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UCLan researchers celebrate successes at annual showcase

Researchers from UCLan’s College of Health and Wellbeing were invited to present at the annual Research and Innovation Showcase for Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (LTHTR) in November 2015, held at Royal Preston Hospital.

The annual showcase celebrates the successes achieved over the last few years, provides an opportunity to share good practice and network with other local researchers from the NHS and academia.

UCLan was represented by:  

• Professor Caroline Watkins who talked about the partnership between UCLan and the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (LTHTR), our Lancashire Clinical Trials Unit and our priority for research with real-world impact.

Caroline is the Director of Research and Innovation for the College of Health and Wellbeing at UCLan. She has established Research Support Team (RST) and HEalth and wellbeing Research Methodology and Implementation Hub (HERMI) to improve the former School of Health, now College of Health and Wellbeing capacity and capability for research, as well as providing a mechanism for developing researchers.

• Professor Kinta Beaver, Professor of Cancer Care in the School of Health Sciences at UCLan, presented research findings from a recently completed trial of hospital versus nurse-led telephone follow-up for women treated for endometrial cancer (ENDCAT trial). The findings demonstrated that telephone follow-up was well received by patients and that clinical nurse specialists had the skills to deliver follow-up care to patients post-treatment. Kinta was introduced by Professor Pierre Martin-Hirsch, Director of Research & Innovation at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Honorary Professor at UCLan. Pierre had been a co-investigator on the ENDCAT trial and indicated that the study had significantly increased the standing of the North West as a recruiter to gynaecology oncology clinical trials.

• Dr Hazel Roddam, a Speech and Language Therapist within UCLan’s School of Health Sciences, led a workshop about sharing best practice, support for local clinicians in Evidence-Based Practice, service evaluation design and small-scale practice-based research through the CAHPR Hubs, a blog of which is available at http://uclanahp.blogspot.co.uk/p/about-us.html

UCLan and LTHTR have longstanding relationships for education, research and innovation. More than 500 undergraduate students are participating in over 100 placement opportunities at any one time and up to 100 LTHTR staff are undertaking CPD courses.

In terms of research, each year several of LTHTR’s staff participate in research internships to give them real-time experience of seeing how research-based approaches can improve patient care; there is an established effective partnership for NIHR funded programmatic research which is being delivered collaboratively on cancer, stroke brain injury rehabilitation and others. One key focus has been nurse-led intervention and care: nurse-led telephone follow-up in cancer care and nurse-led head positioning in hyperacute stroke care – this is the largest nursing care trial there has been globally. A further key focus has been emergency pathways for stroke, and now out of hospital cardiac arrest, where LTHTR is the lead NHS organisation, with UCLan as the lead academic partner. These research projects have the opportunity to significantly improve patient care.

Research and innovation poster

UCLan’s HERMI (HEalth and wellbeing Research Methodology and Implementation Hub) is opening its doors to clinicians in partner organisations with an interest or expertise in different types of research methodologies and they will be able to join in seminar programmes and training opportunities. UCLan’s Lancashire Clinical Trials Unit is already running trials with LTHTR as a key partner.

Developments in innovation include a new joint appointment of a Senior Research Fellow which will spearhead enhancement of clinical academic pathways. A further appointment will tailor stroke education and training using the Stroke-Specific Education Framework (developed by Prof Watkins with Department of Health) and its new web-application which has been developed by UCLan’s Innovation Lab to deliver transformation Stroke Workforce initiatives.

Professor Watkins said: “This was a truly inspiring day. It was a fantastic opportunity to reflect on all that has been achieved so far, as well as to consider the exciting opportunities ahead. Delivering high quality patient-centred applied health research is a challenging agenda. Yet, working together with LTHTR’s staff who are both assiduous and personable makes this a worthwhile and rewarding endeavour. We value the opportunity that this collaborative working gives to make a real impact on people’s lives.”

The Research and Innovation showcase also included oral presentations and a poster display of practice-based research projects and an awards ceremony to celebrate the research activities within the Trust. Amongst the other speakers was a presentation from Dr Hakim Yadi, CEO Northern Health Science Alliance, “The role of health research in the Northern Powerhouse”. This set the scene for the collaborative partnership working across HEIs, NHS and commercial enterprise across the region.