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South West Peninsula
PenCLAHRC Matters - December 2016

Dear <<First Name>>,

Welcome to the December edition of the PenCLAHRC Matters newsletter. Whilst for many people things begin to wind down towards Christmas, this is not the case for our colleagues and partners, who remain as busy as ever.

In particular, we are well into the second round of voting in the PenCLAHRC research prioritisation process, which will culminate with a stakeholder event in March next year. An update on this year's process is given below.

Also highlighted are some of our recent successes, not least the national coverage of a study into thrombectomy, the mechanical removal of clots for the treatment of stroke, which involved Dr Martin James, Consultant Stroke Physician at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust and a researcher with PenCLAHRC.

A number of other projects have been successful in receiving grant funding, including Dr Vashti Berry’s Family Vision project, which has been awarded an Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC) Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) Project Co-Creation grant.  This project is now looking to recruit participants for parenting groups running in January – find out more about this below.

We are keen to ensure that all our partners are kept up-to-date with the projects we are working on, the training, workshops and events they can attend, and how they can get involved in defining our research programme, so please do circulate this newsletter to your colleagues and ask them to subscribe.

It only remains for me to highlight some more serious research news - one of our colleagues, Dr Kerryn Husk, has worked with a team of esteemed researchers to try and answer the question; “Paediatricians: Are they just little adults?”. The answer, it seems, is yes but I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions on this!

I hope you all have a restful break over the Christmas period and I’ll see you in 2017.

With best wishes, 

Stuart Logan
Director of PenCLAHRC

Thousands could benefit from greater use of revolutionary stroke treatment

Research supported by PenCLAHRC’s Dr Martin James has the potential to benefit almost 10,000 UK stroke patients a year. The study, presented at the UK Stroke Forum Conference in Liverpool, looks at a new and more effective treatment for acute stroke.

Mechanical clot removal can substantially reduce disability, if carried out within six hours of the onset of symptoms. However, only a tiny minority of those admitted to hospital each year following a stroke, who are eligible for this procedure, receive it. This is because very few UK hospitals currently have enough specialists or support teams to provide mechanical thrombectomy 24 hours a day.

Read the full news article on the news story section of our website. This story also featured in the Guardian, BBC News, webMDPharmaTimes and was discussed on Radio 4's Today programme.


ReTrain project celebrating triple success

The ReTrain project, supported by PenCLAHRC and the Stroke Association, has been investigating the effectiveness of a community-based rehabilitation training programme for people who have had a stroke. The original question was raised by a stroke survivor taking part in the PenCLAHRC question prioritisation process.

As well as the ReTrain team having their protocol paper published in BMJ Open, the significant level of Patient, Carer and Public Involvement (PCPI) in the study saw project lead, Prof Sarah Dean, awarded the PCPI prize by the UK Stroke Forum at their conference in November.

Also celebrating success is Laura Hollands, a placement training year student from the Medical Science undergraduate programme, who worked on the project and has been awarded the Quintiles Women in Science prize.

Read more about these successes on the news story section of our website. For more information about the ReTrain project, please visit the project page.


PenCLAHRC child health study receives funding boost

PenCLAHRC Senior Research Fellow Dr Vashti Berry has received funding from the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC) Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) Project Co-Creation Fund. The new study, called Family Vision, aims to support children exposed to domestic violence through a parent leadership coaching programme.

The Public Health Commissioning team at Devon County Council are partners on the project. Kristian Tomblin, Commissioning Manager said:
“Family Vision fits very well with our soon to be published Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse Strategy 2016-21, which places an emphasis on working in a strengths based way with the non-abusing parent to build esteem, leadership and better outcomes for children.”

The programme is being piloted in partnership with Exeter Community Initiatives (ECI) and Action for Children, both providers of Children’s Centres in Exeter, and St Martin’s Primary School in Cranbrook.

This project is now recruiting participants. Read more on this on the news story section of our website.


Stroke Association funding for aphasia project

A team of PenCLAHRC researchers have been awarded a grant from the Stroke Association to support pilot research aimed at improving the wellbeing and quality of life of people who have aphasia. Aphasia is a speech and language disorder caused by damage to the brain, often as a result of having a stroke.

The research team is seeking to tackle the range of psychological and social problems affecting the wellbeing of people who have aphasia, by trialling a new group-based singing intervention. Participants in an earlier development project repeatedly said that singing with others could help them reconnect with society and in turn improve their wellbeing.

To find out more about the study visit the project webpage, or read a research paper written by the project team. For the full news story visit the news story section of our website.


HSMA Project Focus - The South West Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

Hannah Trebilcock, Clinical Audit Officer at the South West Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT), was selected as one of six Health Service Modelling Associates from NHS organisations across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, and has been dedicating one day a week since April to a trust-specific project.

The simulation modelling conducted as part of the HSMA project will help SWASFT to better understand the impact of moving towards a more centralised system, with fewer, but more specialised regional Cardiac Arrest Centres.

Hannah said of the scheme:
“The HSMA programme has been fantastic…having dedicated time to work on my project and the expertise of the PenCHORD team at hand, has allowed me to show the Trust how useful this approach can be. In particular, decisions can be made that affect patients without having to pilot a programme with potential risks to patients. The Trust is already seeing the huge benefits that simulation modelling can bring to the organisation and are keen to use it for a number of other projects.”

Read more about this work on the news story section of the website.


New leadership for PenCLAHRC Mental Health & Dementia theme

We are pleased to announce that Prof Chris Dickens, Chair of Psychological Medicine at the University of Exeter, and Senior Research Fellow Dr Joel Town based at Plymouth University, have been appointed as Theme Lead and Deputy Theme Lead respectively, for Mental Health and Dementia at PenCLAHRC.

Under the theme of Mental Health and Dementia, PenCLAHRC aims to improve the mental health of people in the South West and beyond - by increasing the region's capacity to deliver world-class research, as well as the adoption and spread of evidence-based improvements in services for people with mental health conditions and dementia.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Prof Dave Richards for all his excellent work and support in this area during his time as theme lead.

More on this on the news story section of our website.


Update on PenCLAHRC’s research prioritisation process

Local healthcare professionals, patients and the public have submitted 55 questions to this year’s PenCLAHRC prioritisation process. This aims to identify areas of research that reflect the real issues faced by the health service across the South West - and is one of the ways we ensure our work programme is aligned to the needs and concerns of our partners.

Questions, which could be submitted independently via a web tool or by attending designated Making Sense of Evidence workshops, were submitted by a variety of organisations and individuals, and span a wide range of topic areas - from social care, data handling, the development of interventions, and how to choose between different treatment options, amongst others.

In a process supported by our Evidence Synthesis Team, submitted questions are now going through a multi-stage process with stakeholders who represent the collaboration. The aim is to prioritise those questions to potentially develop into research projects, with the process culminating in a Stakeholder Prioritisation Meeting in March.

Where there appears to be evidence to answer a question, this will be fed back to those who raised the uncertainty. Any other questions not prioritised by the collaboration will be shared with the Research Design Service and wider NIHR for consideration.

The prioritisation process has been running since PenCLAHRC first formed in 2008 and is just one of the ways that we ensure our research programme represents the needs of our stakeholders and patients across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset.

The Stakeholder Prioritisation Event will be held on Friday 3 March 2017 and the outcomes of this will be communicated shortly after.


New guidance aims to fill gaps in health service research

PenCLAHRC’s Mary Hickson, Professor in Dietetics at Plymouth University, has worked with the Association of UK University Hospitals’ (AUKUH) to develop new guidance for healthcare provider organisations. The guide aims to provide practical advice to develop and sustain the research clinical academic roles of nurses, midwives and allied health professionals.

The guide contains practical information, case studies and templates, and is aimed at NHS organisational leads along with clinical academics at all stages of development. If you have a leadership role within your organisation for clinical academic careers (for non-medics) and want to join the newly formed implementation group, please contact Kruti Shrotri at the AUKUH via email.

For more on this, visit the news story section of our website. Accompanying resources to the guidance can be found on the AUKUH website.

Film supports young children with parents with Parkinson's disease

The Peninsula Parkinson’s Excellence Network (PenPEN), supported by PenCLAHRC, has worked with Parkinson’s UK, Parkinson’s experts and researchers at Plymouth University to produce the first information resource for teachers and professionals who interact with young children whose parents are affected by Parkinson’s disease.

A group of families faced with this issue have joined forces with Parkinson's UK and Parkinson's disease experts from Plymouth University, to produce a film and supporting material to help professionals that interact with young children to understand the issue. It is the first time that it has been addressed in this way.

You can find out more on the news story section of our website.

NIHR grant received for testing of cancer diagnostic tools

A team of researchers, including members of PenCLAHRC, have received £240,880 of funding from the NIHR Health Technology Assessment programme (NIHR HTA) for a new project looking to understand the efficacy, cost-effectiveness and current use of cancer diagnostic tools to aid decision-making in primary care.
The team aims to find out whether GPs have access to diagnostic tools that can predict the risk of cancer in patients with symptoms and how widely they are used. They will also evaluate the impact of these tools on the timing of cancer diagnosis, as well as the extent and severity of cancer at diagnosis, and patients’ quality of life and survival.
Find out more about this grant success on the news story section of the website.


Meet the PenCLAHRC team

PenCLAHRC has grown hugely in size since our doors first opened in 2008 and we now have more than 100 CLAHRC-supported staff and students across the South West. In our continuing series, we interview 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 Senior Research Fellow Dr Helen Lloyd.

What do you do at PenCLAHRC?
I am leading the Person Centred Coordinated Care (P3C) programme with Prof Richard Byng. The P3C programme aims to support services to develop more person centred and coordinated working. This programme is also developing theory and measurement for P3C and building practice based evidence from evaluations across the South West. Improving care and support for adults with complexity of need is the main focus of our work.
How long have you worked at PenCLAHRC?
I have been with PenCLAHRC for just over two years having moved here with my family after 10 years in Oxford.
What do you like most about your job?
I particularly like the methodological focus of integrating multi-level and mixed method data. This for example involves finding ways to make observational data work with structured quantitative data. We are currently examining patient experience data derived from a structured measure with qualitative data from staff and patient observations. I also really enjoyed the co-design element work, which has involved creating measures and working with services. Working with services users and professionals has kept our feet on the ground and made us aware of a multitude of different issues that as researchers we often take for granted.
What’s the hardest part about your job?
Evaluating service redesign isn’t easy right now, and we have spent a lot of time and effort building trust. At times, and despite our best efforts we are often viewed with suspicion, it can take a long time to overcome this and gain acceptance.  
If you weren’t doing this job, what would you be doing?
I had hoped to be a female version of Indiana Jones but a swollen student loan necessitated that I find a job! I therefore took up a Research Assistant position at Imperial College in the department of occupational and environmental medicine in the mid-nineties and the rest is history…


PenCLAHRC staff success


Congratulations to PenCLAHRC Senior Research Fellow Dr Vicki Goodwin, who recently received her medal for her Fellowship of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. The Fellowship was awarded for Vicki's ‘significant contribution to the development of services for older people and contribution to the advancement of the physiotherapy profession’.

PenCLAHRC Staff News
Welcome to our new members of staff:

Lucy Cartwright - Assistant Administrator
Tanya Hynd - PPI Administrator
Laura Pickup - Research Fellow
Felicity Thomas - Senior Research Fellow
Lucy Corley - Communications Assistant

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

Events Diary

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 further details and dates.

PenCHORD Training Modules 1 & 2
A series of regular, free of charge training courses are run by PenCHORD for NHS staff within Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. These courses are designed for those wishing to learn how to build simple but effective predictive models for their own organisations. Visit the events page for further details and dates.

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


Moore L, Britten N, Lydahl D, Naldemirci O, Elam M, Wolf A. Barriers and facilitators to the implementation of person-centred care in different healthcare contexts. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Science (2016)

Greaves CJ, Wingham J, Deighan C, Doherty P, Elliot J, Armitage W, Clark M, Austin J, Abraham C, Frost J, Singh S, Jolly K, Paul K, Taylor L, Buckingham S, Davis R, Dalal H, Taylor RS. Optimising self-care support for people with heart failure and their caregivers: development of the Rehabilitation Enablement in Chronic Heart Failure (REACH-HF) intervention using intervention mapping. Pilot and Feasibility Studies (2016) 2:37

Thompson TP, Greaves CJ, Ayres R, Aveyard P, Warren FC, Byng R, Taylor RS, Campbell JL, Ussher M, Michie S, West R, Taylor A. Factors associated with study attrition in a pilot randomised controlled trial to explore the role of exercise-assisted reduction to stop (EARS) smoking in disadvantaged groups. Trails (2016) 17:524

Eyre V, Lang CC, Smith K, Jolly K, Davis R, Hayward C, Wingham J, Abraham C, Green C, Warren FC, Britten N, Greaves CJ, Doherty P, Austin J, Van Lingen R, Singh S, Buckingham S, Paul K, Taylor RS, Dalal HM. Rehabilitation Enablement in Chronic Heart Failure - a facilitated self-care rehabilitation intervention in patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (REACH-HFpEF) and their caregivers: rationale and protocol for a single-centre pilot randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open (2016)

Armstrong M, Morris C, Abraham C, Tarrant M. Interventions utilising contact with people with disabilities to improve children's attitudes towards disability: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Disability and Health Journal (2016)

Zwisler A-D, Norton RJ, Dean SG, Dalal H, Tang LH, Wingham J, Taylor RS. Home-based cardiac rehabilitation for people with heart failure: A systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Cardiology (2016) 221, 963-969

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 (2016)

Dean SJ, 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 (2016) 

Georgiadis A, Byng R, Coomber R, Quinn C. The social, relational and mental health characteristics of justice-involved men in the south-west England. The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology (2016)

Hardwick R. Integrated services for women through a One Stop Shop: a realist review. Journal of Integrated Care (2013) 21(5); 263-275

Hardwick R, Anderson R, Cooper C. How do third sector organisations use research and other knowledge?  A systematic scoping review. Implementation Science (2015)

Anderson R, Hardwick R. Realism and resources: Towards more explanatory economic evaluation. Evaluation (2016)

Lang I, Hardwick R. Knowledge, knowledge mobilisation and the third sector. Voluntary Sector Review (2016)

Manzi S, Nichols A, Richardson J. A comparison of waste compositions at health and social care facilities. British Journal of Healthcare Management (2016)

Stephens S, Ford E, Paudyal P, Smith H. Effectiveness of Psychological Interventions for Postnatal Depression in Primary Care: A Meta-Analysis. Annals of Family Medicine (2016)

Bailey S, Ukoumunne O, Shephard Liz, Hamilton W. How useful is thrombocytosis in predicting an underlying cancer in primary care? Systematic review protocol. Family Practice (2016)
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