Continuing to Work with Parliament

Dr Coral Sirdifield and Dr Rebecca Marples from CaHRU are continuing to engage with parliament and raise awareness of the research that they are doing around healthcare for people on probation. Earlier this month they met with Dr Phillip Lee, MP for Bracknell and former Minister for Youth Justice, Victims, Female Offenders and Offender Health. Coral and Rebecca discussed their current work on their Improving Healthcare Commissioning for Probation: Mapping the Landscape project, and Dr Lee agreed to be part of the external advisory group for this project.

Portcullis House2

Coral and Rebecca have also recently contributed to the Ministry of Justice Consultation on the proposed changes to the structure and content of probation services Strengthening Probation, building confidence. Here they have highlighted the importance of focusing on the health of offenders to reduce health inequalities in society, meet public health targets, reduce reoffending, and save money that is currently wasted on avoidable use of crisis services and the costs associated with reoffending. Here and in their research, Coral’s team are providing an evidence base and offering practical solutions to some of the problems around improving offenders’ health and access to healthcare.

Dr Coral Sirdifield speaks at Westminster Legal Policy Forum

Dr Coral Sirdifield, Research Fellow in CaHRU was asked to speak at a Westminster Legal Policy Forum on the 7th of November 2017.

The event was attended by people from a variety of organisations including the voluntary sector, Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, the House of Lords, the Ministry of Justice, and Community Rehabilitation Companies. It focused on the future of the Transforming Rehabilitation framework and priorities for Through the Gate resettlement. It included sessions on operational challenges for the probation framework, and whether probation services can deliver what we all want and expect.


The afternoon session, chaired by Lord German, focused on the future of Through the Gate resettlement – next steps for housing, healthcare and new partnerships.

Dr Sirdifield was the speaker for the healthcare section, and presented on how we can improve communication and referral processes between probation and health organisations. Her presentation focused on three main themes:

  • Clarifying organisations’ responsibilities:
    • Many CCGs are unaware of their responsibilities in relation to offender health,
    • Offenders’ health needs are not always considered in Joint Strategic Needs Assessments, and
    • Health can sometimes be seen as a ‘tick box’ exercise to CRCs
    • Dr Sirdifield called for the government to produce an overarching offender health strategy, part of which would remind organisations of their responsibilities in relation to offender health. She suggested that outcomes could be tracked through probation inspections as part of their developing standards
  • Improving service provision and access – here she made suggestions about how health agencies can work more proactively with probation, and new ways of working can be trialled
  • Improving formal and informal communication between organisations – suggestions including co-locating criminal justice and health staff, and giving probation a voice on healthcare commissioning groups

Laura Simmons joins CaHRU and the Lincoln Institute for Health

Laura Simmons joined CaHRU and the Lincoln Institute of Health this September 2016 as a PhD student, researching the effects of camaraderie among paramedics and their stress responses to critical incidents.

LauraSimmons2Before commencing her studies at the University of Lincoln, Laura completed her MSc Applied Psychology (2014-2015) and BSc Psychology (2011-2014) at the University of Worcester where she was also a Sessional Lecturer in Psychology, teaching on a variety of modules including Research Methods and Introduction to Psychology.

Laura’s primary research interests include mental health and well-being, in particular relationships within the workplace and the impact of this on an individual. Her previous research explored mental health stigma among university students and the relationship between knowledge and stigma, as well as the formation of camaraderie within the workplace, specifically the occupational relationships of employees in small teams.

It was her MSc dissertation and experience of working within a small, friendly team that inspired Laura to look further at the phenomenon of camaraderie, specifically the impact of this on an occupation where employees are likely to experience high levels of occupational stress. As Laura has worked with quantitative and qualitative research methods in previous projects, her PhD aims to utilise mixed methods to explore factors such as a paramedic’s performance, well-being and patient care.

Laura is also a member of the British Psychological Society (BPS).

Rachel Hawley attends ‘The Value of Values in Health and Social Care Leadership’ Conference

Rachel Hawley recently attended ‘The Value of Values in Health and Social Care Leadership’ conference at the Centre for Leadership, Sheffield Hallam University on 18 September, on behalf of the Community and Health Research Unity. This inaugural event was a collaboration between the university and senior / Executive Alumni students who graduated from the MBA Medical and MSc Health and Social Care Leadership programmes including NHS England and local NHS Trusts.

At the event Rachel presented a poster presentation on the Higher Education Institution Challenge (HEI) Challenge for Patient Supported Quality Improvement and Education in Healthcare on behalf of the wider project team.

The HEI Challenge Award 2014-15 is a unique opportunity for universities in the East Midlands and beyond, commissioned to deliver education by Health Education East Midlands, to foster sustainable approaches to working collaboratively across the region’s HEIs for the benefit of our population and to drive positive experiences and outcomes for learners and local employers. The ultimate goal of the HEI Challenge is to implement a cross-university collaboration to share, develop, showcase and spread work across East Midlands and surrounding universities around the unifying topic of healthcare quality improvement.

For further information on the HEI Challenge click on the link.

Conference delegates were welcomed to the event by Professor Karen Bryan as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing. The day began with a series of keynote presentations on a range of topics that addressed the value of values in health and social care leadership including:

    The challenge of emotional labour: how organisational systems (and leaders and managers within them) support or undermine the provision of compassionate care, Dr John Edmonstone, Senior Research Fellow and Director, Keele University. This session highlighted powerful messages regarding the challenge of emotional labour, in particular the importance of context and ‘If you don’t value staff, how can staff value patients’.
    Values based leadership – does it make a real difference? , Dr Umesh Pradhu, Medical Director, Wrightington Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust. This session began with a very powerful and personal account of care highlighting in particular the personal and professional impact of this on his own medical and leadership practice – drive and motivation as well as the important balance of systems and personal failure and accountability

    Other keynote presentations included John Greatex sharing his experience of The Unipart way: efficiency with a human face and the paprelel lessons that can be learnt in health and social care. Sally Gretton from Skills for Care invited participants to consider putting ‘our values into action: considering the bigger picture’. Participants spent time networking around the poster presentations and engaging in a series of interactive workshops. For example Rachel White and George Rook on the value of patient and staff highlighting why stories matter, the key national drivers and examples of how stories are being used in practice to influence change and quality. An investment by NHS England into developing the processes and mechanisms to embed stories more systematically has led to the launce of a repository through which people can access / share stories as well as guidance and resources.

    Rachel Hawley

New evidence synthesis on effectiveness of different models of delivering urgent care published

vhp2A new study ‘What evidence is there on the effectiveness of different models of delivering urgent care? A rapid review‘ was published this month, and included CaHRU’s Viet-Hai Phung as one of the report co-authors. Over the last 15 years, The NHS has undertaken many reviews of urgent care. It has also recommended service delivery changes to improve access to, and the quality of, urgent care. Despite this, rising demand continues to strain the emergency and urgent care system.

NIn response, the National Institute for Health Research’s (NIHR) Health Services and Delivery Research (HSDR) programme commissioned this report from the University of Sheffield’s ScHARR as part of a wider series of evidence syntheses. The report contains five separate reviews linked to themes in the NHS England review – demand for urgent and emergency care; telephone triage and advice; ambulance clinicians managing patients with urgent conditions; delivering Emergency Department (ED) services; and emergency and urgent care networks. Alongside this, the team conducted systematic reviews and quality assessed additional primary research papers.

NThe key findings for each review were:

  • There is little empirical evidence to explain increases in demand for urgent care;
  • Telephone triage services provide appropriate and safe decision making with high patient satisfaction but the required clinical skill mix and effectiveness in a system is unclear;
  • Extended paramedic roles have been implemented in various health settings and appear to be successful at reducing transport to hospital;
  • There is potential for GP services co-located within the ED to improve care;
  • No empirical evidence exists to support the design and development of urgent care networks.

The rapid review assessed the existing evidence base on delivering emergency and urgent care services. The research also identified two major gaps that further research needs to investigate. Firstly, we need to assess the current state of the urgent care. Secondly, we need to have a better understanding of the nature of demand, which can then be used to inform service delivery improvements.

Viet-Hai Phung