Health Research

Health research news, events and info for the South West

Tagged: Health Research

OPIUM: Oxford Pain Interdisciplinary Update Meeting


📥  HealthResSW

A 3 day meeting held at Oriel College, Oxford from Thursday 16th December until Saturday 18th December 2010. Oxford Pain: Interdisciplinary Update Meeting (OPIUM) is a unique meeting designed to encourage collaboration between researchers and clinicians, drawing on Oxford’s international reputation both in pain research and as a centre of clinical excellence.

This year OPIUM has grown to become a 3 day residential meeting in Oriel College, one of the oldest colleges of Oxford University.

The research theme has been developed further to include interactive workshops on current and developing research tools. Our hope is that this will enable clinicians to better understand and appraise research literature, and generate discussion with basic scientists to develop areas of collaborative research relevant to clinical practice.

The meeting is aimed at:

- Clinicians with a pain interest, who wish to further their medical expertise, develop their research appreciation and forge alliances with the research community
- Basic science researchers who wish to understand clinical problems in pain medicine and issues surrounding the translation of research into medical practice, and to develop links with clinicians to advance patient-centred research

The meeting has been organised by:

Dr Jane Quinlan
Consultant in anaesthesia and acute pain management
Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Trust
Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer, University of Oxford

Speakers include:

Prof Tony Dickenson
University College, London, UK
Descending pathways in the pathophysiology of pain

Prof Herta Flor
Mannheim, Germany
Brain mechanisms of phantom limb pain

Lt Col John Etherington
Director Defence rehabilitation, UK
Military experience of rehabilitation after amputation

Dr Beverly Collett
University Hospitals of Leicester, UK
The politics of pain

Prof Chris Eccleston
Director, Centre for Pain Research, Bath, UK
CBT for pain relief


RUH Research Support Statistician Post.

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📥  HealthResSW

The Royal United Hospital NHS Trust Bath.

LOCATION: The Department of Research & Development. The Wolfson Centre

POST: Research Support Statistician

HOURS: 37.5

BAND: AFC Band 7.

SALARY: £30,460 - £36,303

Applications are invited for the post of a Research Support Statistician to work in the Dept of Research & Development. We require an experienced Statistician with specialist knowledge of quantitative and qualitative research statistics. The post holder will be qualified to at least MSc level and will provide statistical advice for researchers to support ongoing development of The Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Trust generated research. The role will involve scientific input to study design, including sample size calculations, data analysis and reporting. The post holder will be expected to organise basic statistical training for the benefit of the Trust. In addition the post holder will provide statistical services for the Education Department, The Clinical Audit Department, the Trust in general and other contracted NHS organisations.

The post holder will be an employee of The Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Trust, Combe Park, Bath and an honorary contract may be arranged with the University of Bath.

The post is funded for 1 year in the 1st instance with a view for future funding.

For further information please contact Dr Alistair Taylor, R&D Dept, Wolfson Centre, Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Trust, Combe Park, Bath, BA1 3NG. Tel; 01225 824160; email:


Waste the Waist Pilot Study Receives Funding.

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📥  HealthResSW

A pilot study designed to evaluate a new approach to weight loss and physical activity in people with increased cardiovascular risk has been funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the Department of Health’s national health research funding scheme.

The Waste the Waist study is a collaboration between the Peninsula Medical School in Exeter, the University of Bath, Deakin University in Australia and Bath & North East Somerset PCT (BANES PCT) - the study has received funding of £240,000 from the NIHR.

Waste the Waist is based on the highly successful LIFE! Programme which has benefited thousands of people in Melbourne, Australia. It is the latest state-of-the-art programme for supporting weight loss and a healthier lifestyle and mirrors the recommendations of the recently released European guidelines for the prevention of type 2 diabetes (to which the Peninsula Medical School was a contributor). It aims to encourage and support at risk individuals to implement behaviour change, resulting in positive alterations to their lifestyle in areas such as physical activity and diet. The pilot study will work with and assess 50 NHS patients from BANES PCT.

Previous studies have shown that those with cardiovascular conditions such as heart disease and diabetes can make a huge difference to their rates of recovery by making even small positive changes to their lifestyle. The more changes in diet and physical activity they make, the better the results – among people at risk who made just four or five lifestyle changes the rate of progression to type 2 diabetes was reduced to zero per cent.

The pilot study will evaluate the Waste the Waist programme to ensure that the methods and procedures for assessing its impact will work as intended. For example, the pilot study will monitor ways to ensure that individuals do not drop out of the programme for preventable reasons, such as poor communication of the level of effort required. Once the pilot study is complete, the study team plans to conduct a large trial to assess the impact and value for money of the programme.

BANES PCT will be inviting selected NHS patients to take part in the pilot study from 15th November.

Dr. Colin Greaves, Senior Research Fellow into Primary Health Care at the Peninsula Medical School and who is part of the Waste the Waist study team, commented:

“The developed world is, potentially, heading towards crisis as the result of the impact of lifestyle-related disease – and at the top of the list of such diseases sits type 2 diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases. Lifestyle interventions have been proven to work and the potential savings of such interventions to healthcare budgets are immense – it is estimated that diabetes now accounts for up to 18 per cent of total healthcare expenditure in Europe and costs an estimated £9 billion per year in the UK. Getting a programme such as Waste the Waist to work will mean that it can be implemented across the UK as a value for money option for local health authorities, resulting in fewer at risk individuals developing lifestyle-related disease and reductions in cost to health care providers. We are excited to be working with colleagues in Bath and Australia to make this happen.”

It is predicted that one in 10 Europeans aged 20-79 will have developed diabetes by 2030. Its reach is growing – once a disease of old age, diabetes is now affecting adolescents and children and the highest increase is in the 30-40 year old age group. Diabetes now accounts for up to 18 per cent of total healthcare expenditure in Europe and costs an estimated £9 billion per year in the UK.

Information about the National Institute for Health Research, the Department of health’s national health research funding scheme, is available at -


NIHR Partner Criteria: Non-commercial funding organisations list.

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📥  HealthResSW

The Department of Health has made available the list of non-commercial funding organisations that meet the NIHR Partner criteria; the criteria for the automatic eligibility of a study to be adopted onto the NIHR Portfolio include it being funded by one of these organisations:

Please note: if an organisation that funds research is not present on this list, it does not necessarily mean that a study funded by that organisation will be ineligible for Portfolio adoption. Organisations that have not yet been assessed for NIHR Partner status will be required to complete the application process. The Department of Health will not be making available a list of organisations who have failed to meet the NIHR Partner organisation criteria in the past, however.

Studies funded by overseas organisations and investigator initiated trials (commercially funded, non-commercially sponsored) will continue to be assessed on a case by case basis.

This document will be updated every two weeks by the NIHR CRN CC.


RDS-SW welcomes it's newest member of staff - Dr Fiona Fox


📥  HealthResSW

Dr Fiona Fox has recently been appointed as the Qualitative Research Consultant for the Bath branch of the Research Design Service South-West (RDS-SW)

She has 15 years experience of using qualitative methods in different settings, such as homes, hospitals and schools. During this time she has worked with a range of individuals and groups, including children and young people, parents, teachers and health care professionals. Developing innovative approaches to qualitative data collection in the online environment has been a particular focus of her work. Having designed, run and disseminated a number of independent research studies, she has also gained valuable experience through working within teams on large longitudinal projects and randomised controlled trials (RCTs).

Dr Fox's personal research interest has been in child and adolescent development, in particular the social and psychological aspects of appearance during adolescence. She has recently worked on projects exploring the health of doctors and adolescent mental health. She is particularly committed to the involvement of participants in the research process and aims to develop creative ways of participation.

Dr Fox is available to discuss the qualitative aspect of projects at any stage in their development:


JOB VACANCY - Knowledge Transfer Fellow (£29,853-£38,951)

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📥  HealthResSW

The University of Bath's School for Health (SfH), in collaboration with the Bath Institute for Medical Engineering (BIME), are seeking a Knowledge Transfer Fellow as part of the "Smart systems for rehabilitation and assisted living" project.

The primary role of this position is to exploit SfH and BIME current knowledge to develop commercial products and tools. In addition to this, the postholder will be responsible for increasing awareness and promoting adoption of technology and interventions for long term conditions.

The SfH and BIME have both carried out significant research into the application of technology to support rehabilitation and independent living of people with specific long-term conditions, and now wish to develop this knowledge in to commercial products to maximise economic and societal impacts.

The Knowledge Transfer Fellow will be mainly based in the Bath Centre for Pain Research (BCPR) within the School for Health at the University of Bath. However, during the course of the project the Knowledge Transfer Fellow may be required to spend some time based on-site with project partners.

This position is for a period of 12 months at Research Grade 7 (£29,853-£38,951). Line management will be provided by Professor Chris Eccleston, Director of the BCPR.

For enquiries, please contact Lisa Austin: , 01225 386575


Health Innovation Challenge Fund

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📥  HealthResSW

Applications are now open for the latest theme in the Health Innovation Challenge Fund, addressing the monitoring of individuals with long-term health problems.

This third call focuses on chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma, arthritis, heart failure and dementia that at present can only be controlled not cured.

The Health Innovation Challenge Fund (HICF) is a £100 million, five-year parallel funding partnership between the Wellcome Trust and the Department of Health. The funders are collaborating to stimulate the creation of innovative healthcare products, technologies and interventions, and facilitate their development for the benefit of patients in the NHS and beyond. The HICF will have a succession of thematic calls for proposals, each selected to focus on unmet needs in healthcare relevant to the NHS.

The deadline for preliminary applications is 1 October 2010.


Research Assistant (12 months fixed term post)

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📥  HealthResSW

School for Health Salary: £31,454

Closing Date: To be confirmed

Interview Date: To be confirmed

Project: inTouch: A video link system to improve social inclusion for people with dementia

The Bath Institute of Medical Engineering (BIME) have partnered with the Research Institute for the Care of Older People and the School of Management to investigate the potential of video telephony to allow people with dementia to remain connected with friends and family. A significant number of people with dementia live alone or spend long periods alone and can become socially isolated. Improved social interaction can extend the time that a person with dementia can live independently at home, and improve their quality of life. This project will explore how a video link system can improve social inclusion for people with dementia.

Main duties and tasks:

  • Source and/or develop suitable internet-based video-conferencing platform
  • Develop flexible application software to interface with video-conferencing platform
  • Work with other team members and study participants to define system specification using software prototypes
  • Define, develop, measure and analyse usage metrics associated with the system
  • Install and support equipment installations in day care centres and participant’s homes

The post holder will be based at the Bath Institute of Medical Engineering in Royal United Hospital.

For enquiries please contact Lisa Austin, Research Manager;


Research Design Service South-West (RDS-SW) Residential Research School


📥  HealthResSW

The RDS-SW is now advertising for the 2011 Residential Research School.

This is an annual spring event and is an exceptional opportunity to health and health services researchers in the South West and provides coaching and support for you to develop your research proposal to the standard required to be competitive in seeking high quality research funding.

If what you need is a sustained period of intense work and support to develop your research project, then this opportunity is for you.

For further information, please contact Russell Holloway,


Smart systems for rehabilitation and assisted living

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📥  HealthResSW

Professor Eccleston (Director of BCPR) has recently been awarded with an EPSRC Knowledge Transfer Award, to develop innovative ways to accelerate the translation of research outputs in to business opportunities.

In partnership with the Bath Institute for Medical Engineering (BIME), Smart systems for rehabilitation and assisted living will provide individualised support for users and carers to manage their condition. They will be suitable for the self funded, mainstream market, and are more likely to provide a sustainable long term model of delivery.SMART pic

The aim of this award is to take forward the outputs of previous awards led by Professor Eccleston (SMART 1, SMART 2 and KT) and Smart Homes work from BIME in to telehealth and telecare for those with chronic conditions, which enable them to self manage at home.

Although self care and self management are being promoted as the way forward, there is little analysis in to their integration in to the home; it assumes a medical model of health intervention, where a health professional is responsible for monitoring - unlikely to be sustainable in the long term.

This project will establish long partnerships with three key organisations working in this area: BIME, the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust (BIRT) - one of the leading independent providers for people with acquired brain injury, and Ivory Egg, the leading UK supplier of home automation products using the European wide open KNX architecture. BIRT and Ivory Egg are each contributing £12,000 to the project and there are also in kind contributions from industry in terms of business mentoring and technology installation.