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DE-STRESS Project shortlisted for MIND Media Award

Posted on November 12th 2019
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DE-STRESS Project shortlisted for MIND Media Award

DE-STRESS Project shortlisted for Mind Media Award

A series of items about antidepressant use on Radio 4s PM programme featuring a collaborative project between the universities of Exeter and Plymouth (funded by Economic and Social Research Council and supported by PenARC), has been shortlisted for an award at the Mind Mental Health awards. Held annually, the awards recognise and celebrate the best possible representations of mental health across TV, radio, print and online media.

Nominated in the radio category, the series, Antidepressant Withdrawal, features the work of the DE-STRESS project. The series came about after an initial report by Sarah Vine generated a huge response from...

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£2.2 million collaboration to enhance quality of life in care homes

Posted on November 5th 2019
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£2.2 million collaboration to enhance quality of life in care homes

PenARC and the University of Exeter are collaborating with universities and charities across the UK in a £2.2 million project. The project aims to improve how researchers and health and social care services use data to improve the care and quality of life for care home residents, families and staff.

The four-year National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded study, led by the University of Hertfordshire, will address the need to develop robust systems to support how different services and individuals (e.g. care staff, NHS professionals, family, regulators, social services) work together for residents’ benefit.

‘Developing research resources and minimum data set...

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Social prescribing – who does it work for and why?

Posted on October 10th 2019
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 Social prescribing – who does it work for and why?

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...

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Goodbye PenCLAHRC, Hello PenARC: The next episode of health research in the South West

Posted on October 1st 2019
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Goodbye PenCLAHRC, Hello PenARC: The next episode of health research in the South West

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,...

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Research shows parental involvement plays key role in children's academic attainment

Posted on September 18th 2019
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Research shows parental involvement plays key role in children's academic attainment

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...

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Management Board Chair appointed at start of new era of Health Research in the Southwest

Posted on August 28th 2019
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Management Board Chair appointed at start of new era of Health Research in the Southwest

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...

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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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