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 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 event. Our public/patient contributors came from 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.
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.”
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 Evaluationcourse 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.
Our school asthma project is working with parents teachers and pupils from schools across to improve the ways in which schools can support young people with asthma.
The CLAHRC is working with young people to develop a suite of resources to encourage open discussion of the condition and improve understanding among peers.
This includes a school-based self-management intervention consisting of educational board and computer game which improves knowledge of triggers and inhalers, as well as encouraging discussion of asthma between pupils .
Our asthma board game (below) has gone down well with young people
As well as we have taken the game on tour at various events and open days where it has proved a hit –
CLAHRC researchers have heard first-hand perceptions and beliefs among Black adults that prevent them from approaching their GP when they have concerns about memory problems – an early indicator of dementia.
Focus groups and interviews revealed five main beliefs and perceptions preventing people’s seeking help for dementia:
• Forgetfulness is not indicative of dementia
• Dementia is not an illness affecting Black communities
• Memory problems are not important enough to seek medical help
• Fear of lifestyle changes
• Confidentiality, privacy and family duty
The study comprised semi-structured focus – groups and interviews, recruiting 50 participants across a range of age groups and socioeconomic backgrounds.
NIHR CLAHRC North Thames welcomed over 40 leaders and board members from our partner organisations and beyond for a seminar focusing on the Role of Boards in Quality Improvement.
We welcomed Tim Melville-Ross CBE, Chair, Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust who chaired the event , drawing on his long experience on boards in both the private and public sectors.
Our keynote speaker was Professor Naomi Chambers, Professor of Healthcare Management of Alliance Manchester Business School who drew on her extensive research on different Board models across sectors and geographies to set out the characteristics of effective board working for quality improvement in health care.
Professor Naomi Fulop, Professor of Health Care Organisation and Management at University College London and Principal Investigator of our iQUASER project hosted the event and presented some early findings of note from the project
As part of our engagement with the public Dr Linda Pomeroy presented the CLAHRC’s iQUASER study at a recent Bart’s Health research evening.
The event gave us a chance to showcase the project which is evaluating the impact of implementing QUASER – a Board-level intervention NHS Trust leaders can use to diagnoses the strengths and weaknesses in their approach to delivering quality improvement.
Linda discussed the importance of NHS Boards setting the direction for Trusts and leading on efforts to improve quality and safety, and how this impacts patient care at ward level.
Our thanks to Bart’s Health for giving us the chance to present our work.
The Innovations to improve pathway for people with COPD project is evaluating what works to better manage this respiratory condition. The team are measuring whether a variety of interventions will make GPs’ management of patients with the condition more effective and efficient in the long-term.
As part of our engagement with patients the project’s Senior Research Associate and Research Associate visited Havering Breathe Easy Group. The Breathe Easy network provides support and information for people living with a lung condition, and those looking after them.
As well as getting insight on living with COPD and variations in service patients’ can experience, researchers wanted to get a feel for what aspects of GP care were most important to patients’ health and quality of life.
We asked patients to identify what they thought were the most important interventions general practices provided to support COPD sufferers.
Our choices were based on a list of activities that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) – the independent organisation which decides which drugs and treatments are available on the NHS in England and Wales – has recommended should be delivered as part of COPD care from general practice.
What GP service patients valued most
What GP services patients valued least
Annual reviews with their GP
Smoking cessation advice
Pulmonary rehab (exercise and education and to manage their condition)
Spirometry Testing/Diagnosis (to diagnose a condition and monitor lung function)
Rescue Packs (of emergency medicines)
Self-management of care
How this will help our research
If we need to decide what weight we give to different outcomes, patients’ views of their relative importance could be one factor we consider.
Whether the measures we are using in our research are the ones patients consider most important
Patients’ views will provide useful pointers and questions for interviews with general practice staff that are part of our research
NIHR CLAHRC North Thames conducts ground-breaking research that directly impacts the health of patients with long term conditions and the health of the public.