Learning the importance of research impact at the Doctoral Training Alliance summer school

PhD student Laura Simmons attended the Doctoral Training Alliance Biosciences for Health summer school hosted by the University of Huddersfield on the 24th-26th July. During the 3-day event students took part in a variety of workshops that focused on how individuals can make an impact with their research.

DTA summer school 3The main focus of the summer school was the Impact Challenge where students had to present a pitch to a group of judges on a particular research topic. We were encouraged to choose a goal, define the outcomes, outputs and funding requirements. This provided a great opportunity for students to consider how much funding would be required and what resources would be needed to carry out the project. We were also encouraged to consider our connections to external charities and organisations that could help us in achieving the project goals.

There were a variety of projects that were presented during the summer school including: a uterus massage to reduce haemorrhaging and maternal mortality (Laura Simmons); a diabetes mobile app to reduce mortality from non-communicable diseases and promote health (Sophie Mohamed); and implementing an online training course to empower healthcare workforces in developing countries (Ksenia Trischel).

DTA summer school 2Laura and her team were one of three groups who were awarded ‘funding’ from the judging panel (awarded in chocolate coins) for their work on developing an educational programme to reduce haemorrhaging during childbirth to reduce maternal mortality.

Overall the Impact Challenge was a useful exercise that mirrored the real life expectations of working with colleagues to produce a funding application. It challenged us to think outside the box and consider the impact that the project may have from other perspectives such as the economy.

For more information about the Doctoral Training Alliance visit their website https://unialliance.ac.uk/dta/programmes/dta-applied-biosciences-for-health

By Laura Simmons

CaHRU at SAPC Annual Scientific Meeting London 2018

sapcProfessor Siriwardena attended the Society for Academic Primary Care Annual Scientific Meeting which this year was hosted by Barts and the London Queen Mary University of London took place at his alma mater of St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical College, with the main conference sessions at the Guildhall School of Music and the Barbican Centre. The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Learning from Europe and populations on the move’.

IMG_20180711_181326_resized_20180728_102904715The first day taken up by the Heads of Departments meeting, was punctuated by the RAF centenary flypast over London. Highlights of the conference included the 5th Helen Lester Memorial Lecture given by Professor Anne McFarlane, with the enigmatic title ‘The leper’s squint: spaces for participation in primary health care’. There were further plenaries given by Professor Val Wass on ‘Populations on the move’ and Lord Victor Adebowale, past Chancellor of the University of Lincoln on ‘Primary care: exclusion, inclusion and community’.

IMG_20180711_182711_resized_20180728_102905044CaHRU’s research ‘Explaining differences in Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners Applied Knowledge Test performance associated with candidate sex and ethnicity’ which featured as an oral presentation in a session on education was well received. There were many excellent and interesting oral presentations, posters and workshops including an interesting session facilitated by Prof Deborah Swinglehurst (QMUL) and Dr Stefan Hjorleifsson (University of Bergen) on ‘resisting too much medicine’.



sapc2018aFinally there was an excellent social programme including drinks in the Great Hall at Barts, dinner at the Tower Hotel beside the Tower of London and an interesting walk though London with Dr Sally Hull.

By Prof Niro Siriwardena

CaHRU presents research on sleep at college summer showcase

BrayfordThe annual research showcase, featuring speakers from the College of Social Science took place on 6 June 2018. Professor Niro Siriwardena presented on CaHRU’s work on sleep. Sleep is fundamental to our wellbeing, from birth to old age. Poor sleep affects health, sickness, life, death, productivity, and the wider economy. Sleep is as important to health as other lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise but, compared to these, is under-researched and under-invested in. There are effective psychological treatments for insomnia but these are not widely available, whereas less effective and potentially harmful drug treatments are commonly used.

CSSsummershowcase2He described the work of members of CaHRU together with partners at the University of Lincoln and other academic institutions (Oxford, Manchester, Glasgow, Ghent), in partnership with service users, staff and healthcare organisations, locally, nationally and internationally. Over the past 15 years, using systematic reviews, observational and qualitative studies, quasi-experiments and trials, staff in CaHRU have explored the problem of primary care for sleep, how this might be improved, and what effect this is having on sleep, prescribing, and health outcomes.

INB2The work has led to a major multicentre trial, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (£1.8M), investigating the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of sleep restriction therapy, a behavioural treatment for insomnia, delivered in primary care. These studies and the wider impacts of this work were presented to those present.


[su_document url=”https://communityandhealth.dev.lincoln.ac.uk/files/2018/07/Sleep_Siriwardena.pdf” width=”660″]Multi-morbidity, goal-oriented care, the community and equity[/su_document]

CaHRU Newsletter (Spring 2018)

CaHRU_logotypeThe latest edition of the CaHRU Newsletter (Spring 2018) was published in July 2018. The newsletter presents the work of the research centre over the previous three months and includes articles from the CaHRU blog covering publications, conferences and funding. The newsletter is written by members of the CaHRU team and produced by Sue Bowler, CaHRU administrator.

[su_document url=”https://communityandhealth.dev.lincoln.ac.uk/files/2018/07/CaHRU-Newsletter-Spring-2018.pdf” width=”660″]Multi-morbidity, goal-oriented care, the community and equity[/su_document]

Improvement Science and Research Methods seminar: Prof Sarah Redsell on recruitment to community based trials

We had the privilege of welcoming Professor Sarah Redsell, Professor of Public Health Nursing at Anglia Ruskin University, to give the last of this season’s CaHRU/LIH Improvement Science and Research Methods seminar series.

edfHer talk entitled ‘Understanding health professional study recruitment behaviour in community-based research’described her ground-breaking work over the past decade on early detection and prevention of childhood obesity. Chilhood obesity is a major public health issues in high income countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom and mainland European states. Health visitors, are in frequent contact with parents of children under five years of age who they provide a universal service to, which suggests they may be ideally placed to recruit parents and their children to NHS research studies.

The seminar focussed on challenges in recruiting parents to a feasibility study which aimed to identify and intervene with parents whose infants are at risk of developing overweight and obesity. A follow-up study used the Theoretical Domains Framework to understand health visitor and midwives study recruitment behaviour and highlighted the need to include an understanding of health professionals’ behaviour, including their knowledge, competing priorities and role conflict.

[su_document url=”https://communityandhealth.dev.lincoln.ac.uk/files/2018/07/Redsell-Understanding-HP-recruitment-250618.pdf” width=”660″]Multi-morbidity, goal-oriented care, the community and equity[/su_document]

By Prof A N Siriwardena