Applied health and social care research – NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research & Care (CLAHRC) East of England
NIHR CLAHRC East of England is now in its second year of a five-year applied health and social care research programme. The research programme focuses on the needs of people with complex problems, who are often vulnerable, with multiple agencies involved in their care. The CLAHRC addresses the needs of young people, frail older people, those with dementia, those people with learning disabilities, and those with acquired brain injuries and mental ill health. Patient and public involvement (PPI) lies at the heart of the collaboration.
Capacity building in research is a key priority for CLARHC EoE. We have awarded 57 CLAHRC fellowships since 2011 (including 12 current and 45 former fellows). Our fellows, who come from a wide range of backgrounds including: Consultant Psychiatrists, NHS managers, Clinical Psychologists, Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologists, General Practitioners and Registered Nurses, work on projects that span our research themes. From autumn 2015, we are providing further opportunities for practitioners and early-career researchers by funding PhD
students for each of our five research themes. CLAHRC EoE is also the national lead for four recently funded Doctoral Training Centres in dementia care research. This programme aims to develop research leaders to build up the evidence base that underpins the provision of dementia care.
Responding to Winterbourne View
This CLAHRC EoE study draws upon our previous research about community teams for people with learning disabilities following the scandal at Winterbourne View hospital in 2011, and has already led to changes within Cambridgeshire Learning Disability Partnership, including changes to multi-disciplinary team meetings and a process for agreeing placements.
‘Never events’ are serious, largely preventable patient safety incidents that should not occur if the available preventative measures have been implemented by the healthcare provider. Following a number of foreign object retentions, the CLAHRC EoE Patient Safety theme and Engineering Design Centre were asked to do a piece of work related to surgical guide wires at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in order to investigate ways to reduce the risk of the retention of guide wires used during the placement of central venous catheters – a procedure used routinely by anaesthetists. This work produced an estimate of the level of risk of further ‘never events’, identified a likely cause of retained guidewires, and proposed a range of possible solutions.