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Launch of first free and comprehensive web based data resource of measures for person centred care

Posted on July 31st 2016
in Project update

Launch of first free and comprehensive web based data resource of measures for person centred care

The first free and openly-available comprehensive data resource for international measures relating to patient experience and person centred care has been launched, providing a ‘one-stop’ website for commissioners, health managers, researchers and others.

Measures for Person Centred Coordinated Care has been compiled by PenCLAHRC researchers and is being supported by NHS England, the South West Academic Health Science Network, Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry and the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust.

The aim of the project is to deliver a portfolio of intelligence about measures for Person Centred Coordinated Care (“P3C”) for people with Long-Term Conditions (LTCs),...

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New review investigates the health benefit of contact with the natural environment

Posted on June 9th 2016
in Project update

New review investigates the health benefit of contact with the natural environment

A team of Cochrane authors based in the UK and led by Dr Kerryn Husk from PenCLAHRC, have carried out a review investigating the health benefits of contact with the natural environment.

The team found that, whilst the majority of quantitative studies reported no effect on health and well-being, there was limited evidence to suggest positive effects on self-reported health, quality of life and physical activity levels. Small numbers of participants reported increased mental fatigue and greater feelings of anxiety.

The review comes at a time when there is growing research and policy interest in the potential for using the natural environment...

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PenCLAHRC research looks to reduce paediatric admissions in A&E

Posted on June 6th 2016
in Project update

Young boy in hospital setting

The number of people arriving at Accident and Emergency departments throughout the UK is rising at an unsustainable rate, and the number of children arriving at A&E has grown every year since 2003, causing a large amount of strain on these departments.

It is thought that a lack of experience among parents and junior doctors could be contributing to the large rises in paediatric hospital admissions, as well as changes in the way primary care is delivered. Previous approaches to reduce paediatric admissions have mainly focused on the prevention of arrivals at A&E and reducing the chances of them returning,...

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Patient-Initiated Clinic project wins at Health Service Journal Awards

Posted on May 31st 2016
in Project update

HSJ Awards

PenCLAHRC’s Patient-Initiated Clinic (PIC) project team were winners at this year's Health Service Journal (HSJ) Value in Healthcare Awards, which took place in Manchester on 24th May 2016.

The HSJ awards seek to recognise and reward outstanding efficiency and improvement by the NHS, as well as the excellent use of resources. They also seek out examples of demonstrable improvement in outcomes, both within back office functions and clinical initiatives.

Having travelled to London earlier this year to present their case and explain why their project should win, the PIC team went on to scoop the award in the General Medicine category at...

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A pioneering simulation project slashes waiting times in Devon

Posted on May 19th 2016
in Project update

PenCHORD team working

PenCLAHRC’s Operational Research team PenCHORD, have recently teamed up with the Devon Partnership Trust in order to reduce waiting times for mental health assessments.

The Trust wanted to change the way patients were booked into specialist assessment centres across Devon by introducing a new ‘Choose and Book’ system, allowing patients to select the preferred location of their appointment.

Before launching the new system blindly, the Trust teamed up with PenCHORD to help them validate and improve the proposed new system before it was officially rolled out. The PenCHORD team were able to create a detailed simulation of the referral and assessment pathways...

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Working with music groups to improve recovery for people with aphasia

Posted on April 27th 2016
in Project update

Group of people singing and clapping

A team of health researchers from the University of Exeter Medical School and the National Institute for Health Research are working with local music charity Plymouth Music Zone to bring together people who have communication problems caused by aphasia.

Aphasia is a speech and language disorder, which is caused by damage to the brain, often as a result of having a stroke. People with aphasia can struggle to speak or to understand spoken language, but also can have difficulties with reading, writing or using numbers.

Of the over 150,000 people who have a stroke each year, around a third (33%) will also...

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Blood pressure difference linked to heart disease risk

Posted on April 15th 2016
in Project update

Doctor checking blood pressure in both arms

Blood pressure differences between each arm can signal an increased risk of dying of heart disease, even in healthy people, a new large-scale study has found.

The study, led by University of Exeter Medical School and supported by PenCLAHRC, took blood pressure measurements in both arms of more than 3,000 people in Scotland and demonstrated the importance of routinely measuring blood pressure in both arms.

Up to now, such research has mainly focussed on people who have already encountered heart disease or hypertension. Now, the new research, funded also by the Royal College of General Practitioners and the South West GP Trust,...

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Self-harming youngsters put at risk by 'cycle of shame'

Posted on March 11th 2016
in Project update

Accident and emergency sign

A PenCLAHRC-supported study has found that young people who self-harm only seek emergency hospital care as a last resort due to a deep sense of shame and unworthiness.

The research, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, shows that young people who self-harm avoid Accident and Emergency departments wherever possible. They say they have received punitive treatment from staff, and these experiences perpetuate a cycle of shame, avoidance and further self-harm. 

Dr Christabel Owens and co-authors Lorraine Hansford, Professor Tamsin Ford, and Dr Siobhan Sharkey, found that young people who self-harm visit A&E only when their injuries are too serious to manage...

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Study investigates the effective diagnosis of heart attacks in patients attending Emergency Departments

Posted on February 14th 2016
in Project update

Stethoscope on desk

Chest pain, which could suggest a heart attack, is the most common cause of emergency hospital admissions in the UK, accounting for six per cent of all attendances to the Emergency Department. If the signs of heart attacks are missed the consequences for patients could be fatal, resulting in pressure for medical practitioners to make an accurate diagnosis.

However, fewer than 35 per cent of patients with chest pain are diagnosed with a heart attack, which means that a significant number of patients - almost two-thirds – may not need to be admitted to hospital.

High sensitivity troponin is a test which...

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Computer models deliver stroke care boost to South West

Posted on February 4th 2016
in Project update

Computer models deliver stroke care boost to South West

People who have had a stroke in Devon are receiving faster and more effective treatment thanks to research that has used the latest advances in computer simulation.

The ground-breaking project has led to a dramatic increase in the number of patients receiving vital clot-busting treatment, and significantly reduced treatment times.

Researchers from PenCLAHRC's operational research team, PenCHORD, teamed up with the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital and the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWAST) to implement the study, which has highlighted the importance of speed when treating people with stroke.

For some patients whose stroke is due to a blood clot...

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