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Recently published research investigating the reasons behind a rise in ambulance call-outs in the South West is already being used by the local ambulance service trust to work with commissioners to introduce positive changes, and to reinforce its track record for using research to develop its services.
The South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) asked researchers from PenCHORD (PenCLAHRC's operational modelling team) to investigate the annual growth in activities relating to 999 incidences, which has seen a rise of 24 per cent over the past four years.
The research team developed a computer simulation to investigate the factors that most...Read more
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),...Read more
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...Read more
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,...Read more
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...Read more
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...Read more
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...Read more
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,...Read more
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...Read more
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...Read more