The Community and Health Research Unit team received the 2018 University of Lincoln Team Achievement Award for research which was presented to members of the team by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Mary Stuart at a ceremony at the Engine Shed on 21 November. The award recognised the strength and depth of research at CaHRU including new funding, publications, active projects, collaborations both within and external to the university. All our studies including aims, collaborators, outputs, and impact are detailed on the CaHRU website (http://cahru.org.uk/research/). This was is the sixth team award over the past 7 year and the fifth time the team have received the team award for achievement in research. Members of the team, pictured here 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, Dr Ravindra Pathirathna, Dr Pradeep Ratnasekare, Dr Mahendra Senivaratna, Dr, Joseph Akanuwe, Viet-Hai Phung, Despina Laparidou, Laura Simmons, Greg Whitley and Sue Bowler (administrator).
Staff are involved in around 50 active studies and sub-studies including 8 doctoral studies in progress. These cover the whole range of research methods from major clinical trials, e.g. investigating conditions such as hyper-acute care of stroke (RIGHT2), treatment of diabetes during pregnancy (CONCEPTT), early ambulance diagnosis of heart attack (PRESTO), ambulance hypoglycaemia pathways (Ambulance Hypo study) and primary care for insomnia (HABIT); observational studies, e.g. cross-sectional studies investigating diabetes emergencies in patients in care homes, prehospital paediatric pain management; qualitative designs, e.g. effect of psychological treatment for insomnia; and surveys, e.g. on healthcare for offenders on community sentences; to large-scale quality improvement programmes, e.g. prescribing safety (PINCER); and systematic reviews, e.g. psychological therapies for insomnia in autism, psychological therapies for insomnia related to tinnitus, perceptions of care in Guillain-Barre Syndrome sufferers.
Over the past year the team have led or co-authored 20 papers published or accepted for publication including landmark publications covering research developing new pathways and indicators for ambulance services and the effects of online treatments for insomnia in major journals such as Circulation, JAMA Psychiatry, Lancet Psychiatry and Resuscitation. Our research programmes and funding have enabled us to progressively build our collaborations year-on-year with academia in the UK and internationally, and also to strengthen our work with industry and the NHS in England. We have built extensive long-term academic collaborations. For example, internally at the University of Lincoln we have active collaborations with the Lincoln Institute for Health, and the Schools of Social and Political Sciences, Sport and Exercise Science, Psychology and Education. In the UK we have recent or active externally funded collaborations with the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Nottingham, Sheffield, Leicester, Warwick, Hertfordshire, Swansea, Anglia Ruskin, Central Lancashire (UCLAN), Liverpool, Surrey and Royal Holloway College and most recently Manchester and London (Kings, UCL, LSE).
Our impact derives primarily from our focus on studies that directly or indirectly make a difference to service users, carers and care provided by the health service. The work has increased the university’s reputation, media interest in its research and standing across the region. This includes seven case studies in development, all based on current research or previous studies conducted at the University of Lincoln. These include our work on: improving primary care for insomnia; increasing influenza vaccination in risk groups and the role of influenza vaccination in preventing heart attack and stroke; development and implementation of new prehospital ambulance pathways and technologies; development of prehospital outcome measures; using large scale healthcare quality improvement (QI) initiatives and collaboratives to improve healthcare processes and outcomes; improving healthcare and outcomes for offenders; finding solutions to the problem of differential attainment in licensing examinations. This impact continues to have a positive effect on the University’s reputation for research, its engagement with the public and the NHS, underlining the wider importance of research at Lincoln.
By Prof Niro Siriwardena