Experts convene for Wellcome funded Network Exploring Ethics in Ambulance Trials (NEAT) project meeting

NOn 4th November 2016, CaHRU played host to an eminent group of researchers, ethicists and patient representatives in a meeting to discuss ethics in ambulance based trials. The group was formed as part of the Network Exploring Ethics in Ambulance Trials (NEAT) project, funded by the Wellcome Trust, which is seeking to understand the issues related to ethics in ambulance trials. The meeting had two main objectives, firstly to update the network on the findings of the NEAT project to date and secondly to discuss potential recommendations and future funding opportunities.

neat_ws1In the morning presentations by Dr Adele Langlois and Dr Stephanie Armstrong, outlined the findings of the project to date. These included a systematic review of published randomised controlled trials, a review of global and national regulations and the preliminary results of interview studies with expert informants, paramedics and patients who have been involved in ambulance trials. The morning sessions generated a lot of lively debate centring on both consent models and regulations, and in fact where there was agreement and conflict between these areas.

NAfter a pleasant lunch the discussion continued with possible recommendations of the project being that more work need to be done to clarify the guidance and regulations ultimately leading to a code of practice for ambulance trials and accompanying common ethics framework. Funding opportunities were discussed and the day ended with an agreement that there should be a commitment to continue the work of the network through collaborative research opportunities.

By Dr Stephanie Armstrong

Implementation science and research methods seminar: statistical modelling of time series data

Dr Murray SmithThe latest CaHRU Implementation Science and Research Methods seminar was presented by Dr Murray Smith on 25th October 2016, on the topic of statistical modelling of time series data. Dr Smith, research fellow at the Community and Health Research Unit (CaHRU), is an econometrician with a wide range of experience and research interests in micro-econometric modelling, health informatics, health economic modelling, mathematical statistics and computer algebra. Murray has previously worked as an Associate Professor in the Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics at the University of Sydney, Australia, and as an Associate Professor at the School of Pharmacy, University of Nottingham before coming to the University of Lincoln. His research has focuses on the quality of use of pharmaceutical medicines in chronic disease, with analyses that utilise prescribing data drawn from a large database of general practice patient records.

segmentedregressionHe introduced his topic by defining (and giving examples) of data, and related these to how researchers can statistically model time series data in different ways. Murray described four fundamental components of times series including: time (Tt); Cycle (Ct); Seasonal (St) and Irregular (It). He also gave examples of Time Series Analysis Curves such as survival data, Engle’s AutoRegressive Conditional Heteroscedasticity (ARCH) and segmented regression. He showed how modelling time series data can be useful for quality improvement research, as this can facilitate the measurement of outcomes or impact over time and extrapolate or estimate future values or outcomes. A time series method (using segmented regression) is being used in a paper currently being prepared by Dr Murray Smith and Professor Niro Siriwardena for publication.

QIlogoDr Smith concluded his interesting presentation by recommending three key books for further reading on Statistical Modelling of Time Series Data: Time Series Analysis by Jame D Hamilton, Time Series Analysis: Forecasting and Control by George E. P. Box et al. and Introduction to Time Series and Forecasting by Peter J. Brockwell & Richard A. Davis. He made the session so interesting that participants asked for further presentations on time series analysis. For his next seminar, Murray will focus more on use of the method for current research at CaHRU to enable more researchers to apply this method to their research.

By Joseph Akanuwe

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).

CaHRU Summer 2016 Newsletter

The latest edition of the CaHRU Newsletter (Summer 2016) was published in September 2016. 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.

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Sharing the learning, one year on – HEI Challenge for Patient Supported Quality Improvement in Health and Social Care

logoFunded by the East Midlands Academic Health Science Network in April 2015, the HEI Challenge Award has been a unique opportunity for East Midlands universities to demonstrate excellence in teaching and research for health and social care professionals. The project sought to foster a sustainable approach to working collaboratively across the region to drive positive experiences and outcomes for learners and local employers for the benefit of our population. The Higher Education Institution (HEI) Challenge Award is a cross‐university collaboration, established to share, develop, showcase and spread work across the region around the topic of healthcare quality improvement. Our approach to this Challenge has focussed on four main themes:

  • The involvement of service users, carers and the public in educational design, delivery, and review: showing how service user and carer involvement is leading to better teaching and research.
  • Innovative deployment of digital technology within health and social care education: showing how technology is being used to enhance the learner quality of the journey in university and practice settings.
  • Interdisciplinary education as a way of supporting quality improvement in health and social care education: showing the positive effects of interdisciplinary education on the understanding and practice of health and social care staff.
  • A focus on quality improvement in research and education involving health and social care staff and students.

Just one year later, on 14th June 2016, over one hundred people (staff, learners and the public) participated in the HEI Challenge Showcase Conference at the Enterprise Centre in Derby to share in the learning from the project. This also marked the launch of the HEI Challenge website (https// designed to act as a repository to capture and share excellent practice in the project themes. The HEI Challenge has demonstrated a wide range of outstanding teaching and research being provided to health and social care workers deciding to study and practice in the East Midlands. The collaborative working and sharing of learning has stimulated further innovation and development in the participating universities and NHS organisations which they are working with. In particular this has led to an integration of the HEI Challenge and East Midlands QI Network for bridging the gap between patient supported quality improvement in education, research and practice.

Follow us on Twitter: @qi_learning

For further information:

East Midlands QI Network – contact Cheryl Crocker

HEI Challenge – contact Professor Niro Siriwardena (

For further information visit our website: