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Having a high blood platelet count is a strong predictor of cancer and should be urgently investigated to save lives, according to a large-scale study led by the University of Exeter Medical School and supported by PenCLAHRC.
Around two per cent of people over 40 – up to half a million people in the UK – have a raised blood platelet count, known as thrombocytosis.
Now, a study of 40,000 patient records has found that more than 11% of men and 6% of women over the age of 40 with thrombocytosis, went on to be diagnosed with cancer within a year. This rose...Read more
A team of systematic review specialists from the University of Exeter Medical School's ESMI group, supported by PenCLAHRC, have been commissioned by the National Institute of Health Research Health Services & Delivery Research programme (NIHR HS&DR) to conduct evidence syntheses on the organisation and delivery of healthcare.
The work will involve appraising and synthesising research and other evidence relating to the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and patient experience of healthcare, and the implementation of models and initiatives for improving the delivery of healthcare and NHS organisation.
This contract to support the HS&DR programme is worth half a million pounds over three years, and means...Read more
In support of National Stroke Awareness Month, PenCLAHRC Deputy Director Professor Ken Stein has shared his perspective on the collaboration’s work to improve stroke care in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset, in an article for South West regional newspaper Western Morning News.
"There are more than 100,000 strokes a year in the UK. Stroke is one of the leading causes of death in the country and almost two-thirds of stroke survivors leave hospital with a disability – at a cost to the NHS and social care of £1.7 billion a year in England alone.
The figures show that stroke is a vast...Read more
The Modelling and Simulation in Healthcare Network (MASHNet), led by PenCHORD Director, Professor Martin Pitt, has been awarded £19,500 from The Health Foundation to set up a UK-wide initiative to promote the effective use of operational research (OR) and advanced analytic methods in health and social care services.
The PLETHORA Project (Planning for Effective Transformation of Healthcare using Operational Research and Advanced Analytics) will develop a structured plan to build the capacity and expertise needed to apply these key research techniques within the NHS.
Combining the skills and experience of clinicians, academics and technologists from across the country, PLETHORA aims to raise awareness of...Read more
A large-scale pilot clinical trial has been conducted by a network of trainee anaesthetists across the South West for the first time, thanks to support from the South West Anaesthesia Research Matrix (SWARM) and PenCLAHRC.
The trial was designed to assess whether a comprehensive oral hygiene regime could decrease the risk of post-operative pneumonia for patients undergoing major elective abdominal surgery.
Funded by an NIAA grant, the randomised control trial ‘CUPPA’ (Comprehensive moUth care and Post-operative PneumoniA) was delivered across six NHS hospital sites by more than 45 trainee clinicians specialising in anaesthesia, all members of the SWARM collaboration.
Data collection and analysis...Read more
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...Read more
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...Read more
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,...Read more
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...Read more
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...Read more