October 2021
NIHR Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs) newsletter
News from across the ARCs
Cancer-risk research featured in special edition of PLOS Medicine
NIHR ARC Oxford and Thames Valley theme leads have contributed to research outlining how routine clinical tests could be widely used to estimate the risk of cancer for people visiting their GPs with unexpected weight loss. The research has been highlighted in a special PLOS Medicine collection of studies that focus on early cancer detection.
Planned surgery in independent sector linked to shorter hospital stays and fewer readmissions than in NHS
A recent observational study by researchers from NIHR ARC West Midlands and ARC East Midlands compared outcomes of 18 elective surgical procedures between public and independent UK hospitals. Analyses found that independent hospitals were associated with shorter lengths of stay and lower rates of readmission compared to NHS hospitals.
All-Party Parliamentary Group launches new report on eating disorders
The 'Breaking the Cycle' report compiled by Beat - the eating disorder charity - on behalf of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Eating Disorders makes recommendations for actions that funders, universities, the NHS and researchers should take to break the cycle of underfunding and achieve much-needed advances in knowledge. Researchers from NIHR ARC Kent, Surrey and Sussex contributed to the report.
Is Preston ‘Building Back Better’ post-COVID?
The NIHR has awarded £600,000 to a study investigating if Preston holds the keys to ‘Building Back Better’ post-COVID. The research, led by Professor Ben Barr from NIHR ARC North West Coast, will investigate whether the Preston Community Wealth approach really has the potential to transform the local economy so that it benefits all sections of the community, and how to maximise the health benefits of this approach.
£2.5 million awarded to improve treatment of delirium in hospitals
A quarter of older people admitted to hospital experience delirium, a feeling of confusion often brought on by a medical condition such as an infection. Despite its prevalence, little research exists on how to improve recovery. Now, a new NIHR ARC South West Peninsula research programme will find new ways to help people recover from delirium after hospital stays, which could stop dementia symptoms getting worse.
Information to recruit patient and public groups to research should be clear, colourful and concise, agree public contributors
Mike Bell from NIHR ARC West ran a workshop to identify the barriers people might face to engaging with health research as public contributors. The group of public contributors agreed that taking a ‘less is more’ approach and not overwhelming audiences with too much information is the most effective approach to developing patient and public involvement recruitment materials.
Campaign cuts number of 999 call outs for diabetes-related emergencies
An education campaign has helped to significantly reduce the number of recurrent emergency call-outs to people with diabetes suffering hypoglycaemia across the East Midlands. The campaign saw the roll out of a booklet, Hypos Can Strike Twice, issued by paramedics alongside information on accessing follow-up care. Research carried out by NIHR ARC East Midlands, in collaboration with the East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust, shows the intervention had a positive impact. 
Online events explore latest research on role of palliative care in the COVID-19 response and implications for commissioning services
Around 200 palliative and end of life care researchers, clinicians, policymakers and patient and public involvement members came together to discuss the public health response to COVID-19 and the future of commissioning end of life care services. The two online events were supported by ARC South London.
Could stories improve our health? New ‘Reading for Wellbeing’ project to be evaluated by ARC North East and North Cumbria
The impact of a new ‘Reading for Wellbeing’ project supported by best-selling author Ann Cleeves is set to be evaluated by NIHR ARC North East and North Cumbria. The scheme will support reading for improved health, and is being trialled across the North East region.
Your Path in Research: Exploring an NIHR ARC Northwest London supported PhD studentship
As part of the NIHR 'Your Path in Research' campaign, ARC Northwest London spoke to Kanika Dharmayat, who is starting her second year of an NIHR supported PhD on familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), to see how she has benefitted from the opportunity.
‘Living With COVID Recovery’ programme is an award finalist
The NIHR ARC North Thames and ARC Wessex-supported 'Digitally-enabled rehabilitation for people with long COVID' (Living With COVID Recovery) programme is a finalist for an ‘Outstanding Response to COVID in Healthcare’ LaingBuisson Award. The programme is currently helping to support over 1,500 patients affected by long COVID across 23 clinics in 16 NHS trusts. 
Blogs and opinion
COVID-19 vaccines for teenagers: conversations and consent
In this BMJ editorial Sonia Saxena, Child Population Health Theme Lead at NIHR ARC Northwest London discusses the issues and considerations surrounding vaccinating teenagers against COVID-19. She says: “Whatever teenagers and families decide, their views must be heard and respected.”
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What does co-production mean in the COVID-19 era?
NIHR ARC North West Coast PhD student Piotr Teodorowski and public advisers Saiqa Ahmed and Irum Durrani talked to Peter Beresford, Visiting Professor at the University of East Anglia, about how COVID-19 has influenced co-production in healthcare services and research.

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The power of public partnerships: exploring the link between household tenure and multimorbidity
The prevalence of multimorbidity (people living with multiple long-term conditions at the same time) is growing, and this is even more widespread in disadvantaged communities. NIHR ARC North Thames researcher Lizzie Ingram shares findings from a study exploring the link between living conditions and multimorbidity among residents in Barking and Dagenham, and how she overcame key challenges through effective community partnerships.
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Iconic Studies from the NIHR HS&DR Programme
NIHR ARC West Midlands Director Richard Lilford recently scrutinised the NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) publication journal, and has selected a number of programmes to focus on.
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A matter of life or death: A rapid review assessment of London’s safeguarding adults reviews to inform the future of mental health adult social care
Caroline Emmer De Albuquerque Green, NIHR ARC South London Post-Doctoral Fellow at the NIHR Policy Research Unit in Health and Social Care Workforce, introduces a new report on what Safeguarding Adult Reviews tell us about mental health social care services for adults in London.
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Events and opportunities
Greater Manchester PCIE Forum Festival Week

Monday 18 October - Thursday 21 October

Location: Online

Join NIHR ARC Greater Manchester for a virtual, four day festival of learning, connection and inclusion as they showcase and celebrate the way Greater Manchester communities have come together in an inclusive way during the pandemic. Learn about how different communities have worked together and the impact this has on maximising diversity and inclusion in public involvement and engagement activities.

New NIHR ARC Wessex research projects (Part 2)

Monday 18 October, 12.30 – 1.30pm

Location: Online
Learn about four new research projects joining the NIHR ARC Wessex portfolio. This live webinar will be chaired by Professor Alison Richardson, ARC Wessex Director.
Theory of Change workshop

Tuesday 19 October, 1pm - 2:30pm

Location: Online

In collaboration with ARC West, the West of England Academic Health Science Network’s (AHSN) Academy brings you this workshop to help you further understand Theory of Change for evaluation purposes in healthcare. 
The workshop is suitable for people working in the NHS and partner organisations (including the non-profit sector).

Economic evaluation online introductory course

1 November - 10 December

Location: Online
The NIHR ARC North Thames Academy are offering a new online course, providing a unique opportunity to develop economic evaluation skills with leading trainers, irrespective of previous experience. This fully flexible course is intended as an introduction for frontline health and care staff who need to undertake their own economic evaluation of a local intervention or service.
NIHR ARC NWL collaborative learning event – 'Making a difference'

2 November, 12:30pm - 4:30pm

Location: St Paul’s Centre, Hammersmith, London
Registration is now open for the NIHR ARC Northwest London Collaborative Learning Event. Delegates will hear from a range of inspirational speakers and members of the ARC Northwest London Themes about the work they are doing in applied health research.
Inside Research - Participatory and community-based approaches to tackle health inequalities

3 November, 6pm - 7:30pm

Location: Online
In this seminar researchers and members of the public involved in ARC South London's work will show how they are developing and using participatory and community-based approaches to ensure that the organisation's research tackles health inequalities. 
Stroke early career researcher event

11 November, 12:30pm - 2:30pm

Location: Online
At this event, we invite early career researchers or those interested in stroke research from any background to come together, network, share existing research and discuss new research ideas to benefit local people. 
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