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South West Peninsula
PenCLAHRC Matters - August 2016

Dear <<First Name>>,

Welcome to the August edition of PenCLAHRC Matters.

With the summer break period well underway, many people will be enjoying a well-earned holiday and our offices may be a bit quieter than usual.

However, as you can see from this month's newsletter, we remain very busy and it's really enouraging to see so many of our projects being recognised for their impact on service delivery. We recently featured across the regions TV and radio news programmes, with PenCHORD's work on the factors that influence ambulance demand. We also had three projects featured in the Department of Health commissioned report looking at ten years of NIHR. You can read about these stories and more, below.

If you are able to take a break over the summer then I hope that it is restful and relaxing and I look forward to speaking to you again in the autumn.

With best wishes, 

Stuart Logan
Director of PenCLAHRC

Ambulance call-out research leads to positive changes for ambulance service trust

PenCLAHRC's operational modelling team, PenCHORD, have recently featured in the regional news for their research exploring the driving factors behind the rise in ambulance call-outs in the South West.

The South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) asked the team to investigate the annual growth in activities relating to 999 incidences, which has seen a rise of 24 per cent over the past four years.

By developing a computer simulation, the research team were able to decipher the factors that most influence demand for ambulance services in the South West.

The results of the research are already being used by the local ambulance service trust to work with commissioners to introduce positive changes, and to reinforce its track record for using research to develop its services.

To read more about this story and view coverage from BBC Spotlight, visit our news story page.



Investigating the health benefits of contact with the natural environment

PenCLAHRC Research Fellow, Dr Kerryn Husk, and a team of Cochrane authors, have carried out a review investigating the health benefits of contact with the natural environment.

The team worked alongside Cochrane Public Health to assess the health and well-being impacts on adults, following participation in environmental enhancement and conservation activities. Participants were volunteers or had been referred to take part in the investigation by a healthcare professional.

The results of the review found that although there was no reported effects on health and well-being, evidence did suggest positive effects on self-reported health, quality of life and physical activity levels.

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



Images of Research competition

PenCLAHRC Research Fellow, Kate Boddy from the Public and Patient Involvement team, was one of the winners in this year’s Images of Research competition with her image called ‘Public Participation’.

The image, which won under the theme of Collaboration, allowed Kate to highlight the work of the PPI team to a wide audience, including students, academics and members of the general public.

The winning image (above) will be permanently displayed in the ‘Research Commons’ on Streatham Campus.

To read more about this story, visit our news story page.


PenCLAHRC projects included in successful NIHR case study report

As the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) reaches its tenth anniversary, a report by the Policy for Research in Science and Medicine (PRiSM) unit has been commissioned by the Department of Health to consider the question: “What are the ways in which the NIHR has benefited the health research landscape of the past ten years?”

The report identifies 100 examples of positive changes as a result of the ten years of NIHR support and we are delighted that three PenCLAHRC projects have been featured in the report.

To find out which of our projects have been included, visit the news story section of our website.  

Acclaim for PenCLAHRC's operational research team

High praise has been given to PenCLAHRC’s operational research team, PenCHORD, by the former National Director for Heart Disease and Stroke at the Department of Health. This followed the recent presentation of the teams work on the mapping and reconfiguration of hyperacute stroke services in Wales.

Speaking about the PenCHORD team, Professor Sir Roger Boyle CBE said:

"The modelling exercise undertaken by PenCHORD at Exeter University Medical School exploring the possible configuration of acute stroke services in Wales was a difficult task given the scattered nature of the Welsh population. However the report demonstrated very clearly how the difficult issues of travel time could be addressed in order to optimise outcomes. In my opinion, the PenCHORD modelling team are the best that we have in this country. Well done."

You can read about this project on our website.

Image of the PenCHORD team

Reducing paediatric admissions in A&E

The number of children arriving at Accident and Emergency departments throughout the UK is growing, causing a large amount of strain on these departments. However, a new PenCLAHRC project is helping to tackle this problem by analysing the factors that could be responsible for the rise in paediatric admissions.

Partnering with the South West Strategic Clinical Network and working alongside 14 NHS trusts across the South West region, the team has been able to map the different approaches to paediatric care throughout the hospitals, which has enabled them to develop a picture of what interventions are most effective.

With pilot data already collected and analysed, the team hope that these insights will eventually form the basis for guidance that can be implemented across the UK.

You can read about this story in more detail by visiting our news story page.

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 Research Administrator, Margaret Hart.


What do you do at/with PenCLAHRC?
I work with Primary Care and PenCLAHRC colleagues at Plymouth University, supporting each stage of research across a range of projects and initiatives.

How long have you worked at/with PenCLAHRC?
Four and a half years.

What do you like most about your job?
Working with enthusiastic and fun colleagues, seeing people, teams and projects grow and succeed, and playing a (small) part in all of this!

What’s the hardest part about your job?
Saying goodbye when people leave, keeping up with all the changes, growth and new projects - as well as staying on top of the endless variety of tasks to be done.

If you weren’t doing this job, what would you be doing?
I might be living in the Cotswolds ...


Funding success

The Peninsula Cerebra Research Unit for Childhood Disability Research (PenCRU) have secured funding from the Brain Tumour Charity for their project, ‘The PROMOTE Study: Patient Reported Outcome Measures Online To Enhance Communication and Quality of Life after childhood brain tumour’.

The project will be a collaboration between Exeter, Southampton, Nottingham, UCL and Amsterdam University and is due to start in January 2017.

PenCLAHRC opportunities

Communications Assistant
Closing date: 1st September 2016
For more information, visit our webpage

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Health Services Research
Closing date: 13th September 2016
For more information, visit our webpage
PenCLAHRC Staff News
Welcome to our new members of staff:

Joel Town - Senior Research Fellow
Louise Downs - Events and Training Assistant
Amanda Wanner - Information Specialist

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

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.

Making Sense of Research
Free introductory half day workshop on the practical use of research evidence at work. This course is aimed at midwives, maternity support workers, and maternity service users based within Devon and Cornwall
Date: 15th August 2016
Location: South Cloisters, St Luke's Campus, Exeter
Click here for more information

Making Sense of Evidence and Focusing Uncertainities
This workshop is suitable for those who have a work based uncertainty or question that they want to explore.
Dates: 31st August 2016
Location: John Bull Building, Plymouth
Click here for more information

9th International Congress of Morita Therapy
This conference will bring together leading Japanese and international contributors working with Morita therapy for two days of presentations, workshops and discussion on applying Morita therapy in a UK and international context.
Date: 1st September 2016
Location: XFi Building, Streatham Campus, Exeter
Click here for more information

The researcher's guide to getting the most out of twitter
Date: 9th September 2016
Location: 112 Baring Court, Exeter
Click here for more information

Recent Publications

Husk K, Lovell R, Cooper C, Stahl-Timmins W, Garside R. Participation in environmental enhancement and conservation activities for health and well-being in adults: a review of quantitative and qualitative evidence. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Mann J, Kuyken W, O'Mahen H, Ukoumunne O, Evans A, Ford T. Manual development and pilot randomised controlled trial of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy versus usual care for parents with a history of depression. Mindfulness
Wood S, Demougin P, Higgins S, Husk K, Wheeler B, White M. Exploring the relationship between childhood obesity and proximity to the coast: A rural/urban perspective. Health & Place

Heaton J, Britten N, Krska J, Reeve J. Person-centred medicines optimisation policy in England: An agenda for research on polypharmacy. Primary Health Care Research and Development

Bray B, Smith C, Cloud G, Enderby P, James M, Paely L, Tyrrell P, Wolfe C, Rudd A. The association between delays in screening for and assessing dysphagia after acute stroke, and the risk of stroke-associated pneumonia. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiarty

Husk K, Blockley K, Lovell R, Bethel A, Bloomfield D, Warber S, Pearson M, Lang I, Byng R, Garside R. What approaches to social prescribing work, for whom, and in what circumstances? A protocol for a realist review. Systematic Reviews

Nicolson J, Cann W, Matthews J, Berthelsen D, Ukoumunne O, Trajanovska M, Bennetts S, Hillgrove T, Hamilton V, Westrupp E, Hackworth N. Enhancing the early home learning environment through a brief group parenting intervention: study protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial. BMC Pediatrics

Lyengar S, Morgan-Hughes G, Ukoumunne O, Clayton B, Davies E, Nikolaou V, Hyde C, Shore A, Roobottom C. Diagnostic accuracy of high-definition CT coronary angiography in high-risk patients. Clinical Radiology

Morris C, Blake S, Stimson A, Borek A, Maguire K. Resources for parents raising a disabled child in the UK. Paediatrics and Child Health

Fuller T, Pearson M, Peters J. Improving the Reporting of Health and Psychological Research. Australian Psychologist

Fortnum H, Ukoumunne O, Hyde C, Taylor R, Ozolins M, Errington S, Zhelev Z, Pritchard C, Benton C, Moody J, Cocking L, Watson J, Roberts S. A programme of studies including assessment of diagnostic accuracy of school hearing screening tests and a cost-effectiveness model of school entry hearing screening programmes. Health Technology Assessment

Owens C, Hardwick R, Charles N, Watkinson G. Preventing suicides in public places: a practice resource. Public Health England

Owens C, Sharkey S, Smithson J, Hewis E, Emmens T, Ford T, Jones R. Building an online community to promote communication and collaborative learning between health professionals and young people who self-harm: an exploratory study. Health Expectations

Perry-Young L, Owens G, Kelly S, Owens C. How people come to recognise a problem and seek medical help for a person showing early signs of dementia: A systematic review and meta-ethnography. Dementia: the international journal of social research and practice

Husk K, Lovell R, Cooper C, Stahl-Timmins W, Garside R. Participation in environmental enhancement and conservation activities for health and well-being in adults: a review of quantitative and qualitative evidence. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Morris C, Blake S, Stimson A, Borek A, Maguire K. Resources for parents raising a disabled child in the UK. Paediatrics and Child Health

Zhelev Z, Abbott R, Rogers M, Fleming S, Patterson A, Hamilton W, Heaton J, Thompson-Coon J, Vaidya B, Hyde C. Effectiveness of interventions to reduce ordering of thyroid function tests: A systematic review. BMJ Open

Mann J, Kuyken W, O'Mahen H, Ukoumunne O, Evans A, Ford T. Manual development and pilot randomised controlled trial of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy versus usual care for parents with a history of depression. Mindfulness

Zhelev Z, Hyde C, Fitzgerald J, Ukoumunne O, Briscoe S, Chisnell J, Grigore B. Tests for screening for hearing loss in children about to start school (Protocol). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews


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