Dear <<First Name>>,
Welcome to the Christmas edition of the PenCLAHRC e-newsletter.
Firstly, I am very pleased to let everyone know that Richard Byng has agreed to take over from Christian Gericke as the PenCLAHRC Deputy Director in Plymouth in the new year. As you are aware from the last newsletter, Christian will be moving to Australia in a few weeks’ time to take on a new position as Chief Executive at the Wesley Research Institute in Brisbane, Australia. On behalf of all the PenCLAHRC staff, I’d like to thank him for his contribution to PenCLAHRC and wish him well in his new job.
As you will be aware, PenCLAHRC has been heavily involved in the preparation of the bid for the South West Peninsula Academic Health Science Network (AHSN). There will be a formal presentation of the AHSN proposal to a board chaired by Sir Alan Langlands in January. Provided this goes well we anticipate that the SW Peninsula AHSN will be designated by the Department of Health sometime around April 2013. The new AHSN will have a very close relationship with PenCLAHRC. This has implications for our future of PenCLAHRC and will be part of the discussion on 13th December. You can find more information on the AHSN (including a copy of the recently submitted prospectus) here.
Finally, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you an enjoyable and restful Christmas and New Year.
Director of PenCLAHRC
SWASFT collaboration wins ASI Innovation Award
A PenCLAHRC collaboration with the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) received a national accolade from the Ambulance Service Institute (ASI) at an awards ceremony held at the House of Lords, London, on 13th November. In December last year, in partnership with PenCLAHRC, the Trust was the first ambulance service in the country to introduce tranexamic acid on all its vehicles. Tranexamic acid is a drug that inhibits the breaking down of blood clots, and can reduce the risk of death from bleeding by as much as 30 per cent. This successful collaboration won the innovations category for its successful adoption of the life-saving intervention. Read more here.
PenCLAHRC's 'Project of the Month': TeenText
TeenText is a text-messaging system to support young people who self-harm. With the help of their Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) clinician, young people who self-harm write their own personal messages and store them in a secure message bank. Messages are then sent to their phone, at times that they know are going to be stressful/difficult, or when requested. The idea was developed and piloted in Exeter in collaboration with adults who self-harm, who said that it really helped them to stay safe. Local clinicians then asked whether it could be adapted for use by young people.
The PenCLAHRC team, led by Christabel Owens, has been consulting with clinicians and young people who self-harm across Devon and Somerset in order to understand their particular needs and tailor the intervention to fit the CAMHS context. The team has now engaged a firm of software engineers to design the software and web interface. A feasibility study to ensure that it can be delivered reliably and consistently and can be integrated into routine practice will take place, hopefully proceeding to a randomised controlled trial.
In addition, a grant of £19,759.00 has just been awarded by the BUPA Foundation to conduct a 10-month feasibility study in 3 CAMHS teams, commencing 1st April 2013.
For more information please visit the project page.
PPI Team at INVOLVE 2012
PenCLAHRC’s Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) Team recently attended the National Institute for Health Research’s INVOLVE 2012 Conference, held in Nottingham on 13th and 14th November. At the conference, entitled “Putting people first in research”, the team gave several well-received workshops and presentations, sharing insight into their successful work in the South West. Find out more.
Mediterranean diet may reduce Alzheimer's risk
Ilianna Lourida, a PenCLAHRC PhD student, recently gave an oral presentation at the 2nd International Congress on Neurology & Epidemiology (ICNE 2012), covering the results of a systematic review that she was involved in, entitled “Adherence to Mediterranean diet, cognitive function and dementia”. According to observations, it is suggested that despite methodological heterogeneity, greater adherence to the typical Mediterranean diet may be associated with slower cognitive decline and reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Read more.
Plymouth research at ISPOR
The work of two PenCLAHRC researchers, both from Plymouth, was recently featured at the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) 15th Annual European Congress, held on 3-7 November 2012 at the ICC Berlin in Germany. In addition, one of PenCLAHRC’s Deputy Directors, Christian Gericke, ran a high-profile workshop on the subject of health care policy development using outcomes research with Sarah Garner from the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and Francois Meyer from the French Haute Autorité de Santé. More on this story.