26 July 2021
Research from the West of England has been featured in a newly released flagship document that demonstrates the impact of National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded applied research to transform health and care across England.
The publication, ‘The legacy of the CLAHRCs 2014-19 – 5 years of NIHR-funded applied health research’ (PDF) compiles key research projects from the NIHR Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRCs). Drawing together case studies from priority themes, the document demonstrates how the CLAHRCs conducted innovative research leading to improved outcomes for patients, better and more cost-effective services while challenging health inequalities.
PReCePT, our project with the West of England Academic Health Science Network is featured. PReCePT (Prevention of cerebral palsy in pre-term labour) is a quality improvement (QI) initiative that provides practical tools and training to help staff consider administering magnesium sulphate to eligible women. Premature birth is the main cause of brain injury and cerebral palsy in babies. Evidence shows that babies can be protected from brain injury by giving magnesium sulphate to women who are at risk of having a premature delivery. This reduces the risk of cerebral palsy in a third of cases.
Also featured is our project to evaluate eConsult, an online consultation / triage system that allows
patients to submit their symptoms through an online form on their practice website. The NHS Long Term Plan sets out a commitment that every patient will get the right to an online GP consultation as part of its ‘digital first primary care offer’. Our evaluation shed light on the realities of using an online consultation system in primary care.
Professor John Macleod, Director of NIHR ARC West, said:
“This is a fantastic monument to the legacy of the CLAHRCs. I am very pleased to see this document go live, especially as ARC West leads on national communications across the ARC network. Our communications team has collaborated with ARC East Midlands to make this publication a reality and get it out to decision makers.
“The two case studies from the West – PReCePT and the evaluation of eConsult – are great examples of what CLAHRC West achieved in our region. We are now building on this strong legacy with ARC West. I’m sure we will have as much to celebrate in five years’ time.”
Dr Louise Wood CBE, co-lead NIHR, Director of Science, Research and Evidence at the Department of Health and Social Care, said:
“The NIHR CLAHRCs increased the country’s applied health and care research capacity and capability, making this a key strength of the NIHR. These case studies are a fantastic demonstration of the CLAHRCs’ impact on improving services and outcomes for patients and the public, across a wide range of priority areas. Our Applied Research Collaborations continue to build on this legacy.”
Since October 2019, the NIHR Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs) have continued the work of the CLAHRCs. They deliver research relevant to the needs of their local populations, while contributing to nationally identified research priority areas.