Peninsula CLAHRC newsletter

Welcome to the July edition of the PenCLAHRC Matters newsletter. With the summer (or what passes for summer in the UK!) break period well underway many people will be enjoying a well-earned holiday and our offices may be a bit quieter than usual.

As you can see from this month’s newsletter, however, we remain very busy and it’s really enouraging to see so many of our projects coming to fruition. Our newer projects are also very active at the moment, with ReTrain and e-coachER currently recruiting participants. You can read more about them, 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

PenCLAHRC Research Prioritisation 2015

Following on from our successful 2014 research prioritisation process we are now making plans for 2015. We are currently collecting clinical and healthcare uncertainties that could potentially become future research questions and the cut-off date to be considered for 2015 is 31st August.

To find out more, or to submit a question, please visit our website.

PenCLAHRC Project Focus: Bay6 Community Housing Aid

Bay6 is an Exeter-based, charitable organisation which employs specialist housing workers to find accommodation for patients who are homeless or have become homeless while in hospital. A team from PenCLAHRC, with Devon County Council, received funding to evaluate the effectiveness of the Bay6 organisation and the benefits of the service.

The project has recently published their final report. You can read more here.

ADHD in the classroom

New research has found that children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may be successfully supported in classrooms, through strategies that do not involve drugs. A systematic review of research, supported by PenCLAHRC, has found that non-drug interventions in schools may be effective in improving performance outcomes for children with ADHD. Read more here.

New alternative to antidepressant medication

New research suggests that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) could provide an alternative non-drug treatment for people not wishing to continue with long-term antidepressant treatment. While the study found that MBCT isn’t anymore effective than antidepressant treatment, it can offer similar protection against depression relapses, with no significant difference in cost, acting as a solid solution for those no longer wanting to remain on medication. Read more here.

The Fit for Work Scheme – What it Means for Patients and GPs

Research by PenCLAHRC Deputy Director Professor Richard Byng suggests that GPs play a key role in helping individuals return to work after long term sickness, by supporting them and maintaining their belief and hope that they can work. The new editorial, published in the British Journal of General Practice, explores the role of the GP in both the sickness certification process and the new Fit for Work Scheme which was launched last month with the aim of providing additional support for those in employment at risk of long term incapacity. Read more here.

New Educational Standards for Dementia

A set of standards and criteria for dementia education, developed by a team at PenCLAHRC, are being introduced across all educational courses for health professionals throughout England, with the aim of developing better services for people with dementia and their carers. The project combined a review of existing published literature and policy documents, with the views of 252 people from various relevant organisations, all of whom had experience of, or a special interest in dementia. Read more here.

Volunteers needed for PenCLAHRC projects

Two of our projects are currently recruiting volunteers:

The ReTrain team are looking for 48 Devon volunteers to take part in their new Stroke Association-funded rehabilitation training study, which will analyse how well they can help stroke survivors, their families and carers in the long term, following a stroke. Click here for more information.

Patients with common physical and mental health conditions are being sought by the e-coachER team to participate in a new program designed to help patients access available support from the exercise referral scheme and build their own motivation. For more information about taking part, please click here.

New national guidelines to help GPs diagnose cancer

Professor Willie Hamilton, based at the University of Exeter Medical School, has made an important contribution to the recent NICE guidance on the diagnosis of cancer in primary care as the Clinical Lead for the NICE group developing the guidelines.The new guidance aims to support GPs to identify and refer possible cancers earlier, the most important factor in catching them when they can still be treated and before they become fatal. You can read more here.

NIHR Doctoral Research Training Camp

PenCLAHRC PhD students Amy Backhouse and Ross Watkins, along with PenCLAHRC Training and Capacity Lead Dr Vicki Goodwin, recently attended the NIHR Doctoral Research Training Camp held at Ashridge Business School.

The theme of this year’s Training Camp was ‘the art of communicating your science’, focusing on the importance of articulating key messages, whilst ensuring that they are audience appropriate.  In an Apprentice-style scenario each team had a day in which to produce a presentation on a given research paper and a communications plan for this research, as well attend workshops and meet deadlines. The Training Camp culminated in each group presenting their research and comms plan to an expert panel. Research proposals were scrutinised, tough questions were asked, and delegates were placed well and truly under the cosh. Amy and Ross agreed that it was a terrific learning experience, intense, but a great deal of fun too!

Current opportunities with PenCLAHRC

Research Fellow in Health Economics – Click here for more information

Associate Research Fellow in Healthcare Modelling – Click here for more information.

New PenCLAHRC Website

Our new website is now live! You can find it at the usual address: and we’d really appreciate your feedback. You can contact us via email.

PenCLAHRC Annual Report

We report to our funder, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), on a yearly basis about our outputs, impacts, the activity of our projects and our progress against our over-arching aims and objectives.

We recently submitted our report for the period 1 January 2014 to 31 March 2015. You can read a copy of the Annual Report and project case studies on our website.

New ‘One NIHR’ Initiative

The NIHR has launched a new initiative called One NIHR, which aims to promote and celebrate the people funded by, supported by and working for the NIHR. One NIHR is encouraging staff to wear an “I am NIHR” pin badge to inform others that you are part of the research arm of the NHS.

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