This year members of the Community and Health Research Unit received the University of Lincoln team award for Achievement in Research at the Individual Merit and Team Achievement Awards 2017. This was the team’s fifth team award over the past 6 years and the fourth time the team have received the team award for achievement in research. Members of the team include Prof Niro Siriwardena (director), Prof Graham Law, Dr Murray Smith, Dr Zahid Asghar, Dr Coral Sirdifield, Dr Stephanie Armstrong, Dr Julie Pattinson, Dr Rebecca Marples, Viet-Hai Phung, Despina Laparidou, Michael Toze, Laura Simmons, Joseph Akanuwe, Dr Nadeeka Chandraratne, Dr Ravindra Pathirathna and Sue Bowler (administrator).
The CaHRU team are striving to conduct research which will make a difference to patients and healthcare delivery. The group conducts basic and translational interdisciplinary research in collaboration with health service and academic partners. It currently has over 30 active projects in progress across a range of research methods from systematic reviews (e.g. role of community first responders, ethics of ambulance trials), major clinical trials (investigating conditions such as hyper-acute care of stroke, prehospital pain management, ambulance hypoglycaemia pathways and primary care for insomnia), observational studies (investigating prehospital pain and seizure management), qualitative designs (community first responders, dementia carers, ethics of ambulance trials, fairness of medical licensing exams), consensus methods (ambulance indicators), and surveys (healthcare for offenders on community sentences) to quality improvement programmes (prescribing safety) and international research networks (ethics of ambulance trials). Details of current studies are available on the CaHRU website (http://cahru.org.uk/research/).
This has led to over 20 publications in the past year covering research on development of new pathways and indicators for ambulance services, assessment and treatment for insomnia and use of health technology innovations, in major journals such as Resuscitation, Annals of Emergency medicine, Health Technology Assessment, Health Expectations and Lancet Psychiatry. The team have received several major grants over the past year, particularly from the National Institute for Health Research, as well as continuing to work on studies funded by the Wellcome Trust, Health Foundation and Falck Foundation. This year we have also welcomed international fellows from the University of Colombo to the team for the first time.