Professor Niro Siriwardena and the CaHRU team have been awarded a major grant from the Health Foundation under their Scaling Up Improvement programme. The project is led by Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust supported by the University of Lincoln, University of Nottingham, the East Midlands Academic Health Science Network and 17 of the region’s Clinical Commissioning Groups.
The aim of the study is to spread an intervention called PINCER (pharmacist-led information technology intervention for reducing clinically important errors in medication management) across East Midlands general practices and then more widely across the United Kingdom using a quality improvement collaborative, a model which CaHRU have used in previous projects.
The project will provide participating GP practices access to computer software that automatically reviews prescriptions together with expert support from a pharmacist who will work with practice staff to review prescriptions and drugs monitoring. This will reduce the risk of drug errors and failure to monitor, particularly in those people with more than one long term condition on a combination of drugs. Pharmacists and GPs will share learning as part of the project.
A team from CaHRU, led by Dr Jo Middlemass has come together with researchers from the Schools of Education (Prof Terence Karran), Psychology (Dr John Hudson) and Social Science (Despina Laparidou, Prof Niro Siriwardena, Dr Karen Windle, Dr Paul Mansfield) to conduct a study investigating quality of life and outcomes for informal caregivers of people with dementia. Dementia – which includes conditions such as Alzheimer’s – is a progressive degenerative neurological disease with no known cure. There are approximately 800,000 UK patients currently, and it is estimated that by 2050 there will be more than 100 million people suffering from the disease worldwide.
This study, funded by the University of Lincoln Research Investment Fund, aims to improve carer and patient outcomes by developing a psychoeducational intervention for carers of people with dementia, with an emphasis on carers undertaking a more formal monitoring role. The study, which started in August 2014, has a mixed-methods design, involving a systematic literature review and a qualitative study, including both focus groups and interviews, with caregivers of people with dementia and with health care professionals.
The anticipated end of the study is July 2015 and future plans include conducting a feasibility study and thereafter a full clinical trial to test the proposed intervention and its effectiveness and cost-effectiveness on a larger scale.
Funded by the European Commission, awarding €62,000. Key contact: Coral Sirdifield.
The QUALICOPC study crosses over 30 European countries and aims to investigate which aspects of the structure and organisation of primary care are the most important in promoting service quality and equity while minimising costs. A team from CaHRU are running the UK section of this study. GP practices have been recruited from across the East Midlands and South Yorkshire region. Each practice was asked to complete a fieldworker questionnaire, a GP questionnaire, and questionnaires on patient values and experiences. Through this we hope to increase understanding of the variety of ways in which primary care is structured and organised in these regions, and to increase understanding of patients’ experiences of accessing primary care services and which aspects of care they particularly value.
Members of Community and Health Research Unit (CaHRU), Jo Middlemass (research nurse) and Prof Niro Siriwardena travelled north to Tromsø, Norway, in the Arctic Circle, to discuss progress and the next phase of the European Commission Framework 7 funded study, Clinical tRials fOr elderly patients with MultiplE Disease (CHROMED).
CHROMED is an international multicentre randomised control trial in five European countries: United Kingdom, Sweden, Estonia, Spain and Slovenia, representing different social and organisational contexts in Europe. The study is seeking to investigate the effectiveness of health and lifestyle status management using telehealth to support elderly patients with multiple conditions including chronic obstructive lung disease and chronic heart disease or sleep apnoea. The Lincoln arm of the study, which involves a partnership between Lincoln Community Health Services NHS Trust and CaHRU at the University of Lincoln comprises a feasibility study of five patients followed by a full study involving 32 patients.
Tromsø in the summer has permanent daylight, which means that after a hard day’s work many local residents and visiting researchers can be seen climbing the local mountains to enjoy the view!
Jo Middlemass returns to join the research team this October 2012 as Research Assistant on the CHROMED (Clinical tRials fOr elderly patients with MultiplE Disease) study which is a three-year, international, European Commission funded study investigating the effectiveness and costs of telecare for patients with long-term conditions including COPD and heart failure. Previously Jo worked on the ENACT study (Exploring Social Networks to Augment Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for people with insomnia).