News in the Centre for Health and Clinical Research


Centre launches new research theme 2017

CHCR launched it’s new research theme at it’s recent summer seminar.

The new theme, Knowledge Mobilisation will be lead by Professor Nicola Walsh and details on the new theme were outlined in a Knowledge Mobilisation presentation.

External collaborators to the centre and centre members Dr Jo Hartland, R&D Programme Manager, APCRC, presented R&D Strategy for 2017-2020 and Dr Peter Brindle, UWE Visiting Professor, R&D Programme Director for APCRC, presented "More impactful research, better evidenced services"

UWE Bristol project to reduce injuries in Nepal

Research being led by Dr Julie Mytton will see a new UWE project looking at how to reduce injuries in Nepal as part of £120m funding from the NIHR.  As part of this project UWE Bristol will establish an Injury Research Centre in Nepal

Quality measurement in community nursing – NIHR-funded study completed

The quality of nursing care being delivered in patients’ homes has never been more important, not only for patients and their families but for the NHS. Dr Sue Horrocks (CI) and Dr Kathy Pollard (PM) from Department of Nursing and Midwifery have led an NIHR funded project (£580,000) to investigate how the quality of community nursing is measured in practice, in collaboration with the Universities of Bristol, Manchester and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Commissioners, community nursing service managers, frontline staff, patients and carers in five case sites across England participated in the study and findings were validated in workshops with other stakeholders across the country. Current quality measures for community nursing services, while comparatively useful for accountability and patient safety purposes are not thought to be as useful for assessing service effectiveness, due to the difficulties in identifying suitable indicators for the community context.

The processes involved in selecting and monitoring payment for performance quality indicators is time consuming and evidence suggests such schemes, while having potential to improve care in one area and, in some cases, be useful for clinicians, may have unintended consequences that are detrimental to service users. Moreover, the professional and service values of frontline staff and patients are not fully represented in the suite of quality indicators currently being used. Further information on the study and its outputs can be found at QuICN website. The project report is currently in press, to be freely available in the NIHR Journals Library in due course.

For further information email 

UWE Bristol Leads Research on GPs in A&E

UWE Bristol will be leading a national evaluation of the role of GPs working in or alongside A&E Departments in England, funded by a grant of £1.1 million from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The research will run for three years from April 2017, and will use a mixture of secondary data analysis and case study methodology to understand how GPs can be deployed in a way that achieves the best outcomes for patients, staff and the wider NHS.

The research is being led by centre member Professor Jonathan Benger from the Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences, supported by Associate Professors Andy Gibson and Sarah Voss, and in collaboration with the Universities of Bristol, York and Newcastle as well as Bristol NHS CCG. Professor Benger said: “Both GPs and A&E Departments are under huge pressure in the urgent care system. In many areas, these two specialties are starting to work together at the ‘front door’ of the hospital. However, we do not know the best way to configure services, or the effect on patients and staff. This research will address these important questions and guide future healthcare policy”.  

Congratulations to centre members

Congratulations to Anne Johnson and Jon Fieldhouse, who have recently successfully completed their Doctorates. Anne successfully completed her PhD, entitled "Exploring the experiences and occupations of men with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS/ME) using a Gadamerian interpretive phenomenological framework". Jon completed his DPhil, entitled Exploring the applicability of participatory action research in community mental health care in the United Kingdom’.

The Effect of Different Feeding Methods and Non-nutritive Sucking Behaviours on Child Speech Development

This project will use data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents And Children (ALSPAC) and NHS clinical caseloads to look at whether there is a relationship between breastfeeding, bottle-feeding, dummy use and a child’s speech development at the age of 5 years. Speech sound disorder (SSD) effects around 48 million children aged 2-5 years in the UK every year, at a cost of around £24 million to the NHS. This work will aim to further inform the current evidence base for risk factors for SSD with a view to supporting early intervention for this type of communication difficulty. 

For further information email .

New appointment in Emergency and Critical Care

Congratulations to Centre member Dr Sarah Voss who has recently been appointed Associate Professor in Emergency and Critical Care.  View Sarah’s staff profile and list of her recent publications.

Centre member secures Doctorate

Congratulations to Dr Rita Phillips who secured her Doctorate in March with a project entitled : The experiences of newly qualified sonographers: a case study.

Bristol Post Health and Care Awards 2016

Members of the centre attended the first Bristol Post Health and Care Awards on 10 March 2016.  The award ceremony held at the Marriott City Centre Hotel, was to honour Bristol’s hardworking and talented health workers.  Centre member Nicky Walsh was nominated in the Rising Star Award category.

View further details of the award ceremony and the winners.

Joint UWE/RNHRD (Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases) research team win most innovative team of the year award

Team members, Alile Turton, Candy McCabe, visiting research fellow Sharon Grieve and Mark Palmer of the Faculty of Environment and Technology (FET) - who represented the wider team, attended the Royal United Hospital (RUH) Research and Development most innovative team of the year award at the Assembly rooms, Bath on 29 January 2016. The  team were delighted to win the award for their work with the Body Perception Tool. 

View further details of the published evaluation.

Speech, Language and communication needs report

Professor Sue Roulstone has been involved in work funded by the Department for Education (DfE) and the report 'Exploring the involvement of children and young people with speech, language and communication needs and their families in decision making- a research project', has now been published by The Communication Trust.

Further information can be read in the full report.

CHCR Conference 2015

The Centre for Health and Clinical Research held it's second Annual Conference, 'Health Research for Impact', at the Holiday Inn, Filton on 9 December 2015. The conference was opened by Deborah Evans, Managing Director of the West of England Academic Health Science Network (WEAHSN). Deborah Evans opening presentation can be viewed below:

A staff and student poster competition was held, and 18 quality research related posters were submitted. Staff and Student Poster winners were:

Ingrid Scudder (staff), ' Young women and health in Bristol' 
Santosh Bhatta (student), 'Environmental change intervention to reduce child injury'.

The conference was a huge success and staff, students, collaborators and local NHS bodies had all attended.

RAFT multi-centre trials sail through recruitment phase

RAFT (Reducing Arthritis Fatigue in clinical Teams)  is a £1.5m, 7-centre, randomised controlled trial comparing a group cognitive behavioural intervention with standard care (information booklet) for the reduction of fatigue impact in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Recruitment recently finished at 333 patients - not only on time but also 11% ahead of target! 

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a lifelong inflammatory condition leading to joint damage and disability. Up to 70% of people with RA experience fatigue most days as severe as RA pain. Many are unable to manage their fatigue and feel this major symptom is ignored by professionals. 

View further details of the RAFT trial.

Centre members invite to Parliamentary Group meeting

Centre member Dr Sally Dowling has been invited to attend the inaugural meeting of the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Infant Feeding and Inequalities at the Houses of Parliament on the 24 November, by Alison Thewliss, MP - Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Cities).

Sally Dowling, along with collaboration from Cardiff and South Wales Universities' were recently awarded a two year ESRC Seminar Series Grant, entitled, 'Social experiences of breastfeeding: building bridges between research and policy'.  

NIHR CLAHRC West Evaluation Research Scoping Project

The National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care West (NIHR CLAHRC West), recently commissioned a project to scope evaluation expertise and skills in evaluation research, for the NIHR CLAHRC West area. The report was prepared by Centre members Professor Pam Moule, Dr Mary Mitchell and Julie Taylor and is available to read on the NIHR website

UWE Bristol research team contributes to new blood and transplant unit

The University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) is collaborating with the University of Bristol (UoB) in the recently announced Blood and Transplant Research Unit (BTRU) that will be based in Bristol. This research unit is one of four nationally, two of which will be based at Cambridge and one each in London and Bristol, funded by the National Institute for Health Research that bring together research at universities with NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT).

The UWE Bristol team is led by sociologist Professor Julie Kent from the Centre for Health and Clinical Research  and Department of Health and Social Sciences.

Read further about the new blood and transplant unit.

NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship successful

Johannes von Vopelius-Feldt has been awarded a highly prestigious Doctoral Research Fellowship by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to undertake a PhD at UWE on the impact of pre-hospital critical care teams on survival following out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). This condition strikes down 60,000 people in the UK annually, often without any warning, and only 10% of victims survive. Johannes will look at the clinical effect of the various components of pre-hospital critical care, alongside cost effectiveness and accompanying qualitative work.

For this award Johannes will return to the Emergency and Critical Care Research Theme ,within the Centre for Health and Clinical Research and under the lead supervision of Professor Jonathan Benger, where he recently completed a successful NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship.

Philosophy ranking in 2016 Guardian League Table

Darian Meacham, member of the  Health Ethics and Society Theme of the Centre has noted the research subject area of Philosophy achieved a great result  in the 2016 Guardian League Table (published  May 2015), ranking fourth overall across all UK universities.

For further results view the 2016 League Table.

One to One study

Professor Pam Moule, Pat Turton and Julie Armoogum were part of a wider team led by Frontline and with Bresmed, evaluating new Macmillan funded roles implemented as part of a national development. The project used a realist Evaluation approach and was conducted across the UK. The report is available to view.

Centre member appointed to first Florence Nightingale Foundation Chair

Centre member,  Professor Candy McCabe, has been appointed to the newly created Florence Nightingale Foundation (FNF) Chair in Clinical Nursing Practice Research, a post created in collaboration with the FNF and the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD) and the NHS Foundation Trust in Bath.

View the full news release.

Evaluation of Baby Buddy App for mobile phones

The evaluation of the Best Beginnings Baby Buddy App, led by Toity Deave in the Centre for Child and Adolescent Health, will start this month and is due to report in November 2016. This project is funded by the Big Lottery and also involves Dr Trudy Goodenough, Professor Adam Joinson, Dr Adam Lukasz at UWE.

Baby Buddy is a free mobile phone app for parents and parents-to-be with personalised content approved by doctors and midwives that spans from pregnancy right through to the first six months after birth.

Centre member publishes in openDemocracy

Dr Darian Meacham , centre member,  in association with Social Science in the City, the Post-Europe Project and openDemocracy were proud to publish on the front page of openDemocracy, 'On Solidarity' by G.M. Tamás as part of a week as editors in partnership with 'Europe the Very Idea'

Research into robotic trousers to help those with impaired mobility

A new research project to develop robotic clothing to help people with walking has been awarded £2 million by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

UWE Bristol Occupational Therapist and CHCR member Ailie Turton, is part of the national team of engineering and healthcare scientists working on Wearable Soft Robotics for Independent Living led by the University of Bristol, with UWE Bristol, and the universities of Nottingham, Leeds, Strathclyde Southampton and Loughborough University.

Further information can be read in the recent press release.

Centre member wins WCPT 2015 Art and Health Competition

Centre member Dr Rob Grieve's entry to the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) 2015 Art and Health competition has won in the overall drawing section. All of the 2015 finalists will appear on the WCPT website nearer the date of forthcoming Congress which will be held in Singapore in May 2015, and also in an exhibition in Singapore.

Children and young people to get more say in their health care

The University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) has been chosen as one of seven new sites to develop Patient Centred Outcome Measures (POCMs) by NHS England. The new centres will mean that children and young people will play a more active role in deciding which outcomes are important to them.

Find out more from the recent press release.

Centre members research results in new online resource

UWE Bristol and Prostate Cancer UK have launched a new online, interactive learning resource for healthcare professionals working with prostate cancer patients, to help them support men living with and after the disease.

View press release for further details.

Dr Sally Dowling awarded ESRC Seminar Series Grant

Dr Sally Dowling has been awarded an ESRC Seminar Series Grant to run a two year series of seminars entitled 'Social experiences of breastfeeding: building bridges between research and policy'. This is in collaboration with Dr Kate Boyer (Cardiff University), Professor David Pontin (University of South Wales) and Dr Julie Mytton (UWE) and the six seminars will be held in Bristol and Cardiff.

The project will bring together international and national scholars from anthropology, sociology, human geography, law, media and communications, nursing and midwifery. Alongside practitioners and policy makers they will be addressing the following questions: 'How does attending to the micro-practices and affective and embodied experiences of breastfeeding women advance extant knowledge about the reasons for breastfeeding cessation?', 'How can we further understanding about inequalities in breastfeeding rates by focusing on the nuances of day-to-day breastfeeding?' and: 'How might an increased understanding of these perspectives influence policy'? The goal is to create an opportunity for participants from academia, practice and policy (both governmental and non-governmental) to come together to engage in collaborative knowledge-creation.

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