A research trial with a difference

CLAHRC Researcher Professor Jonathan Grigg has been part of the ever largest study of the effects of a biomass-fuelled cookstove intervention on health outcomes. The intervention comprising two biomass-fuelled cookstoves, a solar charger, repair and maintenance service, and user training.

Many people in low- and middle-income countries do not have access to reliable energy sources such as electricity and therefore till cook and heat their homes using solid fuels (i.e. wood, crop wastes, charcoal, coal and dung). Around 3 billion people are obliged to use such inefficient cooking fuels and technologies which produce high levels of household air pollution with a range of health-damaging pollutants, including small soot particles that penetrate deep into the lungs.

Professor Grigg, Leader of our Child Health research Theme, was part of a team investigating whether replacing open fires with cleaner burning biomass-fuelled cookstoves would reduce pneumonia incidence in young children.

The results, published in the Lancet found no evidence that an intervention comprising cleaner burning biomass-fuelled cookstoves reduced the risk of pneumonia in young children in rural Malawi. Researchers called for effective strategies to reduce the adverse health effects of household air pollution.

 

The World Health organisation (WHO) estimates exposure to air pollution from cooking with solid fuels is associated with over 4 million premature deaths worldwide every year including half a million children under the age of 5 years from pneumonia.
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs292/en/

Read the full paper:

A cleaner burning biomass-fuelled cookstove intervention to prevent pneumonia in children under 5 years old in rural Malawi (the Cooking and Pneumonia Study): a cluster randomised controlled trial

Dr Kevin Mortimer, PhD’Correspondence information about the author Dr Kevin MortimerEmail the author Dr Kevin Mortimer, Chifundo B Ndamala, Dip, Andrew W Naunje, Jullita Malava, MPH, Cynthia Katundu, Dip, William Weston, MBChB, Deborah Havens, DO, Daniel Pope, PhD, Prof Nigel G Bruce, PhD, Prof Moffat Nyirenda, PhD, Prof Duolao Wang, PhD, Amelia Crampin, MPH, Prof Jonathan Grigg, MD, Prof John Balmes, MD, Prof Stephen B Gordon, MD

Published: 06 December 2016

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(16)32507-7

Lancet Volume 389, No. 10065, p167–175, 14 January 2017

Making the Jump….to improved asthma management

Our Asthma Schools project is investigating asthma control among young people in schools and developing interventions to help them manage the condition better.

The project worked with Greenwich and Lewisham Young People’s Theatre (GLYPT) to produce a short film – Behind the Jump – about the importance of asthma awareness among young people. It carries an important message for all young people living with the condition.

The film was shot at the LEAP Parkour Park in Westminster, London.

 

How to guide to establish NHS youth forums

Children and young people are a key population for everyone working in the NHS and Public Health. Involving them in commissioning and designing services makes for more appropriate care that’s more likely to be taken up by those who need it

Our ground-breaking diabetes project worked with young people impacted by the condition in east London – we trained young co-inquirers in research skills so they could run community engagement events and analyse feedback on how to improve local diabetes services.

Our work was integral in shaping new NHS “how to” guidance to help commissioners and providers think through and develop youth forums to support person-centred commissioning of children and young people in health and care services.

The ‘how to guide’ is a recipient of the NHS England’s Celebrating Participation in Healthcare grant award scheme and has been authored by the University of East London (UEL)

Spreading the word about involving patients, carers and the public in research

A recent conference gave our Patient and Public Involvement Officer Steven Towndrow, joined by one of patient/public contributors Sudhir the chance to spread the word about involving patients and the public in research.

Sudhir (left) and Steven spread the word

We were invited to deliver a workshop on Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPI/E) by the Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Research at University College London Hospitals Trust (UCLH) during their annual Research in Clinical Practice conference.

Sudhir and Steven delivered the seminar to an audience of nurses, midwives and Allied Health Professionals during the event which aims to involve more of these staff groups in leading NHS research.

Sudhir drew on his extensive experience of working with researchers to design and deliver projects, offering some top tips for successful involvement.

“Thank you so much for supporting our conference last week – both the workshop and exhibiting. Both were certainly popular and we’ve had really good feedback”
Professor Lesley Baillie – CNMR Director

Our thanks to the CNMR for the invite!

NEON project makes the news

Our innovative Nurture Early for Optimal Nutrition (NEON) project has made the headlines..in India!. The project is exploring whether a South Asian model proven to promote healthy nutrition in children can “travel” successfully to the UK and help children of Bangladeshi origin in East London.Professor Monica Lakhanpaul is leading the project and spoke to The Goan newspaper about the bi-directional exchange of knowledge that is making a difference in one of London’s less advantaged communities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

iQUASER workshop for NHS Trust Boards

Helping NHS Trusts develop their quality strategies

Quality and quality improvement are now recognised as imperative for all NHS organisations in England. A recent workshop brought together leaders of six NHS Trusts to develop their organisation-wide quality improvement strategies.

QUASER (Quality and Safety in European Union Hospitals) is a research-based tool senior hospital leadership teams can use to identify the strengths and possible weaknesses in their organisation’s quality and safety improvement efforts, and what they need to do to improve. The QUASER Guide was the result of a three year project in 5 European countries which studied organisational and cultural factors influencing quality improvement (QI). The intervention provides suggested strategies for how Trusts could be organised better in order to deliver high quality and safe services.

Implementing QUASER in the UK 

The QUASER intervention is being implemented in the UK by one of NIHR CLAHRC North Thames’ industry partners, the Foresight Centre for Governance within GE Healthcare Finnamore. Foresight works with public services to develop and improve leadership and Board-level effectiveness. It is helping Boards in six NHS Trusts develop their organisation-wide QI strategies through QUASER.

Evaluating the intervention

In parallel to this work the CLAHRC is conducting an evaluation of this intervention to assess and understand its impact within the six Trusts taking part. As one of the projects under our Innovations in systems and models of health and health care research theme researchers will use quantitative and qualitative methods to examine the total costs & benefits of the different interventions.

The iQUASER Workshop

A workshop in early November was run by the Foresight Centre and offered the chance for the six participating Trust Boards to develop their organisation-wide quality improvement strategies. The one-day workshop brought together all participating NHS trusts. 23 board level executives and non-executives came together with the overriding aim to develop a collective understanding of the QUASER Guide, learn about the evidence which underpins it and develop a clear sense of the elements of an effective quality improvement strategy.

Prior to the event, senior leaders from the Trusts received analysis of their current QI strategic position, having completed the QUASER guide self-assessment tool. Trusts were able to review, reflect and discuss their results both in terms of areas of strength and those that may require further focus.

In the afternoon the board level executives convened to participate in the first of three ‘action learning sets’ aimed at creating a supportive environment for participating organisations to draw on their collective experience and wisdom of those present.

Next steps – By the close of the day the participants arrived at specific goals or commitments to take their quality improvement strategies and interventions forward. The group will reconvene for the second of three action learning sets in January.

Background to the iQUASER project  – the quality improvement agenda in the NHS

The Francis Report reinforced the need for effective quality improvement strategies within NHS Trusts. All NHS organisation in England are being mandated to provide care that is clinically effective, safe and provides as positive an experience for patients as possible. Successful improvement programmes are vital for achieving this so this programme is particularly timely.

For more information about the QUASER project and the Guide see: The QUASER project

CLAHRC widens access to training by switching learning online

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

How can training in research methods for front line NHS and public health staff be made more accessible and convenient? How do you translate a face-to-face course to an online learning resource?

Dr Helen Barratt (Deputy Director of the CLAHRC Academy) shared her experience of taking a successful face-to-face course and transforming it fully online and this work has been featured in a case study by the UCL Life Learning team entitled Translating a face-to-face course online

Our North Thames geography, plus work and time pressures faced by staff on the front-line of health and health care meant that not everyone interested in our popular Introduction to Evaluation course could access our regular programme held in Central London.

In the case study Dr Barratt discusses the unique challenges of preparing and delivering online learning using digital platforms and educational tools, and provides handy tips for educators approaching similar work.

CLAHRC showcase a success

November saw the CLAHRC hold its biggest engagement event so far with a major research showcase event at Hamilton House in central London. We invited our partners from across the NHS, local government and the voluntary sector, offering them the chance to meet researchers and find out more about what we do in a relaxed informal setting.

Over sixty external visitors from across our partnership joined CLAHRC researchers, staff and patient/public contributors across the day-long event, split into morning and afternoon sessions to give visitors more chance to come along before and after work.

The Showcase in full swing

The exhibition style event allowed visitors to view over fifty posters for all CLAHRC research studies and PhD projects.

We invited six PPI/E ambassadors to help us run the vent. Our public/patient contributors came form the CLAHRC’s Research Advisory Panel and individual CLAHRC projects and spoke to visitors about their involvement in our work.

It was also a chance for our partners to let us know the big issues they were facing in front-line NHS and public health care as well as offer their views on what CLAHRC research priorities should be. Our Research Partnership Team was on hand to talk to visitors about potential future research collaborations.

Our thanks to all who came along.

New funding success

Professor Lakhanpaul (pictured above third from left) is one of three international collaborations based at UCL to receive Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) awards, in recognition of research partnerships improving health in low and middle income countries.

Professor Lakhanpaul is Deputy Lead for our Child Health research theme, and leads our NEON study – a participatory female health volunteer led intervention to promote healthy nutrition in children of Bangladeshi origin in East London.

The Professor specialises in integrated community child health and is an international expert in the creation and implementation of guidelines in healthcare, with a track-record of co-production with communities to develop tailored health interventions. She combines this with work as practising consultant community paediatrician at Whittington Health.

The innovative partnerships arising from the GCRF awards will focus on optimising infant feeding practices in rural India, using technology to support HIV prevention in South Africa, and shaping future policies for the control of non-communicable diseases around the world.

Professor Lakhanpaul will work with Professor Marie Lall (UCL Institute of Education and Pro-Vice-Provost South Asia) and Dr Priti Parikh (UCL Department of Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering) to develop an integrated health, education and environmental intervention to optimise infant feeding practices through schools and Anganwadi networks in India.

Professor Lakhanpaul said: “We are delighted to be receiving the award to support our research, which builds on the work I have been leading in the UK with the CLAHRC in Tower Hamlets.”