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.”

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.

Asthma Board game a hit

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 –

“We don’t do dementia” identifying barriers to help-seeking for memory problems among Black African and Caribbean British communities.

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.

Seminar on the role of boards in quality improvement brings together NHS leaders and board members

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.

You can view Professor Chambers’ presentation here

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

View Professor Fulop’s presentation here

Dr James Mountford, Director of Quality and Capability at UCLPartners facilitated table discussions at the event

Our thanks to our chair, speakers, facilitators and all those who took the time to attend.

 

Watch a short film about the event