The importance of the academic citizen in Health Services Research – Dr Gemma McKenna

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It was palpable with research geekery excitement while travelling to Nottingham for the 2017 Health Services Research UK Conference. I needed this, I thought, an opportunity for positivity, to talk enthusiastically about how we as researchers can help sustain the future of the NHS and wider health services. The conference didn’t disappoint.

We are all too aware of the popular rhetoric that consumes newsfeeds and social media channels, with headlines like ‘The NHS is in Crisis’ and ‘too many people are pitching up to A&E’. All doom and gloom. The conference was a perfect antidote to this. While there are no panaceas to these ongoing issues, my fellow health services researchers offered positivity and direction against the troubling backdrop of public service austerity and Brexit uncertainty.

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Women in Mathematics – Putting the = into equality


Celebrating Women in Mathematics day

All of the women who have contributed to this article work in the Data Science team for NIHR CLAHRC Wessex. They are based at the University of Southampton and the city’s General Hospital, but their expertise comes from across the globe – making our research truly world class


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Marion Penn – Research Fellow in Operational Research in our Data Science team

I’ve always enjoyed maths, I like the feeling when I get to the answer and that there is a correct answer. I have mild/moderate dyslexia, so language based subjects were harder work for me at school, increasing the appeal of maths.

Marion on Coll
This was me on the Hebridean Island of Coll in the late 1980’s, very close to where Mari Hederwick wrote the Katy Moorag books.

When I came to choosing my degree subject it took me a while (I also enjoyed History and Biology at A-level), but once I’d thought about it maths was the obvious choice as I enjoy it and I’m good at it!

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Selfie with a centenarian!

British Geriatrics Society

Esther Clift is a Consultant Practitioner Trainee in Frailty, and Vice Chair of the BGS nurses and AHP Council. She is undertaking a Doctorate in Clinical Practice at Southampton University on the uptake of exercise by older people. She was inspired by an interview with Dr Frankland on the Today Programme, and went to ask him about his own use of exercise.

‘I just think he should have told me, I’m not stupid!’ – Dr AW Frankland reflects on his introduction to Strength and Balance exercises.

Dr AW Frankland was born the year the Titanic sank, and started medical school in Oxford when Stanley Baldwin was Prime Minister. He was supervised by Sir Alexander Fleming at St Marys and is described as the ‘grandfather of allergy research’. His daily hour long supervisions with Fleming never included discussing patients – ‘he was a pure scientist, who wanted to talk about science.’

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Should Wessex implement ReSPECT process? – The NIHR CLAHRC Wessex hosted event May 11, 2017

The event in Southampton attracted organisations* from across the Wessex region and beyond and a wide range of people including the public, paramedics, nursing staff, clinicians, managers and researchers.

Many stakeholders were represented bringing together 44 delegates, all there to examine and reflect on whether the ReSPECT approach to decision making for emergency care should be adopted.

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Making the patient central: Mark Stafford-Watson Public Contributor and PPI Champion

Article by Martin Simpson-Scott, PPI Coordinator NIHR CLAHRC Wessex
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Mark Stafford-Watson

Mark Stafford-Watson is one of our NIHR CLAHRC Wessex public contributors. He’s also ‘PPI Champion’ for our Theme 1 research team (Integrated Respiratory Care) – of particular personal relevance to Mark, as he has a long-term respiratory condition.

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Who cares? Genie explores the lives of young carers

According to research by the Children’s Society there are estimated to be 700,000 young carers aged between 5 and 17 years old in the UK.

That figure surprise many people, and the charity goes on to explain how caring at a young age can impact a young persons’ education, health, development and quality of life.

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OPINION: Tonight’s movie is a set in a dystopian future and stars your local A&E department. Dr Tom Monks

If you surf to a news website right now or flick on the TV news this evening, you might for a moment think that you watching a bad science fiction movie of a dystopian future starring your local A&E department. Sadly, it is real. The news has gone mad about A&E and the waiting time crisis that it faces. This morning the BBC reported that only 82% of patients are meeting the four-hour waiting time target. It doesn’t make pleasant reading.

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Location, location, location – The social factors making a difference to kidney health.

Many of us don’t fully understand what our kidneys are for or how they work, but they are important to all of us. A team of us a CLAHRC Wessex have been conducting a big research project to find out more about something called ‘Acute kidney injury’, which is when the kidney suddenly stops working properly. This can make people very ill by causing a build-up of waste products in the blood and upsetting the balance of fluids in the body. As a result, people with acute kidney injury can have longer hospital stays and can experience serious consequences, such as needing dialysis or even dying.

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Using Health Systems Analytics to help the NHS improve the quality and equity of services -Dr Marion Penn, Dr Rudabeh Meskarian and Dr Thomas Monks

In Hampshire, Solent NHS Trust and Commissioners are making use of advanced Health Systems Analytics to visualise their demand, and support their decisions about the how many sexual health clinics should be funded to meet future patient need.

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Prioritising the fundamentals of care with patients, professionals, carers and the public – Anya de Iongh

As PPI Champion for the Fundamentals of Care theme within NIHR CLAHRC Wessex, I’ve a great experience and opportunity to be an equal member of a team developing the research priorities for this area of work. Crucially, these weren’t priorities that we developed together in a closed room, but rather they were co-produced at several stages.

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This site promotes independent research by the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) Funding Scheme. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the National Institute for Health Research or the Department of Health