each site.
Once the modelling simulation was complete, the Trust were able to confidently implement the new system which saw the average wait time for appointments fall from 22 days to 14 and the distance a patient had to travel for an appointment reduced
Patient-led system wins at Health Service Journal Awards
PenCLAHRC’s Patient-Initiated Clinic (PIC) project team were winners at last night’s Health Service Journal (HSJ) Value in Healthcare Awards
which took place in Manchester.
Having travelled to London earlier this year to present their case and explain why their project should win, the team successfully went on to scoop the award in the General Medicine category at last night’s ceremony.
The project team has been working with the Rheumatology Team at Derriford Hospital
to develop a system which allows people to contact a specialist nurse whenever their condition deteriorates, giving the patient more control over their treatment.
PIC Team, Picture credit: HSJ Value in Healthcare Awards
You can read more about the PIC project
on our website.
- Alison Bethel and Morwenna Rogers from the Evidence Synthesis Team (EST) have secured funding from the University Internationalisation Fund which will allow them to travel to Michigan in July to learn about how they teach their Searching for Systematic Reviews to Information Specialists course.
- Ilianna Lourida, also from the Evidence Synthesis Team (EST), has been successful in obtaining a travel fellowship to attend the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Toronto, having had her abstract for the Deirdre project accepted for an oral presentation.
How public members and patients are involved in PenCLAHRC research
The PenPIG group, largely made up of service users and carers, meet on a regular basis to discuss various projects and dissemination work carried out by PenCLAHRC. Most recently, the group worked on a project proposal and helped secure funding for the INTERPRESS project
which examined the difference in blood pressure some people can experience between arms. The complex nature of the project meant that the PenPIG team were called upon to help explain to a lay audience how the project would work and how its findings might be disseminated.
You can find out more about the PenPIG team by reading a recent news story
or by visiting our exposure page
Research Fellow - Evidence Synthesis Team
: 2nd June 2016
For more information, visit our webpage
: 5th June 2016
For more information, visit our webpage