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July 2020
NIHR Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs) newsletter
News from across the ARCs
STI and HIV self-sampling could reduce patient waiting times at sexual health clinics

Enabling asymptomatic patients to self-sample for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) could reduce waiting times at sexual health clinics, according to modelling by ARC West published in BMJ Open.

This finding could inform the redesign of sexual health services across the UK, at a time when demand for HIV and sexually transmitted infection testing is rising but local authority budgets for these services are shrinking.
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Growing numbers of alcohol-related hospital admissions linked to local spending cuts

Research supported by ARC South London has shown an association between increases in alcohol related hospital admissions and decreases in spending on alcohol services since they came under the responsibility of local authorities in 2012.
 
Collaboration helps minimise disruption to dialysis treatment during the pandemic

A collaboration involving ARC South West Peninsula has used computer modelling to identify how to minimise disruption to patients receiving  dialysis treatment during the pandemic. The collaboration's findings are nationally applicable.
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Children at risk from falling UK vaccination rates

Professor Sonia Saxena, ARC Northwest London's Child Population Health Theme Lead, has warned children risk becoming unseen victims of the COVID-19 pandemic, after leading research that found over 60% of 752 health visitors surveyed in May reported contact with families who had considered cancelling or postponing their child’s vaccinations.
COVID-19 highlights lack of linked datasets for care homes

In a recent BMJ editorial, professors from across multiple ARCs, including Professor Barbara Hanratty from ARC North East and North Cumbria, proposed that COVID-19 has placed a spotlight on the lack of easily accessible data on the UK care home population, and highlighted the need for a live minimum dataset to help support and protect care home residents.
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Large-scale testing and tracing is likely to prevent a second COVID-19 wave

A secondary wave is likely to be prevented if at least 50% of symptomatic COVID-19 cases are tested and 40% of their contacts are traced, finds research co-led by UCL and supported by ARC North Thames. The study suggests that the reopening of society must be accompanied by a well-functioning test-trace-isolate strategy.

This is the first study to quantify the amount of testing and tracing needed to prevent a second wave of COVID-19 as schools and society are gradually reopened.
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Patient and public involvement (PPI) in the time of COVID-19

Public involvement is central to high-quality, ethical research. So, what happens when a pandemic hits and life is turned upside down? ARC Oxford and Thames Valley reached out to three experienced PPI contributors – Una Rennard, Julia Hamer-Hunt and Bernard Gudgin – to ask how COVID-19 had affected their personal lives and their PPI work.
Designing research through young people's lived experiences

In a project led by the University of Sussex and funded by ARC Kent, Surrey and Sussex, young people with lived experience of mental health got together in May to help design a research study into the psychological impact of COVID-19 on young people. Their feedback and ideas will help researchers tailor the study to meet young people's needs.
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ARC Wessex awards eight Academy members 

More than £1.2 million has been invested in developing new health researchers in Wessex. One of the main objectives of ARC Wessex is to leave a legacy of research improvement, and that means creating more skilled researchers. These Academy memberships fund PhDs for eight people working in health or social care.
Analysis shows COVID-19 continues to hit the North hard

New analysis released by the Northern Health Science Alliance, in collaboration with ARCs North East & North Cumbria and Greater Manchester, indicates that lockdown varied in its effectiveness across the country, decreasing mortality rates much faster in London and the South East than in the North East in particular.
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Research seeks to identify the factors that determine oxygen therapy of COVID-19 patients

New research has been launched by experts at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and University of Warwick to explore the factors that influence how well oxygen is used across hospital wards where treatments take place. Evidence in other medical conditions shows that over-oxygenation can have negative health outcomes. The research is supported by the Health Foundation and a number of the researchers are supported by ARC West Midlands.
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Blogs and opinion
Regional inequalities in the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

Are some places more equal than others? In this blog, ARC North West Coast staff Dr Tanith Rose, Dr Alexandros Alexiou, Dr Konstantinos Daras & Professor Ben Barr explore the regional inequalities in the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Creating a coronavirus app: not as easy as you’d think

Zoe Trinder-Widdess, Communications Manager at ARC West, describes the process of producing the UK’s first coronavirus support and information app.
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Lessons from Implementation Science for healthcare after COVID-19

Beverley Slater, Yorkshire and Humber ARC Implementation Co-Lead and Director of the Improvement Academy, writes about the changes that have taken place in healthcare systems during COVID-19 and some Implementation Science concepts that can help us think about what sort of healthcare we want in the future.
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Leadership, heroism and heroic leadership

Richard Lilford, ARC West Midlands Director reflects on heroism and leadership in healthcare, and whether leadership can truly be taught.
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Ensuring ethnic diversity in COVID-19 research

People from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups are disproportionately affected by COVID-19, so it’s imperative that they’re included in the related research. Professor Kamlesh Khunti and Professor Azhar Farooqi from the Centre for BME Health share some tips on how to successfully involve people from BAME backgrounds in your research.
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Immersive virtual reality in the assessment and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease

Dr Felix Clay, who completed an ARC East of England apprenticeship in 2019, writes about an innovative approach to identifying Alzheimer’s disease preclinically, and his hopes that immersive virtual reality can be part of our future support for this vulnerable patient group.
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Engaging local women in maternity research during the COVID-19 pandemic

In this blog, Mary Newburn reflects on some of the events of the past year, which have highlighted entrenched inequities and injustice, particularly affecting people of colour, and on ARC South London's recent online engagement events, organised to link maternity and perinatal mental health researchers with local women to discuss how to collaborate.
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Events and opportunities
The NHS explained: how the health system in England really works

Available online now
 
Get a detailed understanding of the NHS - its inner workings, challenges, and how it all fits together on this King's Fund course. This course will help you understand what keeps the fifth largest employer in the world running, the challenges facing the system, and how to ensure the NHS is fit for the future.
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ARC East of England Implementation Seminar Series

Time: 12.30pm - 1.30pm
Date:  Thursday 6 August 2020
Location: Via Zoom
Professor Carl May, Professor of Medical Sociology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine will present on the practical implications of Normalisation Process Theory for the implementation of research.
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Launch of new SBRI competition: Urgent and Emergency Care

Deadline: 1pm, 27 August 2020
 
Companies and organisations are being invited to bid for funding to develop solutions to challenges in urgent and emergency care. This competition is supported by Health Innovation Manchester and the West Midlands AHSN.
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