Health Research

Health research news, events and info for the South West

New app will help people with autism influence tech developments

📥  HealthResSW



A new mobile app has been launched that is hoping to tap into the creative juices of people with autism to find new tech solutions to some of the everyday challenges they face.

ASCmeI.T.’, a free mobile app available on Android and Apple, has been developed by a consortium of researchers from our University and the Universities of Southampton and Sussex with the simple aim of involving people with autism in the development of new technologies that could help them.

What kind of technologies would help?
It enables people with Autism Spectrum Conditions – as well as families, teachers, professionals, and anyone who supports someone with autism – to share their ideas on what kind of new technology would best help.

Through the app, users upload a one minute video explaining their idea which will be shared with researchers so that new developments in digital technologies for autism can be matched to support the needs of users.

Despite there being more than half a million people living with autism in the UK (around 1 in every 100), this is the first time such an initiative has been piloted. The researchers now hope it will lead to new developments - anything from technologies to support transitions, service delivery or inclusion through to bullying, learning or employment - that will be uniquely attuned to the needs of those with autism.

This project builds on another, led by Lisa Austin within the Department for Health at the University of Bath, ‘ifOnly’ which crowdsourced ideas for assistive technology that could help the elderly and people living with disabilities. This initiative was cited in a recent Parliamentary Report.

Find out more here.


Health Research Showcase review and video podcast

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The University of Bath and the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust hosted an event to celebrate the collaborative health research that is being carried out in Bath.

The Health Research Showcase was held on Wednesday 17 June and attended by over 200 people, including public, academics and NHS staff. The showcase provided an opportunity to learn about how important health research is for improving people’s health and wellbeing, as well as improving patient experience and care.

Speakers, including Professor Chris Eccleston (UoB) and Professor Carol Peden (RUH), discussed the ‘Good News’ and ‘Bad News’ for common health issues such as cancer, pain, diabetes, arthritis and dementia; and how research is tackling these issues.

28730 Health Research Showcase 17 June 2015. This showcase, hosted by the University of Bath and Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust, will be an afternoon of talks about how local health research is tackling issues such as cancer, pain, diabetes, arthritis and dementia; as well as issues regarding the management of NHS resources. Client: Sam Warren - Dept for Health

Health Research Showcase 17 June 2015. Professor Chris Eccleston

There was also a research poster display that highlighted the diversity of the health research being done by the University and the Hospital.

The showcase was well received and ended with a lively drinks reception, which gave attendees a chance to speak with the experts. Based on its success, the University of Bath and RUH Bath NHS Foundation Trust aim to make the showcase an annual celebration of local research.

We are aiming to encourage fresh research collaborations between the University and the NHS.  If you would like to progress a research project with the Royal United Hospital, please contact Lisa Austin, Research manager, at

You can watch the full showcase here.


European Forum focuses on impact of pain research

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Researchers from the University of Bath's Centre for Pain Research will be at the forefront of discussions during this week's Congress of the European Pain Federation.
Research from our Centre for Pain Research will take centre stage at this week’s Congress of the European Pain Federation, taking place in Vienna, focused on translating latest scientific evidence into the best clinical practice.

On Thursday, 4,000 delegates from all over the world travel to the Austrian capital for the ninth Congress of the European Pain Federation (EFIC) with international delegates using the opportunity to discuss the latest scientific insights and approaches to treating pain.

Among leading scientists presenting at the Forum, Professor Christopher Eccleston, Director of our Centre for Pain Research will Chair the Scientific Programme Committee for EFIC, bringing together leading scientists to craft an engaging and far-reaching scientific programme.

Dr Ed Keogh, Deputy Director, will lead the presentation of recent findings from work at Bath, along with the fellows and students.


Primary Care Research Meeting

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Wednesday 23rd September, 12pm to 2pm, University of Bath

This short Bath and North East Somerset GP Practices event, in collaboration with the Clinical Research Network: West of England, is aimed at promoting University and wider projects that are recruiting locally.

The event is open to GPs, Research Nurses, Practice Managers, Administrative staff plus related parties from research active or non-active practices. Although aimed primarily at practices located in BANES, interested parties are also welcome from Swindon and Wiltshire.

If you would like to attend please email Lisa Austin, Research Manager, at


HRA Approval – Information for General Practices in England

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The Health Research Authority (HRA) was established in December 2011 to protect and promote the interests of patients and the public in health research, and to streamline the regulation of research. The HRA are in the process of rolling out a new system for approving research in the NHS in England, called HRA Approval.

What is HRA Approval?

HRA Approval is an authoritative approval for research studies in the NHS in England, including independent contractors, such as General Practices. It comprises a review by a Research Ethics Committee (where applicable) and an assessment of regulatory compliance and related matters. HRA Approval provides assurance that a study has fulfilled all regulatory requirements. There will no longer be a separate local NHS assurance process.

What does this mean for GP Practices?

General Practices should feel confident about participating in a study that has HRA Approval.

Whilst practices will continue to have the final decision on whether to undertake a study based on their capacity and capability, close working will still be required with local primary care R&D offices, who will continue to provide support in a number of ways. Practices are able to start a study when the HRA Approval letter is granted AND local arrangements to set up the study are in place. You should liaise with the primary care R&D office supporting your area.

Sponsors will continue to communicate with the site through both the study delivery team and the research management team supporting that site.

When will HRA Approval be rolled out?

HRA Approval will be implemented in stages during 2015. New studies running only in a primary care setting will be eligible for HRA Approval from 10 August 2015. The ambition is for HRA Approval to be fully implemented by the end of December 2015.

How can I find out more about HRA Approval?

For more information, please see the HRA website: If you have any questions about HRA Approval, please speak to your local R&D office in the first instance. Local R&D office contacts can be found on the R&D Forum website. You can also contact


Find out more about the CLAHRC West

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CLAHRC West Briefing

Tuesday 16th June 2015 11:15am to 12:05pm

University of Bath, Chancellors’ Building Room 5.7

The Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) West works with its partner organisations to conduct applied health research and implement research evidence, to improve health and healthcare across the West of England.

CLAHRC West brings together universities, including the Universities of Bath, Bristol and UWE, local authorities, NHS Hospital Trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups to focus on improving health and healthcare for local people.

The research they do must have a real world application and fall into one of their broad thematic areas of ‘improving the management of chronic diseases’ and ‘public health interventions and population health’.

If you would like to attend the briefing, email


Do you have an interest in Health Research?

📥  HealthResSW

The University of Bath and Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust are holding a Health Research Showcase on Wednesday 17th June. The event will be a celebration of the research that is going on in Bath, and will highlight how important health research is in improving people’s health and wellbeing; and making patient care better.

There will be an afternoon of short talks about how health research is tackling issues such as cancer, pain, diabetes, arthritis and dementia; as well as issues about managing NHS resources; and will end with a drinks and canapé reception.

Wednesday 17th June, 2:30pm to 7:00pm, University of Bath, FREE

To attend, register at Please note there are limited places left and the deadline for registration is 7th June 2015.


Research Capability Funding - new call

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What is RCF?

NIHR RCF is a funding stream designed to help research-active NHS organisations attract, develop and retain high-quality research, clinical and support staff by supporting salaries.

Who is eligible?

Researchers, NHS or academics involved in people based research who will recruit from any of our Consortia areas; Bath & North East Somerset, Swindon, and East Wiltshire and the North and West localities of Wiltshire.

 To cover:

  • the part of an NIHR Faculty member's salary which is not covered by other NIHR sources
  • new staff, who are expected to be Faculty members, but who have not yet obtained funding from the other NIHR sources
  • existing Faculty members who are "between grants"
  • the time spent by Faculty members in preparing grant proposals
  • the time spent by Faculty members in contributing to wider research needs, for example, in peer review panels
  • the research-related time of NHS-employed administrative and secretarial staff who are supporting Faculty members in their NIHR-related work.

Please contact Lisa Austin: for an application form.

Competition closes 24th July 2015


The University of Bath is looking for a Research Support Advisor in qualitative research

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Department for Health
Salary: Starting from £31,342, rising to £37,394 pro rata
Closing Date: Monday 11 May 2015
Interview Date: To be confirmed
Reference: CC2955R

The Research Design Service (RDS) is part of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The RDS South West is one of several regional services around the country making up the national RDS.

The Department for Heath in the University of Bath is seeking a Research Support Adviser to work within the RDS South West providing advice for health care professionals and others in developing research proposals for submission to open, national, peer-reviewed funding competitions for applied health or social care research.

The RDS is based in universities and the NHS across the South West and the Bath office works in partnership with the other sites within the region. Supporting the work of the RDS South West will afford opportunities to develop research collaborations and the postholder’s own research interests.

Applicants should have a PhD in a health related subject.  In addition, you will have:

  • strong qualitative methodological skills
  • excellent communication skills, with the ability to convey complex ideas appropriately
  • enthusiasm for helping others with research design and effective team working are essential
  • knowledge of undertaking applied research within the NHS is desirable.

This post is offered on a 0.7FTE basis until September 2018. Further information here.


Dementia research showcase - 20th March 2015

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A showcase of Dementia research from Designability, Sirona Care & Health CIC, RICE, the Royal United Hospital and the University of Bath, brought to you by Bath R&D and Sirona Care & Health CIC.

Date: Friday 20th March 2015

Time: 1:30pm to 4:50pm

Venue: Fry Conference Centre, Keynsham, BS31 2AU

All those with an interest in dementia research and service improvement are welcome. There will be networking and research planning opportunities.

For further information or to sign up to the event please email Samantha Warren -