September 2020
NIHR Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs) newsletter
News from across the ARCs
NIHR ARCs awarded £13.125 million to fund key national research priorities

The NIHR ARCs have secured £13.125 million to lead applied research in national priority areas to help solve the most pressing issues facing health and social care today. 

ARCs will work with patients and service users to develop better outcomes regionally and nationally. The key areas of research include children’s health and maternity, prevention, inequalities, mental health, multimorbidity, adult social care and healthy ageing. 
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Can an app close the gap between smoking and non-smoking mothers?

Smoking during pregnancy continues to decline across England, yet the North East and Cumbria has a higher percentage of mothers still smoking at the time of birth, compared to the national average. In a bid to address this, researchers from ARC North East and North Cumbria are evaluating the effectiveness of an app that supports expectant mothers to quit smoking.  
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Researchers explore the health information needs of elderly ethnic minority communities during the pandemic

Much of the available public health guidance around COVID-19 has been in dominant languages and may not have reached elderly ethnic minority communities, who are particularly vulnerable to the virus.

Now, researchers led by Dr Priya Paudyal and funded by ARC Kent, Surrey and Sussex will work predominantly with elderly Indian and Nepalese communities to explore their key information and engagement needs, and ultimately co-produce a range of resources to support these communities through the pandemic.
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Study finds corticosteroids reduce risk of death by 20% in critically ill COVID-19 patients

ARC West has contributed to a ground-breaking analysis of seven trials, which has found that corticosteroids reduce the risk of death among critically ill COVID-19 patients by 20%. The study was co-ordinated by the World Health Organisation and findings were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. 
Research supports remote GP care delivery during the pandemic

A joint project between researchers at the Universities of Oxford and Plymouth aims to support the development of tools to help clinicians assess people effectively by phone or video. The research team includes Professor Richard Byng, Deputy Director of ARC South West Peninsula and is led by Professor Trisha Greenhalgh from the University of Oxford.
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Contact and education improves medication adherence, systematic review shows

People with type 2 diabetes and / or cardiovascular disease are more like to take prescribed medication if they have regular contact with a healthcare professional and education, a study funded by ARC East Midlands has found.
Supporting implementation and improving evaluation during and after COVID-19

Implementation and improvement science researchers at ARC South London have developed an interactive resource to support the rapid implementation and evaluation of health and social care innovations, interventions and new services during, and after, the pandemic.
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‘The Body Unlocked' research photography exhibition opens in Didcot

A photography exhibition showcasing ground-breaking NHS research has opened in Didcot. ‘The Body Unlocked: How Research is Changing Lives’ features life-sized photographs of people who have taken part in studies, researchers at work and microscopic images of cells and bacteria. ARC Oxford and Thames Valley is one of the organisations staging the exhibition.
Live webinar on the national call for ageing, dementia and frailty research proposals

ARC Wessex are running a national call for research proposals as part of their successful bid to lead on the ageing, dementia and frailty national research priority, alongside colleagues from Manchester, Bradford, Leeds and Exeter. The ARC aims to commission applied health and social care research with proven impact for older people. Join the webinar tomorrow, Friday 11 September, 1pm to 2pm, to learn more. 
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Video puts spotlight on COVID-19 dementia study

ARC North West Coast (NWC) has produced a video featuring people from across the dementia community talking about their experiences of participating in an ARC NWC study. The study set out to understand the immediate and long-term effects of social service closures on the wellbeing of older people, people living with dementia and unpaid carers.
Professor Richard Lilford discusses global collaboration in health research

Professor Richard Lilford, Director of ARC West Midlands, recently took part in an online discussion as part of the 2020 Health Services Research UK (HSRUK) Conference. The session, which is available to watch online, covered building partnerships for tackling health policy and systems challenges in low and middle-income countries.
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Blogs and opinion
What is the value in local outdoor space for mental health?

Professor Sarah Rodgers, ARC North West Coast theme lead for Care and Health Informatics, writes about how the COVID-19 lockdown has cast the spotlight on green and blue outdoor spaces in urban areas and their impact on our mental health.
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Bradford District COVID-19 Scientific Advisory Group - four months in

Bradford's COVID Scientific Advisory Group (CSAG) was established at the start of lockdown. Now four months on, Yorkshire and Humber ARC shares highlights from ground-breaking research taking place, which is forming the local response to the pandemic.
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The highs and lows of supporting young researchers

Dr Felicity Shenton, Public Involvement and Community Engagement Manager for ARC North East and North Cumbria, shares her recent experiences of working with young researchers aged 13-18, to help others who may be planning to work with young people as part of their research.
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The holy grail of quality measurement

Professor Richard Lilford, ARC West Midlands Director,  argues that we should use algorithmic decision support where clear rules exist, but we must stop pretending that the whole of medicine can be guided in this way. 
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The challenges of researching the experiences of people who inject drugs during a pandemic

Researchers from the Universities of Bristol and Bath are working with Bristol Drugs Project (BDP) to explore the experiences of people who inject drugs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Researchers from the LUCID-B study team reflect on the journey so far.
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Events and opportunities
ARC East of England Implementation Seminar Series

10 September, 12.30pm to 1.30pm
Location: Online via Zoom

Kate Beckett, Research Fellow, University of the West of England, will explore the potential of arts based knowledge translation strategies (such as participatory drama) to catalyse change by stimulating debate and knowledge sharing among key healthcare stakeholders.
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Live webinar: ARC Wessex collaboration on ageing, dementia and frailty

11 September, 1pm to 2pm
Location: Online via  Microsoft Teams
ARC Wessex are running a national call for research proposals as part of their successful bid to lead on the ageing, dementia and frailty national research priority. Join the webinar to learn more. 
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Transforming services post COVID-19 and beyond

24 September, midday to 12:45pm
8 October, midday to 12:45pm
22 October, midday to 12:45pm
5 November, midday to 12:45pm
19 November, midday to 12:45pm
Location: Online
These conversations will cover practice-based examples to explore how the fields of implementation and improvement science can be practically useful in navigating the complexity of transforming services in the COVID-19 recovery period and beyond. The sessions are organised by ARC South London and the Health Innovation Network.
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THIS Space 2020

25 November
Location: Online

THIS Space welcomes researchers, patients, carers, NHS staff and anyone with an interest in the evidence base for improving the quality and safety of healthcare. This online conference will create an opportunity for people to gather, connect and share ideas remotely. It is open to all and free to attend.
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