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In a time when people are living longer, but with more complex healthcare needs, GPs are increasingly using social prescribing to help manage conditions.
The practice involves prescribing non-medical, community or social activities via a link worker – and the current UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, has stated that social prescribing is a priority and will be available in every GP practice by 2024.
But researchers agree there is not enough evidence on what works, for whom and why. Now a new study by the Universities of Plymouth and Exeter has started to shed light on...Read more
Today marks the start of a new era of health research in the South West as PenCLAHRC relaunches as a NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC). But what exactly is an ARC?
The ARC programme is a NIHR-funded network of research collaborations across England established in order to support applied health and care research, and to respond to and meet the needs of local populations and health care providers. The funding is part of a £135 million investment in health research aimed at tackling the biggest challenges the health and care system faces over the next five years.
The successor to the CLAHRC programme,...Read more
New research has shown how parental engagement has a positive effect on a child’s academic attainment regardless of age or socio-economic status.
The study, commissioned by the Education Endowment Foundation and supported by PenCLAHRC, was conducted by the Universities of Plymouth and Exeter and highlights areas of promise for how schools and early years settings can support parents to improve their children’s learning.
The report showed that for school-aged children, home-school partnership is hugely important – especially where schools personalise communications about a child’s progress and make them accessible, for example, through text messages.
The study also highlighted how family literacy interventions can help to boost younger...Read more
Dr Barbara Vann has been appointed chair of the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) South West Peninsula (also known as PenARC) Management Board. A University of Exeter Honorary Graduate, Dr Vann will take up the role at the launch of PenARC in October 2019 when the current CLAHRC round draws to a close.
PenCLAHRC director, Professor Stuart Logan said: ‘We are enormously pleased that Dr Vann has agreed to take on the role of chairperson of the PenARC Management Board as we embark on our next, exciting iteration as an ARC. We look forward to working with her and extend a...Read more
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...Read more
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...Read more
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...Read more
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...Read more
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...Read more
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...Read more