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Dr Nick Axford appointed as Associate Professor

Posted on April 21st 2017
in PenCLAHRC people

Dr Nick Axford appointed as Associate Professor

Dr Nick Axford joins PenCLAHRC this week as Associate Professor in Health Services and will be working on a variety of projects with a focus on child health and implementation science. 

Nick comes to PenCLAHRC from the Dartington Social Research Unit (DSRU), where he held the post of Senior Researcher and Head of What Works. Whilst at the DSRU he specialised in developing and evaluating evidence-based interventions and defining and measuring child well-being.

Nick’s work has always had a cross-disciplinary emphasis, reflecting the DSRU's focus on children's services, including social care, health, education and youth justice. In the last five years he has...

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Want to stay mentally healthy in older age? Stimulate your brain in early life

Posted on April 20th 2017
in PenCLAHRC people

Want to stay mentally healthy in older age? Stimulate your brain in early life

Stimulating the brain by taking on leadership roles at work or staying on in education helps people stay mentally healthy in later life, according to new research.

Led by the University of Exeter and published in the journal PLOS Medicine, the large-scale study used data from more than 2,000 mentally fit people over the age of 65, and examined the theory that experiences in early or mid-life which challenge the brain make people more resilient to changes resulting from age or illness – they have higher 'cognitive reserve'.

The study found that people with higher levels of reserve are more likely to stay mentally...

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Job Opportunity - Trial Manager

Posted on April 10th 2017
in Job opportunity

Job Opportunity - Trial Manager

The University of Exeter Medical School is seeking a Trial Manager to take a lead role in implementing the South West hub of an NIHR HTA funded trial.

The trial aims to evaluate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of a home-based exercise intervention as extended rehabilitation for frail older people after acute illness or injury (HERO). Building on successful previous work, a multi-site individually randomised controlled trial with internal pilot and embedded process evaluation is planned.

The Trial Manager will oversee the start-up and management of participating centres in the South West, working alongside Dr Vicki Goodwin (South West hub lead), the training team...

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Funding for toolkit to help care home residents enjoy nature

Posted on April 5th 2017
in Research Funding

Funding for toolkit to help care home residents enjoy nature

A team of PenCLAHRC researchers have been awarded Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funding to develop a training toolkit that helps care home staff improve residents’ access to nature.

Research has shown that older people, including those living with dementia, can derive wellbeing benefits from sensory experiences of nature. The ESRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) grant aims to enhance quality of life in care homes by creating ‘My Nature: a training toolkit’ for staff in the residential/nursing care sector.

At present there are a number of barriers preventing care home residents from accessing nature. As well as many residents experiencing sensory...

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Researchers and NHS staff celebrate working together to tackle pressing health service issues

Posted on March 31st 2017
in Events, PenCLAHRC people, Training

Researchers and NHS staff celebrate working together to tackle pressing health service issues

Staff from NHS Trusts across the South West came together with PenCLAHRC researchers to celebrate the success of an innovative programme aimed at tackling problems faced by the health service.

The Health Service Modelling Associates (HSMA) programme, run by our operational research team PenCHORD, is designed to embed the skills and knowledge needed to develop and use computer models to support decision making within the NHS.

The pilot programme culminated in a showcase event, held at the University of Exeter Medical School yesterday. Participants presented their project findings and shared how both they and their organisations have benefited from the scheme.

Over the past year,...

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Skype on Wheels: Reducing loneliness in care homes

Posted on March 28th 2017
in PenCLAHRC people, Project update

Skype on Wheels: Reducing loneliness in care homes

Video-calls using new technological devices are being used with older people in care environments across Devon and Cornwall to reduce loneliness and isolation, thanks to a PenCLAHRC-funded PhD project.

Sonam Zamir, a PhD student at PenCLAHRC, and Professor Ray Jones from Plymouth University have been working with care homes and hospitals since April 2015 to help older people get set up with Skype.

The Skype on Wheels project means older people can now stay better connected with distant relatives without getting out of bed, or needing to learn a new technology.

A Skype on Wheels device, developed by Professor Ray Jones and Plymouth...

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£2 million grant to improve rehabilitation of older people after discharge from hospital

Posted on March 24th 2017
in Research Funding

£2 million grant to improve rehabilitation of older people after discharge from hospital

A team of researchers specialising in care for older people, including PenCLAHRC Senior Research Fellow Dr Vicki Goodwin, have received £2 million of funding from the National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment (NIHR HTA) Programme to conduct a five year national study looking at how rehabilitation can be improved for older people with frailty, following discharge from hospital after an acute illness or injury.

The study, known as HERO (Home-based Extended Rehabilitation of Older people), will involve 718 older people with frailty admitted to hospital following acute illness or injury. Participants will be recruited across ten hospitals within Yorkshire and the South West...

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Impact of wobbly bridges and sky-scrapers on human health to be tested in new government-funded research centre

Posted on March 21st 2017
in PenCLAHRC people

Impact of wobbly bridges and sky-scrapers on human health to be tested in new government-funded research centre

The impact of vibrations from very tall buildings, wobbly bridges and floors on people’s health and wellbeing is to be researched in a new £7.2 million government-funded national research facility at the universities of Exeter and Bath.

By recreating the vibrations using virtual-reality simulators, a multi-disciplinary team of engineers, physiologists, psychologists and medics, including PenCLAHRC’s Dr Vicki Goodwin, will explore how people can experience different symptoms of motion sickness such as tiredness, low mood, difficulty concentrating and lack of motivation if they are working in a building that sways slightly in the wind.

Despite looking rigid in appearance, tall buildings flex in...

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Outcome of research prioritisation round 2016/17

Posted on March 20th 2017
in Uncategorised

Outcome of research prioritisation round 2016/17

The research prioritisation process has been running since PenCLAHRC first formed in 2008 and is just one of the ways we aim to align our research programme with the needs and concerns of stakeholders and patients across Cornwall, Devon and Somerset.

For the latest round of prioritisation, local healthcare professionals, patients and the public submitted almost 60 questions for consideration. These were received via our web tool, by attendees at our Making Sense of Evidence workshops, from PenCLAHRC theme leads through their links with stakeholders, as well as via focused exploration of issues and settings over the past year.

During...

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Policing research partnership brings lasting impact

Posted on March 17th 2017
in Project update

Policing research partnership brings lasting impact

A collaborative study between the University of Exeter and Devon and Cornwall Police has fostered a long-term partnership to bring evidence and research into policing.

The Exeter Policing, Evidence and Research Translation study (ExPERT) was set up to take the lessons learned from evidence-based practice in medicine and apply them to policing.

Funded by the College of Policing as part of a national drive to boost the decision-making process in law enforcement, ExPERT is led by the Policing and Evidence Group – an interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Exeter, with expertise in criminology, law, public health, psychology and sociology...

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