New quality improvement e-learning programme ‘QI Learning’ launched

QIlogoA new e-learning website ‘QI Learning‘ has been launched by CaHRU as an introduction to quality improvement for health and social care professionals. The e-learning programme is based on CaHRU’s work on quality improvement and covers four main areas: managing quality, tools and techniques, evaluation and improving practice.

Gillam7680CoverPress2750QI learning was developed with the BrandFour Design Agency as part of the ImPACT-ASCQI project, with support from the Health Foundation’s Widening Improvement Programme, based on a new book by Steve Gillam and Niro Siriwardena, ‘Quality improvement in primary care‘ published by Radcliffe Publishing in 2014. Also included in the resources section of the e-learning programme are a series of webinars which build on this material. The aim of the programme is to foster a sustainable and long-term increase in quality improvement knowledge and skills to the wider community of healthcare (medical, nursing and allied health) staff .

The programme also includes an evaluation and self-assessment for learners to complete and print out a certificate of learning.

Quality improvement webinar series launched

CaHRU are running a series of four ‘Quality Improvement Webinars: Introduction to Quality Improvement for Healthcare Practitioners’ every Friday in January from 9 January. Click here to see the introductory webinar. These have been supported by the Health Foundation and developed from a new book by Steve Gillam and Niro Gillam7680CoverPress2750Siriwardena, Quality Improvement in Primary Care: The essential guide published by Radcliffe Publishing (2014):

Each webinar will be posted before 08:00 am on the dates above. Join us from 12:00-13:00 pm every Friday this January 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th afterwards for a Question & Answer session based on each webinar. All the webinars will be available via the QI learning website:

Send your questions in advance to using the hashtag #qilearning and including your twitter handle if you have one or alternatively post your question via twitter to @nsiriwardena

Professor Niro Siriwardena on primary care management of insomnia at Royal Society of Medicine

CBTiRSM2014Prof Niro Siriwardena was one of the invited speakers at the Royal Society of Medicine conference on CBT for insomnia disorder: evidence base and practical implementation methods, where he spoke on ‘Applying CBT for insomnia in general practice’. This was based on work from the Resources for Effective Sleep Treatment project ( which is a programme of work exploring the potential for using psychological treatments for insomnia routinely in primary care instead of sleeping tablets.

Niro@RSM2014._750The event, which took place on 19 November in London was organised by Prof Colin Espie, sleep expert  at Oxford University. He introduced a number of distinguished speakers, international experts in their field, including Prof Charles Morin from Quebec who gave an overview of insomnia and CBT efficacy studies; Prof Kevin Morgan from Loughborough University who spoke on CBT for insomnia in older adults; Dr June Brown on small and large group CBT; Dr John Cape on CBT bibliotherapy for insomnia; and Dr Simon Kyle who discussed abbreviated and single component CBT for insomnia. Finally, Prof Espie presented on digital CBT-I.

REST e-learning programme:

REST e-learning programme:

The meeting was well attended by practitioners and academics from primary, community and mental health sectors of the health service. The CaHRU team are currently investigating the potential for community pharmacists to implement psychological treatment for insomnia instead of over-the-counter hypnotics in a feasibility study in Lincolnshire.

Reassurance important for ambulance services users: new qualitative study published in Health Expectations

photo2italiccolourWORDSResearchers from CaHRU with colleagues from the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) at the University of Sheffield have published a new study: “Reassurance as a key outcome valued by emergency ambulance service users: a qualitative interview study” in the journal Health Expectations. The study’s lead author was Fiona Togher, PhD student and Graduate Research Assistant in CaHRU. She was supported in the work by Alicia O’Cathain, Professor of Health Services Research at the University of Sheffield, Viet-Hai Phung, Research Assistant in CaHRU, Janette Turner, Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield and Professor Niro Siriwardena, director of CaHRU. The study is part of a five year NIHR Programme for Applied Health Research, Prehospital Outcomes for Evidence Based Evaluation (PhOEBE).

EMAS - PTS 2_750The authors aimed to investigate the aspects of emergency ambulance care that were most valued by users of the service. Fiona and Viet-Hai interviewed people (patients and carers) that had used the ambulance service for a range of different conditions such as diabetes, suspected stroke, breathing difficulties and falls. The participants had also received various types of ambulance service response i.e. ‘hear and treat’ in which the participants received enhanced clinical assessment and advice over the telephone only, ‘see and treat’ in which the participants were treated on-scene by appropriately skilled clinicians without the need for hospital admission and the more familiar, ‘see and convey’ in which the participants received pre-hospital assessment and treatment before transportation to acute care.

NThe authors found that regardless of their specific clinical problem people valued similar aspects of their emergency ambulance service experience. Participants had often been extremely anxious about their health, and they most valued the reassurance they felt from receiving appropriate advice, treatment and care from ambulance service staff. It was found that the ability of the emergency ambulance service to allay the high levels of fear and anxiety felt by users is crucial to the delivery of a high quality service.

The qualitative interview data collected from this research is now being re-analysed as part of Fiona’s doctoral studies to develop a Patient Reported Experience Measure (PREM) for use in UK ambulance services.


Fiona Togher

Carers of dementia sufferers: Empowerment and Efficacy via Education (CADS: E3)

BA 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.

BThis 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.

Despina Laparidou