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Groundbreaking role for operational research in NHS decision-making

Posted on February 12th 2020
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Groundbreaking role for operational research in NHS decision-making

A pioneering collaboration between PenARC and University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust (UHP) has led to the establishment of a new post at UHP using operational research to support the Trust’s decision-making processes – the first of its kind in the South West.

Operational Research (OR) uses innovative modelling techniques and data science to help healthcare providers like UHP predict how changes to services will affect patients and staff. Using modelling to simulate real-life situations can help decision-makers see how services might be improved.

In the newly-created role of Principal Information Analyst, Simon Philpott will hold responsibility for the strategic direction of modelling...

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Celebrating ten years of Patient and Public Involvement in research

Posted on February 10th 2020
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Celebrating ten years of Patient and Public Involvement in research

(L to R: Tanya Hynd, Dr Kristin Liabo, Professor Nicky Britten, Kate Boddy, Dr Emma Cockroft)

As January drew to a close our Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) team were in celebratory mood as they, together with PenARC’s Patient Involvement Group (PenPIG), invited patients, carers, members of the public and researchers to come together to look back over ten years of working together and to talk about their hopes for involvement as PenARC begins a new, five year research cycle.

Before attendees could pin a wish on the Tree of Involvement, help to build a Lego Ark from the colourful pile of...

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Research excellence reflected in awards shortlist

Posted on January 28th 2020
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Research excellence reflected in awards shortlist

PenARC are celebrating the news that a number of our people and projects have been shortlisted in the South West Research Awards 2020. The awards, a new, region-wide initiative by the NIHR Clinical Research Network South West Peninsula, celebrate innovation and excellence and the achievements of outstanding individuals and teams involved in health and social care research across Cornwall, Devon and Somerset.

PenARC’s Patient and Public Involvement Team have been shortlisted for a Public Engagement Award to recognise excellence in promoting the interests of patients and public in research delivery. Our Parent-to-Parent Support Interventions for Parents of Babies Cared for in...

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Getting to know you: The Evidence Synthesis Team at Ten

Posted on January 20th 2020
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Getting to know you: The Evidence Synthesis Team at Ten

(Photo shows: Dr Rebecca Abbot, Dr Noreen Orr, Alison Bethel, Morwenna Rogers, Prof Jo Thompson-Coon, Harriet Hunt, Rebecca Whear)

The close of 2019 saw a very special anniversary – ten years of evidence synthesis at PenARC. Evidence synthesis is a way of bringing together and summarising all of the research on a particular topic or question. Our Evidence Synthesis Team work closely with those who will eventually use their findings to help inform evidence-based practice and develop capacity in this skilled area across the south west.

We decided to celebrate the team’s birthday with a special feature to find out who they are,...

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Pioneering scheme to support evidence-based policing launches

Posted on January 8th 2020
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Pioneering scheme to support evidence-based policing launches

Following on from the success of previous training programmes, our operational research team, PenCHORD, are launching the first ever Police Service Modelling Associates Programme (PSMA). The scheme, which launches on January 28th, will see associates, recruited from Devon & Cornwall Police staff, the College of Policing and other regional forces, receive mentoring and training to support them to undertake projects which will lead to real impact and embed evidence-based decision making and operational research skills within the service.

The 9 month PSMA programme, which is primarily a mentoring programme, will continue the same structure of the enormously successful Health Services Modelling Associates Programme...

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PenARC researcher wins prestigious £200,000 Fellowship

Posted on December 17th 2019
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PenARC researcher wins prestigious £200,000 Fellowship

A healthcare researcher has secured a prestigious Post-Doctoral fellowship after a highly competitive selection process. The award, of £200,000, will fund and support a three-year project to help improve decision-making in health and social care in the South West before being rolled out nationally.

Dr Sean Manzi, a healthcare researcher from the University of Exeter, was granted the funding from The Healthcare Improvement Studies (THIS) Institute. Through the fellowship programme, THIS Institute is boosting research activity to provide more clarity on what works in improving healthcare, what doesn’t, and why. 

Dr Manzi, who works with PenCHORD, the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration South...

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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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Domestic violence and abuse: how NIHR research is helping families in the South West

Posted on October 3rd 2019
in Project update

Domestic violence and abuse: how NIHR research is helping families in the South West

Domestic violence and abuse is devastating and impacts the whole family, not just the person who is the focus of the abuse. But children can often be hidden victims or fail to get appropriate support. Research shows that only half of children affected by domestic violence and abuse are known to social services and only 42 per cent receive support from a specialist abuse service. The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) in the South West is driving forward ground-breaking research to understand the experiences and needs of children affected by domestic violence and abuse and looking at innovative ways...

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