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How to improve outcomes for children and young people with long term conditions – the evidence is in

Posted on June 5th 2019
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Young person

Children and young people suffering with long term physical conditions can find anxiety and depression impacting on their lives and on those around them. Now a systematic review, led by the NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care South West Peninsula’s (PenCLAHRC) Evidence Synthesis Team has found that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) might help.

Among a range of findings the team identified evidence of the benefits of CBT for children and young people with inflammatory bowel disease, chronic pain and epilepsy. The research, published in the NIHR Journals Library and funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health...

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Publication of findings from the National Survey of Local NHS Innovation and Research Needs

Posted on May 20th 2019
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The AHSN Network, NHS England and the NIHR commissioned ComRes to conduct a survey that would provide a detailed understanding of the innovation and research needs at local level across all AHSNs. The findings of this project were used to produce an initial statement of innovation and research needs in each AHSN area - one of the actions in the NHS England and NIHR joint paper on ‘12 actions to support research in the NHS’. 

These statements, alongside the regional and national report findings, will be used to facilitate further discussions at regional level, involving patients and the public and the research community, to...

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‘Robopets’ may be beneficial for care home residents

Posted on May 15th 2019
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‘Robopets’ may be beneficial for care home residents

Robotic pets that respond to human interaction can benefit the health and wellbeing of older people living in care homes, a study has found, attracting national and regional media coverage and an assurance from Minister for Care, Caroline Dinenage that the government “are investing £98 million to develop innovative new products – like robopets – services and treatments” for an ageing population.

Researchers found evidence that ‘robopets’ can provide pleasure and joy, reduce agitation and loneliness and increase feelings of comfort and safety in those living in care homes. Funded by NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care South...

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'You can make a difference just by sharing your story' - PenPIG member co-authors Research Paper

Posted on April 3rd 2019
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'You can make a difference just by sharing your story' -  PenPIG member co-authors Research Paper

When Andrea Shelley arrives to talk about her patient and public involvement (PPI) journey, her willingness to contribute is apparent from the get-go. ‘To share what you’ve been through is key to making the NHS work’ she says, fresh from a session volunteering at the local arts centre on her day off from a demanding, public-facing, role. ‘I started out with PenPIG (PenCLAHRC’s Patient Involvement Group) two years ago. I went to meetings, heard things and had no idea what was going on. I was confident in my voice, in my experience, but I wasn’t confident in asking questions’. Invited...

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National Lottery Community Fund boost to Exeter health research

Posted on March 25th 2019
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Healthy Parent Craers logo in green and blue

The health and wellbeing of parent carers is often overlooked. But now, with a funding boost of nearly £40,000 from the National Lottery Community Fund, a peer-led support programme for parents of disabled children in communities across the southwest is set to be further extended.

The Healthy Parent Carers programme for parent carers of disabled children (aged up to 25 years) provides information about small steps that can be taken every day to improve health and wellbeing using the acronym CLANGERS (Connect, Learn, be Active, Notice, Give, Eat well, Relax and Sleep). Parents are invited to take part in NHS-funded research, led by...

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Persistent sore throat could be larynx cancer warning

Posted on March 18th 2019
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 Persistent sore throat could be larynx cancer warning

A study of more than 800 patients diagnosed with cancer of the larynx has found more than a five per cent risk of cancer from a persistent sore throat when combined with other apparently low-level symptoms. Led by the University of Exeter and co-authored by Professor Willie Hamilton, of the University of Exeter Medical School, the study suggests that GPs should consider larynx cancer when patients report a persistent sore throat when combined with shortness of breath, problems swallowing or earache.

Professor Hamilton says “This research matters – when NICE guidance for cancer investigation was published there was no evidence from...

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Child anxiety could be factor in school absences, research concludes

Posted on February 28th 2019
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Child anxiety could be factor in school absences, research concludes

New Exeter Medical School research, supported by PenCLAHRC and the Wellcome Trust, has found a link between school absence and anxiety. The comprehensive, international review of data -  the first of its kind - took place over an 18 month period and drew on the collaboration of a broad team of researchers, from medical students to statisticians, child psychiatrists to evidence synthesists. The team performed an exhaustive systematic review to investigate the relationship between anxiety and poor school attendance, including excused and unexcused absence. The second paper to be published from this research, it suggests that children with anxiety miss...

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Partner in focus – Livewell Southwest

Posted on February 22nd 2019
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Partner in focus – Livewell Southwest

As a partnership of NHS Trusts across Cornwall, Devon and Somerset, plus the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, PenCLAHRC work with healthcare professionals, policymakers and the public to identify areas of research that reflect the real needs and concerns of the health service in the South West. 

To illustrate how this works in practice, we’ve highlighted some work carried out in collaboration with Livewell South West.

Livewell South West is a recognised provider of integrated health and social care services operating across Devon and parts of Cornwall and prides itself on being forward-thinking when it comes to providing care. Our Operational...

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Home-based cardiac rehabilitation for heart failure improves quality of life

Posted on February 11th 2019
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Home-based cardiac rehabilitation for heart failure improves quality of life

Despite the proven effectiveness of cardiac rehabilitation programmes in reducing readmissions and risk of death from heart disease, attendance varies widely across the UK and is generally poor. An NIHR-funded trial involving researchers from PenCLAHRC has found that home-based rehabilitation for people with heart failure improves quality of life at 12 months compared with usual care.

216 people with heart failure, predominantly men with an average age of 70, were recruited from primary and secondary care in the UK, for a home-based programme. The programme, facilitated by a trained cardiac nurse or physiotherapist and developed from health behaviour change theory, was co-developed...

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Stroke patients to be admitted to hospitals with 24/7 specialist stroke care

Posted on January 24th 2019
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Stroke patients to be admitted to hospitals with 24/7 specialist stroke care

Stroke is a very serious medical emergency and expert care needs to be rapidly accessed in order to guarantee the best outcome for the patient. To ensure this, specialist health centres are necessary to manage patient flow 24/7, and research conducted by PenCLAHRC’s Health Services Modelling team has identified the optimal number and locations for stroke services such as thrombolysis and thrombectomy, across England.

As a direct result of operational research carried out by PenCLAHRC's PenCHORD team, the NHS Long Term Plan published in January 2019 has proposed that stroke services may be restructured over the next five years, with sustainability and transformation programmes and integrated care systems reconfiguring stroke services...

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