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Archive for the: Project update category

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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Reducing avoidable acute admissions to hospitals

Posted on January 29th 2016
in Project update

A&E hospital sign

A team from PenCLAHRC investigating how hospitals try to avoid unnecessary emergency admissions has identified a series of innovations that can help to address this pressing problem.

Emergency admissions to UK hospitals are on the rise, and in recent months, an increasing number of hospitals have been put on black alert as a result of these added pressures. There is evidence that a significant proportion of acute hospital admissions are avoidable, and hospitals across the country have introduced a range of innovative initiatives to try to avoid these unnecessary admissions. Until now, there has been no research to investigate how well...

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Is the school environment having an impact on pupils' weight?

Posted on January 13th 2016
in Project update

Is the school environment having an impact on pupils' weight?

New research from PenCLAHRC has explored the influence that the primary school environment has on the weight of young children.

The research, led by Dr Andrew Williams at the Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy, and conducted with colleagues at PenCLAHRC, used data from the National Child Measurement Programme, to look at whether the school environment has an effect on the weight of pupils.

Previous research on childhood obesity has considered schools to be an important environment for children, with the potential to influence their exercise and eating habits and, therefore, a large number of interventions to tackle childhood obesity...

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Patient-Initiated Clinic project shortlisted for Best Practice Award

Posted on October 29th 2015
in Project update

Patient-Initiated Clinic project shortlisted for Best Practice Award

Following on from its recent media coverage, the PenCLAHRC Patient-Initiated Clinics (PIC) project has been shortlisted by the British Society for Rheumatology in its Best Practice Awards. The project team is working with clinicians and nurses in the Rheumatology team at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth to develop a system which allows people to contact a specialist nurse whenever their condition deteriorates, meaning that they can be offered a face-to-face appointment within two weeks, rather than having to have scheduled appointments every six months, regardless of need. This innovative and patient-led approach has led to the project being recognised in the 'Patient...

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