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Which treatments work best for children and adolescents with recurrent abdominal pain?

Posted on May 2nd 2018
in Project update

Which treatments work best for children and adolescents  with recurrent abdominal pain?

Recurrent abdominal pain (RAP) is common among children, with up to 25% of children with RAP experiencing pain that interferes with their daily life. It is a diagnosis which is given once all other serious conditions have been ruled out, and is classified as pain that has no other identifiable cause. RAP is also associated with other symptoms including headaches, limb pain, and vomiting, and can lead to school absences, hospital admissions, and a higher chance of appendix removal.

The cause of RAP is unclear, and parents have often tried everything they can think of before taking their child to the...

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Improving health care pathways for patients with chronic conditions

Posted on April 5th 2018
in Project update

Improving health care pathways for patients with chronic conditions

PenCLAHRC Senior Research Fellow, Dr Helen Lloyd, has spoken to the BBC about the impacts of a new health care system on GP services in south Somerset.

Rising patient numbers, and the number of patients with multiple chronic health needs, places significant pressure on existing healthcare resources.

The Taunton Deane Symphony Service aims to develop more efficient ways of providing care for people with multiple long-term conditions who frequently visit their GP. It considers what individuals would like to happen with regards to their future care, and works with patients to develop care packages to help health providers better meet those...

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Partner in Focus - Devon Partnership NHS Trust

Posted on March 29th 2018
in PenCLAHRC people

Partner in Focus - Devon Partnership NHS 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.

Devon Partnership NHS Trust (DPT) provide a wide range of NHS services to people with mental health and learning disability needs in Devon, the wider South West region, and nationally. PenCLAHRC have collaborated with the Trust on a number of projects with the aim to advance the delivery of high quality services.

Commenting on...

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Does brain function really decline after hip and knee surgery?

Posted on March 28th 2018
in Project update

Does brain function really decline after hip and knee surgery?

A new study due to launch in the South West aims to explore if brain function declines after hip and knee replacement surgery. The study, called CoMPASS, will begin in the summer and aims to recruit 300 patients from across Plymouth and Exeter.

About 3,000 hip and knee replacements are done every year in the South West. Post-operative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) - a delirium-like complication of major surgery in older people - is common, whether patients have a general anaesthetic or spinal anaesthetic for their surgical procedure. However, it is not known what causes the change (such as the operation itself,...

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2018 HSMA Programme Update

Posted on March 28th 2018
in Project update

2018 HSMA Programme Update

Phase 1 of the 2018 Health Service Modelling Associates (HSMA) Programme has now been completed and Phase 2 has just launched.

The HSMA Programme is a joint initiative by PenCLAHRC and the South West Academic Health Science Network (SW AHSN), run by PenCLAHRC’s Operational Research team, PenCHORD. Working directly with staff from NHS organisations across the South West, the programme aims to support the increased use of Operational Research (OR) within health service development and decision making, and to work towards a culture where OR methods are routinely used within the NHS.

Following the highly successful HSMA pilot in 2016, a second round...

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Can singing help overcome impact of strokes?

Posted on March 12th 2018
in Project update

Can singing help overcome impact of strokes?

People with a communication disorder commonly associated with stroke are being invited to take part in a trial on whether singing groups can benefit them. 

Aphasia is a speech and language disorder caused by damage to the brain. It is thought that around one in three people who have had a stroke experience it to some degree.

People with aphasia can struggle to speak and often make mistakes with the words they use, sometimes using the wrong sounds or putting words together incorrectly. They can also experience difficulty reading and writing.

Researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School are now seeking...

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Plymouth researchers are recruiting local smokers to major national study looking at reducing cigarette consumption

Posted on March 5th 2018
in Project update

Plymouth researchers are recruiting local smokers to major national study looking at reducing cigarette consumption

A £1.8m study funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is looking for hundreds of Plymouth smokers who don’t want to quit, but do want to reduce the number of cigarettes they smoke. Researchers from Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry (PUPSMD) will lead the study to test whether personal support can help.

Professor Adrian Taylor, Associate Dean for Research in PUPSMD, is leading the study across four cities – Plymouth, Nottingham, Oxford and London - which will hopefully provide a definitive answer to whether future services should be adapted to support those not ready to quit.

“We...

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Investigating the association between chronic heavy drinking and dementia

Posted on February 22nd 2018
in PenCLAHRC people

Investigating the association between chronic heavy drinking and dementia

PenCLAHRC researcher, Dr Iain Lang, has commented on a new study published in The Lancet Public Health, which provides evidence to suggest that people who drink excessively are putting themselves at serious risk of vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Lead by Michaël Schwarzinger, MD, the study used the French National Hospital Discharge database to examine over a million people diagnosed with dementia between 2008 and 2013. More than a third – 38% of the 57,000 cases of early-onset dementia – were found to be directly alcohol-related and 18% had an additional diagnosis of alcohol use disorders. Alcohol use disorders were concluded...

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Partner In Focus - South West Academic Health Science Network

Posted on January 17th 2018
in Project update

AHSN logo

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 South West Academic Science Network (SW AHSN).

We have been working with the SW AHSN since its inception in 2014, commencing our partnership with the launch of three collaborative research projects which focused on the areas...

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Members of PenCHORD team makes switch to Open Source working

Posted on December 15th 2017
in PenCLAHRC people

Computer code

Members of PenCLAHRC's operational research team, PenCHORD, have been working towards transferring their work to Free Open Source Software (FOSS). Dr Mike Allen, Senior Modeller with PenCHORD, and Operational Researcher Kerry Pearn, have successfully made the switch to FOSS, which means everything they are doing is now free of any license or intellectual property (IP) considerations, and they can share their work freely for others to use.

With FOSS, anyone is freely licensed to use, copy, study and change the software in any way, and the source code is openly shared so that people are encouraged to voluntarily improve the design of the software. This is in contrast to proprietary software, where the software is under restrictive copyright and the source code...

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