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PenCLAHRC dementia research makes the news

Posted on May 23rd 2017
in PenCLAHRC people

PenCLAHRC dementia research makes the news

A PenCLAHRC project showing that eating a Mediterranean diet may help reduce the risk of dementia has been reported in the Western Morning News as part of Dementia Awareness Week.

The systematic review, conducted by Dr Ilianna Lourida and Professor Jo Thompson-Coon of PenCLAHRC's Evidence Synthesis Team, brought together evidence to conclude that a Mediterranean diet could help to protect the ageing brain.

A Mediterranean diet typically consists of high consumption of plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and olive oil, moderate consumption of fish and dairy products, and reduced intake of red meat and processed foods. Moderate alcohol intake, usually wine, during meals is another...

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Raised blood platelet levels 'strong predictor' of cancer

Posted on May 23rd 2017
in PenCLAHRC people, Project update

Raised blood platelet levels 'strong predictor' of cancer

Having a high blood platelet count is a strong predictor of cancer and should be urgently investigated to save lives, according to a large-scale study led by the University of Exeter Medical School and supported by PenCLAHRC.

Around two per cent of people over 40 – up to half a million people in the UK – have a raised blood platelet count, known as thrombocytosis.

Now, a study of 40,000 patient records has found that more than 11% of men and 6% of women over the age of 40 with thrombocytosis, went on to be diagnosed with cancer within a year. This rose...

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University of Exeter Medical School to host one of only three national Evidence Synthesis Centres

Posted on May 22nd 2017
in PenCLAHRC people

University of Exeter Medical School to host one of only three national Evidence Synthesis Centres

A team of systematic review specialists from the University of Exeter Medical School's ESMI group, supported by PenCLAHRC, have been commissioned by the National Institute of Health Research Health Services & Delivery Research programme (NIHR HS&DR) to conduct evidence syntheses on the organisation and delivery of healthcare.

The work will involve appraising and synthesising research and other evidence relating to the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and patient experience of healthcare, and the implementation of models and initiatives for improving the delivery of healthcare and NHS organisation.

This contract to support the HS&DR programme is worth half a million pounds over three years, and means...

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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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