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Professor Ken Stein showcases PenCLAHRC's stroke care projects

Posted on May 18th 2017
in PenCLAHRC people, Project update

Professor Ken Stein showcases PenCLAHRC's stroke care projects

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.

Ken writes: 

"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...

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Grant to improve analytics and operational research in health care

Posted on May 12th 2017
in PenCLAHRC people, Research Funding

Grant to improve analytics and operational research in health care

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...

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Partner in Focus - The Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

Posted on May 5th 2017
in Project update

Partner in Focus - The Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

As a partnership of NHS Trusts across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, plus the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, we aim to 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. 

Highlighting how this works in practice, we’ve brought together some of the work carried out with the Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust (RD&E).

The RD&E has been our host organisation since 2014 but since our inception in 2008, we have worked together on projects that have resulted in real...

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First clinical trial by PenCLAHRC-supported anaesthetists' network

Posted on May 4th 2017
in PenCLAHRC people, Training

First clinical trial by PenCLAHRC-supported anaesthetists' network

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...

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Film supports young children with parents with Parkinson's disease

Posted on May 4th 2017
in Project update

Film supports young children with parents with Parkinson's disease

The Peninsula Parkinson’s Excellence Network (PenPEN), supported by PenCLAHRC, have worked with Parkinson’s UK, Parkinson’s experts and researchers at Plymouth University to produce the first information resource for teachers and professionals who interact with young children whose parents are affected by Parkinson’s disease.

The resource, consisting of a film and accompanying text with links for useful information, aims to explain how teachers and other professionals can help children in this situation and can be accessed for free online.

Leading the project from Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry is Dr Camille Carroll, an academic neurologist who specialises in Parkinson’s and is supported...

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Dr Nick Axford appointed as Associate Professor

Posted on April 21st 2017
in PenCLAHRC people

Dr Nick Axford appointed as Associate Professor

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...

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Want to stay mentally healthy in older age? Stimulate your brain in early life

Posted on April 20th 2017
in PenCLAHRC people

Want to stay mentally healthy in older age? Stimulate your brain in early life

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...

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Job Opportunity - Trial Manager

Posted on April 10th 2017
in Job opportunity

Job Opportunity - Trial Manager

The University of Exeter Medical School is seeking a Trial Manager to take a lead role in implementing the South West hub of an NIHR HTA funded trial.

The trial aims to evaluate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of a home-based exercise intervention as extended rehabilitation for frail older people after acute illness or injury (HERO). Building on successful previous work, a multi-site individually randomised controlled trial with internal pilot and embedded process evaluation is planned.

The Trial Manager will oversee the start-up and management of participating centres in the South West, working alongside Dr Vicki Goodwin (South West hub lead), the training team...

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Funding for toolkit to help care home residents enjoy nature

Posted on April 5th 2017
in Research Funding

Funding for toolkit to help care home residents enjoy nature

A team of PenCLAHRC researchers have been awarded Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funding to develop a training toolkit that helps care home staff improve residents’ access to nature.

Research has shown that older people, including those living with dementia, can derive wellbeing benefits from sensory experiences of nature. The ESRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) grant aims to enhance quality of life in care homes by creating ‘My Nature: a training toolkit’ for staff in the residential/nursing care sector.

At present there are a number of barriers preventing care home residents from accessing nature. As well as many residents experiencing sensory...

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Researchers and NHS staff celebrate working together to tackle pressing health service issues

Posted on March 31st 2017
in Events, PenCLAHRC people, Training

Researchers and NHS staff celebrate working together to tackle pressing health service issues

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,...

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