Project Focus: Improving emergency stroke care
A project carried out by our operational research team, PenCHORD
, has had a huge impact on the way people who have had a stroke are treated in Devon. Working alongside the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital
(RD&E) and the South Western Ambulance Service
, the team were able to speed up the process of administering emergency treatment to those who had suffered a stroke due to a blood clot (ischemic stroke) using the latest advances in computer simulation.
In order to do this, researchers created a detailed computer simulation of the path that stroke patients follow in the hospital, replicating the journey from the onset of the condition right through to the point of treatment. Through doing this, the team were able to test and explore a range of different scenarios – such as paramedics calling stroke unit specialists ahead of their arrival.
Through their partnership with the RD&E, the team were able to implement their findings which have produced remarkable results. The number of people receiving clot-busting medication after a stroke has tripled, increasing from 4.7% (one in twenty) to 14% (one in seven), and the average time it takes to deliver the treatment has halved.
Read more about this project on the PenCLAHRC website
Outcome of PenCLAHRC Research Prioritisation 2015
Our 2015 research prioritisation process
concluded just before Christmas. After a final vote by stakeholders from our partner organisations
, it was agreed that PenCLAHRC will dedicate resources to test the feasibility of the top two ranked questions:
- How can we best design, evaluate and implement a group-based programme for weight-management in Tier 3 obesity care?
- Is mindfulness based cognitive behaviour therapy effective in maintaining recovery and relapse prevention among young people who have recovered from an episode of emotional disorder?
Scoping work has now begun to test whether these two questions would make suitable research projects.
You can read more about the 2015 research prioritisation process on our website
Project Focus: Reducing acute avoidable admissions to hospitals
A PenCLAHRC-supported project has been investigating to help hospitals avoid unnecessary emergency admissions.
The Plymouth team, alongside researchers from the University of the West of England
, the University of Bristol
and the University of Exeter
, investigated how emergency departments and staff of four major hospitals throughout the South West, responded to emergency care pressures. They also analysed the patient’s experience of the hospital visit.
The study found that various factors contributed to whether a patient was admitted to hospital and that admissions weren’t always based on the medical diagnosis. It also found that in response to local need, different approaches were taken across the four hospitals in order to reduce unnecessary admissions.
You can read the full story here
Building international research collaborations
Our operational research group, PenCHORD
, has been awarded funding to help them build links with international research partners. The funding will enable the team to invite overseas researchers to visit and explore the possibilities for future projects and publications.
PenCHORD are already developing new contacts and strengthening existing links with researchers in Germany. The team will be inviting international researchers to visit them in Devon and also visiting colleagues overseas. These visits will enable both PenCHORD and the visiting researchers to showcase their work to a wider audience.
To read more on this story, visit our website
Funding success for research dissemination and engagement
PenCLAHRC researchers Rebecca Abbott
and Rebecca Whear
from the Evidence Synthesis Team, and Kath Maguire
from the Patient and Public Involvement team have all been successful in winning University of Exeter Researcher-Led Initiative Awards
, intended to help research staff develop and deliver transferable skills training and resources. These awards will be used for running educational workshops in systematic reviewing, supporting more creative dissemination techniques and to establish a local public involvement network.
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. As part of a new series, we are interviewing PenCLAHRC colleagues to help give a flavour of the broad range of people that make up our collaboration.
First up is Cath Hopkins, PenCLAHRC Administrator and a key member of our project support team.
What do you do at PenCLAHRC (in 15 words or less)?
I provide administrative support to the PenCLAHRC team in Exeter.
How long have you worked at PenCLAHRC?
I joined PenCLAHRC in November 2010 – seems like only yesterday…
What do you like most about your job?
The variety – no two days are ever the same – and, of course, the lovely people I work with.
What’s the hardest part about your job?
Wrangling with various one-size-fits-none systems which can make what you thought was a simple request take literally weeks to resolve. Still, it keeps me out of mischief.
If you weren’t doing this job, what would you be doing?
If I’d been a bit more proactive about pursuing my interests, I’d probably be doing some sort of obscure research into the origins of the English language. Or, if I were extremely unlucky, I could still be working in a distribution centre for one of the Big Four supermarkets (I won’t say which one, but think green) and be able to reel off the reference number of every store in the country. Yes, I’m that sad.
You may not know this about me, but…..
I once spent the day on the beach with Michael Sheen. Before you call the gossip press, I was eleven and he must have been about 14 or 15 and it was at a family and friends get-together - his uncle was Head of the primary school where my mum taught and that I attended.
I also got kicked out of the Girl Guides (before taking the oath) for apathy.
Do primary schools impact on pupils' weight?
A recent study has been exploring whether the school environment has any effect on the weight of pupils. As part of the project, data was collected from 319 primary schools across Devon and was compared to five years of data from the National Child Measurement Programme
. By analysing various factors, the team were able to look for links which may be contributing to childhood obesity.
Although the team found some links between certain factors and pupils weight, the research concluded that the school environment is not contributing to childhood obesity in the way that has commonly been assumed. The outcomes of this study suggest that obesity prevention strategies should address what is happening outside of schools, particularly during the school holidays.
To find out more, read our news story
Participants required for weight loss project
PenCLAHRC PhD student, Linda Solbrig,
is searching for adults with a BMI of 25 or above to try out a new personalised intervention to help with weight loss and the increase of physical activity.
The study will last for six months and will involve two therapeutic sessions with the researcher (one face to face session and one phone session). The remaining study will involve brief booster phone calls every two weeks to help keep participants on track.
Appointments will be available from 21st
March. For further information, please visit Linda’s project webpage.
NIHR at 10
This year marks the 10th
anniversary of the formation of the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR). Anniversary celebrations launched on 13th
January in Westminster, with Life Sciences Minister George Freeman hosting the first NIHR Parliamentary Day. George Freeman spoke of the benefits of health research and encouraged MPs to become ambassadors for the NIHR in their constituencies. He said:
“I’m completely passionate about this research infrastructure. The NIHR is the Jewel in the crown of the UK research medicine ecosystem. It does an amazing job working with industry partners pulling in major investment and allows our patients to have exposure to the very latest medicines and innovations”
We will be celebrating the success of the NIHR and its 10th
anniversary throughout the year.
Patient Reported Outcomes Measures Conference
A CLAHRC-sponsored conference in Sheffield on 9th June will bring together leading researchers to discuss cutting edge developments in PROMs research.
The day will comprise three plenary sessions on ‘Realist synthesis’, using ‘Computer Adaptive Testing’ and ‘Wellbeing’. The morning will will also include 16 parallel sessions, which are open to competitions and posters; submissions from PhD students and young researchers are encouraged.
For more information and to register, visit the conference website
Engagement, Research Information and Communication Manager (maternity cover)
Monday 7th March 2016
For more information, please visit our webpage.
Monday 7th March 2016
For more information, please visit our webpage.