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How NIHR Applied Research Collaborations rose to the challenge of COVID-19

The contribution of NIHR Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs) to the fight against COVID-19 is marked today, the third anniversary of the first UK lockdown, with the launch of a new publication: NIHR ARCs: Supporting the Fight Against COVID-19Link opens in a new window (PDF).

Thu 23 Mar 2023, 15:51 | Tags: COVID-19

Vi and Vincent the Jibber Jabbers Book

Prof Celia Brown, Professor of Medical Education at Warwick Medical School and part of ARC WM Research Methodology theme, has recently published a book for children, Vi and Vincent the Jibber Jabbers, explaining how vaccines work, and how they keep many people safe and healthy. It is available from 3 March 2023. Further information is available at: opens in a new window.

Tue 28 Feb 2023, 16:37 | Tags: Research Methods, Publication, COVID-19

Strengths-Based Practice in Adult Social Care During COVID-19: Insights From Practice Reviews in the West Midlands

Sharanya Mahesh, Research Fellow University of Birmingham

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on adult social care services. With the enforced closure of services, such as day centres in the community, and the emergence of new priorities due to the pandemic, local authorities have been required to introduce and adapt to new ways of working so that they continued to support people meaningfully.

Working with the West Midlands Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (WM ADASS), the Social Care theme of ARC WM have produced a report examining the impact of the pandemic on strengths-based practice. Document analysis on nine practice reviews undertaken between October 2020 and September 2021 form the basis of the report. Since their introduction, practice reviews have become an integral part of the peer challenge programmes led by the WM ADASS. Analysis of the reviews highlighted some positive and negative impacts on strengths-based working, and also brought to light the impact of the pandemic on staff who were at the forefront of demonstrating strengths-based practice.

Tue 19 Apr 2022, 00:27 | Tags: COVID-19, Social Care

Our First Public Health Summit (Nov 20)

On Thursday 26th November 2020, our Public Health theme hosted its first Public Health Summit online. This event brought together more than 60 stakeholders from across the West Midlands who have a shared passion for improving the public health of people living in our communities.

The aims of the summit were to: learn more about COVID-19 and public health; and Link ARC WM members and those involved in Public Health in the West Midlands.

A report is available here: ARC WM Public Health Summit November 2020

Tue 05 Jan 2021, 13:05 | Tags: COVID-19, Public Health

Nuclear War: Learning Lessons from COVID-19

While the current COVID-19 pandemic has us focused on our vulnerability to communicable disease, it should also serve as a wake-up call to the cataclysmic impact that would befall the world if nuclear weapons were ever to be used again. Prof Lilford, colleagues from ARC WM, and Prof Andrew Futter (Professor of International Politics at University of Leicester), have recently published an article arguing that there is an urgent need for renewal of public education, interest, and activism in reducing nuclear dangers. It is available online in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. 2020; 76(5).

Tue 29 Sep 2020, 13:07 | Tags: Director, Publication, COVID-19

New Research Seeks to Identify the Factors that Determine Oxygen Therapy of COVID-19 Patients

Treating COVID-19 patients with oxygen therapy can be important because the disease is primarily a respiratory illness. Improvements in oxygen therapy mean better morbidity and mortality outcomes. A new research study has been launched by experts at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) and University of Warwick, supported by the Health Foundation, UK. It will find 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. Furthermore, this over-use would reduce the amount available for treating other patients.

“…It is important to understand and optimise practices, including prescribing of oxygen, for Covid-19 patients, in order to improve outcomes for hospitalised patients...”

Professor Alice Turner – Respiratory Medicine, UHB Trusts.

Optimal use of oxygen is vital for treating COVID-19 patients, most of whom can be managed in normal wards, as well as the minority that progress to intensive care units. Professor Alice Turner (UHB) who is co-lead on the project said: “Oxygen is a drug, and optimising prescribing is critical in a range of medical conditions, of which Covid-19 may be one…

Data collected from four hospitals in the trust will be analysed to describe patients receiving oxygen therapy and assess how well it is prescribed. The results of our study will enable better understanding of staff-patient dynamic in hospital environments where considerable pressure is being experienced on a daily basis. Specifically, recommendations will be made to the Health Foundation concerning potential behavioural interventions. The aim is to improve treatment and to reduce mortality rates and morbidity related disease complications in the fight against the pandemic. Future behavioural interventions based on the current study will likely involve changes to hospital environments that guide cost-effective use of oxygen and improves health outcomes for a sustainable health system.

This research is supported by the national Health Foundation, UK, University of Warwick and University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust. Project PI, Prof Ivo Vlaev, and a number of researchers are supported by NIHR ARC West Midlands.

Mon 13 Jul 2020, 14:48 | Tags: COVID-19

Ambulance Callouts During COVID-19 Lockdown

It has been widely reported that A&E attendance across the UK has decreased since the COVID-19 lockdown came into effect, with newspapers suggesting that this is especially the case for patients with heart attacks or strokes. Writing in the Lancet, Lumley-Holmes, et al. looked at callout figures across the West Midlands for these two conditions, and found that there was no significant change associated with lockdown. There was no evidence suggesting that people were reluctant to ring for an ambulance when they experienced heart attack or stroke symptoms.

Read more:

Lumley-Holmes J, Brake S, Docherty M, Lilford R, Watson S. Emergency ambulance services for heart attack and stroke during UK's COVID-19 lockdown. Lancet. 2020; 395: e93-4.

Corresponding author Richard Lilford. Richard Lilford is supported by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration West Midlands (ARC WM). Views expressed are not necessarily those of the National Health Service, the NIHR, or the Department of Health and Social Care.

Mon 08 Jun 2020, 20:58 | Tags: Publication, COVID-19