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Persistent sore throat could be larynx cancer warning

Posted on March 18th 2019
in Uncategorised

 Persistent sore throat could be larynx cancer warning

A study of more than 800 patients diagnosed with cancer of the larynx has found more than a five per cent risk of cancer from a persistent sore throat when combined with other apparently low-level symptoms. Led by the University of Exeter and co-authored by Professor Willie Hamilton, of the University of Exeter Medical School, the study suggests that GPs should consider larynx cancer when patients report a persistent sore throat when combined with shortness of breath, problems swallowing or earache.

Professor Hamilton says “This research matters – when NICE guidance for cancer investigation was published there was no evidence from...

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Child anxiety could be factor in school absences, research concludes

Posted on February 28th 2019
in Uncategorised

Child anxiety could be factor in school absences, research concludes

New Exeter Medical School research, supported by PenCLAHRC and the Wellcome Trust, has found a link between school absence and anxiety. The comprehensive, international review of data -  the first of its kind - took place over an 18 month period and drew on the collaboration of a broad team of researchers, from medical students to statisticians, child psychiatrists to evidence synthesists. The team performed an exhaustive systematic review to investigate the relationship between anxiety and poor school attendance, including excused and unexcused absence. The second paper to be published from this research, it suggests that children with anxiety miss...

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Partner in focus – Livewell Southwest

Posted on February 22nd 2019
in Uncategorised

Partner in focus – Livewell Southwest

As a partnership of NHS Trusts across Cornwall, Devon and Somerset, plus the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, PenCLAHRC work with healthcare professionals, policymakers and the public to identify areas of research that reflect the real needs and concerns of the health service in the South West. 

To illustrate how this works in practice, we’ve highlighted some work carried out in collaboration with Livewell South West.

Livewell South West is a recognised provider of integrated health and social care services operating across Devon and parts of Cornwall and prides itself on being forward-thinking when it comes to providing care. Our Operational...

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Home-based cardiac rehabilitation for heart failure improves quality of life

Posted on February 11th 2019
in Uncategorised

Home-based cardiac rehabilitation for heart failure improves quality of life

Despite the proven effectiveness of cardiac rehabilitation programmes in reducing readmissions and risk of death from heart disease, attendance varies widely across the UK and is generally poor. An NIHR-funded trial involving researchers from PenCLAHRC has found that home-based rehabilitation for people with heart failure improves quality of life at 12 months compared with usual care.

216 people with heart failure, predominantly men with an average age of 70, were recruited from primary and secondary care in the UK, for a home-based programme. The programme, facilitated by a trained cardiac nurse or physiotherapist and developed from health behaviour change theory, was co-developed...

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HSMA Presentation Seminar is a huge success

Posted on February 6th 2019
in Events

HSMA Presentation Seminar is a huge success

Dr Daniel Chalk, PenCLAHRC’s Lead for the Health Services Modelling Associates (HSMA) Programme, considers the HSMA to ‘represent the future of operational research and decision making in the NHS.’ At a final seminar event in December 2018, delegates heard about the impact projects are having on positive outcomes for patients and NHS workers.

Each year, as part of the health service modelling programme, a number of health service employees are given training, a mentor and day release, to undertake advanced modelling, simulation and analysis work on a research project, culminating in an annual presentation seminar.

Associates from the HSMA programme’s 2018 cohort presented...

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Stroke patients to be admitted to hospitals with 24/7 specialist stroke care

Posted on January 24th 2019
in Uncategorised

Stroke patients to be admitted to hospitals with 24/7 specialist stroke care

Stroke is a very serious medical emergency and expert care needs to be rapidly accessed in order to guarantee the best outcome for the patient. To ensure this, specialist health centres are necessary to manage patient flow 24/7, and research conducted by PenCLAHRC’s Health Services Modelling team has identified the optimal number and locations for stroke services such as thrombolysis and thrombectomy, across England.

As a direct result of operational research carried out by PenCLAHRC's PenCHORD team, the NHS Long Term Plan published in January 2019 has proposed that stroke services may be restructured over the next five years, with sustainability and transformation programmes and integrated care systems reconfiguring stroke services...

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Malcolm's journey: From no medical science, to science citizen

Posted on January 22nd 2019
in PenCLAHRC people

Malcolm's journey: From no medical science, to science citizen

Peninsula Public Involvement Group (PenPIG) member, Malcolm, has recently embarked on a journey to become a Cochrane Citizen Scientist. According to Cochrane, ‘Citizen Scientists’ play an important role in the research community and ‘help identify the evidence needed to make informed healthcare decisions.’ For Malcolm, becoming a ‘Citizen Scientist’ was an obvious choice due to his experience and background.

Throughout his lifetime, like many of us, Malcolm has witnessed his friends and family endure multiple health complications. His experiences sparked an interest in medical research, and he soon found himself on various boards and groups; from leading health walks for his...

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Helping ‘underperforming’ doctors get back up to scratch – review to explore medical remediation

Posted on January 15th 2019
in Research Funding

Helping ‘underperforming’ doctors get back up to scratch – review to explore medical remediation

Estimates suggest that 6% of doctors in the hospital workforce may be performing below the standard that is expected of them at any time. While serious cases will see doctors struck off, there are others where a doctor could benefit from help via a process called remediation.

Dr Nicola Brennan from the University of Plymouth is leading a review to explore if and how remediation programmes work for practising doctors and – as training a doctor costs around £500,000 to the UK taxpayer – how these processes might be improved in order to retain talent, save money for the NHS and...

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Study finds that probiotics can help improve pain experienced by children with recurrent abdominal pain

Posted on January 10th 2019
in Project update

Study finds that probiotics can help improve pain experienced by children with recurrent abdominal pain

PenCLAHRC researchers have published further findings from their review of the use of probiotics for the management of recurrent abdominal pain in children.

Recurrent abdominal pain is the second commonest reason for seeing a paediatrician after asthma. Affected children can be deeply distressed, and can often miss out on school and social activities.  

PenCLAHRC Evidence Synthesis Team member, Dr Rebecca Abbott and University of Exeter researchers, Dr Tamsin Newlove-Delgado and Dr Alice Martin, brought together the research from recent updated Cochrane reviews in a clinical evidence review for JAMA Pediatrics.

They found that after three months of taking probiotics, in particular Lactobacillus...

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Research instrumental in securing £8 million funding for new hospital mental health ward

Posted on January 9th 2019
in Project update, Uncategorised

Research instrumental in securing £8 million funding for new hospital mental health ward

Researchers who specialise in optimising health services worked with health trusts to produce evidence that secured £8 million in funding for a new mental health ward at Torbay Hospital.

The new ward, which will be operated by Devon Partnership NHS Trust (DPT), will reduce the number of placements that have to be made away from Devon, keeping people closer to home for their care and treatment.

The research, which involved University of Exeter academics, was supported by PenCHORD (the Peninsula Collaboration for Health Operational Research and Development), PenCLAHRC's operational research team. 

PenCHORD is a group of specialists that help healthcare professionals, commissioners and patients...

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