Local Research News

HWHCT Research Newsletters

April 2022:  April 2022 update.pdf [pdf] 738KB

February 2022:  February 2022 update.pdf [pdf] 324KB

December 2021: Research newsletter Christmas 2021.pdf [pdf] 4MB

Autumn 2021:  Research quarterly newsletter Autumn 2021.pdf [pdf] 808KB

Summer 2021:  Research quarterly newsletter summer 2021.pdf [pdf] 741KB

CQC Preparation: Research-Ready Packs (end of April/May 2022)

Keen to spread the word about research but also to support staff ahead of a future CQC visit, the Research Team have posted out ‘Getting Research Ready’ packs to all Trust sites. These packs offer varying levels of information for both staff and patients including posters and leaflets to display in patient facing areas and quick guides for staff. The overview sheet in the pack gives a bit of background and explains what’s included. Please email us if you require further copies of anything that’s in the packs or if you have any questions.

Worcester University's Feel Good Fayre in celebration of University Mental Health Day: 15.3.22

We were really pleased to have been invited to the Feel Good Fayre at Worcester University on Tuesday 15 March 2022 and what a day it was! Our first F2F off site research promotional day this year and once again we were wowed by the the students' interest and openness whilst chatting about mental health research. We handed out over 80 goody bags with research information and a few goodies enclosed, and the GLAD study (genetic links to anxiety and depression) QR code was scanned countless times.

It was also great to catch up with colleagues from the sexual health and early intervention in Psychosis teams who were also there. 

Local participation in national research study published 21.12.21

Huge congratulations to Marti van der Linde (Community Paediatric Dietitian Worcestershire North) who, as part of a team, had their work published online in 'Nutrition in Clinical Practise' just before Christmas. This was a commercial study run by Nestle and looked to 'Monitor gastrointestinal tolerance in children who have switched to an “enteral formula with food-derived ingredients”: A national, multicenter retrospective chart review (RICIMIX study).'

To read the article and outcomes in full please click here

Evidence Based Practice (EBP) Conference: 16-18 November 2021

Our inaugural research/EBP virtual conference was a huge success! We had 41 people attend at least 1 of the sessions and the feedback so far has been great. Huge HUGE thanks to everyone that attended and to our wonderful presenters without whom this event wouldn’t have taken place:

  • Simon Meadows (Clinical Lead Physiotherapist)
  • Simone van Dalen (Physiotherapy Team Leader)
  • Clare McFadyen (OT at New Haven)
  • Rosie Callaghan (Tissue Viability Lead Nurse)
  • Martha van der Linde (Community Paediatric Dietitian)
  • Chrissy Walker (OT Neighbourhood Team 1)
  • Alice Turnbull (Service Lead for Paediatric OT and Physiotherapy)
  • Emma Jesic (Specialist Paediatric OT & OT Lead for Neurodevelopment)
  • Nicola Bundy (CAMHS Practitioner)
  • Abigail Matthews (OT in Hereford Neighbourhood Mental Health Service)
  • Dr Kerry Gaskin (Head of Department - Midwifery and CPD; Principal Lecturer in Advanced Clinical Practice,from the University of Worcester)
  • Cliff Lewis (Advanced Physiotherapy Practitioner)

Your insightful presentations gave us all food for thought and really demonstrated how staff from all across HWHCT are constantly striving to improve patient care. Thank you.

Promoting health research off-site, Autumn 2021:

It has been so good to get out and about meeting people face to face and talking about health research over the last few months. Those who follow us on twitter (@HWHCT_Research) will have seen we’ve visited Worcester Woods a couple of times, joined other departments at the Health Care Assistant (HCA) conference on 17 September and engaged with students at Worcester University in the Students Union. It has been great to get to talk to members of the general public about health research and how easy it is for anyone to get involved at some level. Join Dementia Research ( and keeping an eye out for our online survey questionnaires are great ways to do this.

We hope to do some more off-site research research promotion in the new year so keep an eye on our twitter page to see where we'll be.

World Alzheimer’s awareness month: September 2021

September is World Alzheimer’s awareness month #WorldAlzMonth which we really wanted to get behind and promote. We asked a number of people who work in Alzheimer's research or with Alzheimer's patients for their viewpoints including key points that they wanted to highlight about the disease: why taking part in research is so important, what does Alzheimer’s research do, and how to get involved. A huge thank you to our contributors: Mella McCarthy (HWHCT), Nathan Stephens (Uni of Worcester), Jackie Smart (Research Facilitator, NIHR Clinical Research Network) and Julia Ravey (Alzheimer’s Society). Plus those who took part in Join Dementia Research (JDR) #passiton campaign by willingly(!) having their photo taken to be shared on twitter. Make sure you follow us on twitter @HWHCT_Research to find out more!

And don’t forget that one of the easiest ways to get involved in Alzheimer’s research is by signing up to Join Dementia Research (JDR) - an online service that connects registered volunteers with dementia researchers across the UK who are looking for people to join their studies. Healthy volunteers are needed too so ANYONE can sign up – go for it!

Study updates

Psychological Impact of COVID-19 - intial results from phase 1 of the study (December 2021)

The Psychological Impact of COVID-19 (phase 1) looked at the psychological impact of the first lockdown, the relaxation of lockdown rules and the compulsory face coverings period. These inital results show the varying impacts of each of the above listed periods on different population sub groups - including gender, age, ethnicity and professional groups. Please click here to read the full article.

HUGE thanks to everyone who took part.

COPE-WM: Initial findings from this study were released 19.11.21

COPE-WM was a far reaching questionnaire study available to anyone who worked in healthcare. It closed at the end of September 2021.

The study released their initial findings on 19.11.21 which included:

  • Unsurprisingly those healthcare employees who had a positive COVID-19 test result were more likely to provide direct care to patients with COVID-19
  • There was poor infection control at the beginning of the pandemic but effective infection control measures were implemented after this initial period
  • Experience of working during the pandemic:
    • Demand as outstripping capacity
    • Peer support at work was as important as ever
    • Morally challenging decisions in the workplace
    • Mixed re-deployment experiences
  • Impact on mental health:
    • Mental health deterioration experienced during the pandemic
    • Uncertainty during the pandemic
    • Mental health coping mechanisms disabled
    • Working from home as problematic for mental health
    • Positive antibody rates:
    • Prior to vaccination 46% of participants had had a COVID infection (included study participants who had answered ‘yes’ as being symptomatic who then qualified to receive an antibody test kit)
    • From December 2020 rates of antibody positivity rise dramatically following the 1st and 2nd dose of vaccination to 98+%
  • A study coming in the new year – COCO – will further look into the issues raised here

They have only released preliminary findings including the above so we will share the full report once it’s released.

We’ve also received a request from the study regarding the follow up survey:

‘Thank you to everyone that took the time to complete the COPE-WM study baseline survey. If you completed the baseline survey and this was more than 4 months ago you should have received an email asking you to complete the follow up survey for the study. The email was sent to the email address you provided when asked for your personal email address when you completed the baseline survey. Thank you to everyone who has already completed their follow up survey.

Please be aware that for some participants the COPE-WM study emails have been filtered to their spam/junk folder – please check there if you think you should have received an email

If, however, you received a request email but have not yet completed the survey we would encourage you to do so to ensure your follow up data contributes to the study outcomes. Survey completion should take no more than 20 minutes of your time.

If you took part in the study more than 4 months ago and either have not received an email request to complete the follow up survey or remember receiving one but are no longer able to access it and would like to complete the survey please contact the study research team by email: .

If you took part less than 4 months ago please keep an eye out for the email about the follow up that you should receive in the next few weeks. 

The higher the number of participants who complete their follow up survey the better the study will be able to understand the impact of COVID-19 on people working in healthcare settings.’

THANK YOU once again to everyone who took part in this study.

iMCSP (individualised Meeting Centres Support Programme) – initial findings

We were involved in this research study a few years ago so please click below for the results: CIA_A_212852 1527..1553 ( Thank you to those who were involved.

SYMBAD trial results - October 2021

HWHCT took part in this trial so we were really pleased to receive these results at the end of October 2021. The main results have been published in the Lancet: but please see below for the summary outcomes:

‘In summary we found that there was no benefit in taking mirtazapine compared with placebo, there was even the possibility of harm with a marginally higher rate of mortality in the mirtazapine group. The clear conclusion from the data is that they do not support the use of mirtazapine as a treatment for agitation in dementia. Positively there was clear recovery in those that participated in both the placebo and the mirtazapine group. This means that the best thing to do clinically may be to actively monitor agitation while carrying out treatment as usual, rather than jumping to use another medication in all but the most serious of cases.

This is a result that has important implications to clinical practice, and we hope that you will join with us in disseminating the findings as widely as possible. There has been a press release: Research news - Common antidepressant should no longer be used to treat people with dementia - University of Exeter by the University of Plymouth and the team would be happy to work with your local institutions and Trusts should you wish to provide further public information. Alzheimer’s Research UK has also published an article: Antidepressant drug doesn’t improve agitation in dementia trial - Alzheimer's Research UK (

HUGE thanks to everyone who was involved in this study at HWHCT.

PrEP Impact Trial – A pragmatic health technology assessment and implementation.

PrEP (HIV Pre-exposure Prophylaxis) is a medicine for HIV negative people and it can reduce the risk of catching HIV when taken as instructed. However this is currently not available through the NHS.

PrEP is made up of two drugs, Tenofovir and Emtricitabine. Both these drugs have been widely used for many years to treat HIV and the drug has been used by several thousands of HIV negative people worldwide to reduce the risk of HIV.

To plan a PrEP programme in England, NHS England and Local Authorities carried out research to find out:

  • How many people attending sexual health clinics need PrEP?
  • How many of these start PrEP?
  • How long do they need PrEP for?

In this Trust the study ran across the 3 Sexual Health Services; Arrowside, John Anthony Centre and Hereford and 64 patients were recruited. All participants in this study had access to PrEP.

This study has now closed but we will share the outcomes when they are published later this year. A huge thank you to everyone who was involved.

National Research news

Professional Training and Qualification updates

NHS Research and Development Forum newsletters

17.6.22 - Red for Research day!

May 2022

10.5.22 - Red for Research - save the date

April 2022

March 2022

CRN (Clinical Research Network) Connect newsletters

Monday 1 June 2022

Moday 13 June 2022

Wednesday 1 June 2022

Monday 23 May 2022

CRN (Clinical Research Network) Bulletin

Friday 10 June 2022

Friday 20 May 2022

Friday 6 May 2022

Friday 22 April 2022

Be Part of Research Newsletter

May 2022

March 2022

December 2022

NEW and LAST CHANCE: Afortiori Special Interest Group Webinar - Thursday 23.6.22, 10am - 11.30am

There's still time to secure your free spot at the next Afortiori Special Interest Group webinar, "Clinical Trials, Data Protection and You", thisThursday, 23.6.22. This free-to-attend webinar will be held as part of the SoLSTICE programme.

During this interactive session, Dr Nicola Wall and Amy Ford will be discussing what changes in data protection laws mean in practice for the life sciences sector. Their presentation will be followed by a live Q&A session during which audience members will have an opportunity to pose their own questions.

Book your spot here

Research Training PGCertificate - for September 2022 intake 

This research training course prepares you for doctoral research. This could be in the social sciences, arts and humanities or in either the public or private sector.

The qualification meets the learning outcomes at certificate level in the national higher education qualifications framework. Click here to find out more.

'Caring for people with psychosis and schizophrenia' - free course starting 6.6.22 running for 4 weeks

The course is developed specifically for carers/families and those with an interest in psychosis and caregiving issues. The course team comprise experts-by-experience in psychosis and caregiving and leading experts from nursing, psychiatry, pharmacy, psychology from across Kings Health Partners. The course is free for anyone across to join.

Click here to find out more and sign up.

Associate Principle Investigator Scheme

The Associate PI Scheme is a six month in-work training opportunity, providing practical experience for healthcare professionals starting their research career.

People who would not normally have the opportunity to take part in clinical research in their day to day role have the chance to experience what it means to work on and deliver a NIHR portfolio trial under the mentorship of an enthusiastic Local PI. Click here for further information.

Research Seminars: organised by University of Worcester

Organised by the College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences at University of Worcester, there is a fantastic schedule of free talks running through to the end of July 2022. For further information about the programme and for details about booking onto a seminar please click here.

National Research News

Algorithm could diagnose Alzheimer’s disease from a single brain scan (20.6.22)

A single MRI scan of the brain could be enough to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, according to new research supported by NIHR. Read more here.

The NIHR turns Red4R esearch to recognise everyone involved in COVID-19 research (17.6.22)

Researchers, study participants and members of the public are today recognising the hard work of all of those involved in COVID-19 research by supporting #Red4Research. Read more here.

Excess treatment costs: Payment thresholds lowered for NHS trusts (13.6.22)

NHS trusts delivering non-commercial clinical research will benefit from additional funding to deliver studies across England - following a financial policy change lowering the point at which trusts can claim back research excess treatment costsRead more here.

COVID-19 vaccine study supports flexible intervals in mixed Pfizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca schedules (9.6.22)

A standard two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech or Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine schedule showed a greater antibody increase when given at a 12-week interval, compared to a four-week interval. Read more here.

COVID-19 vaccine study supports flexible intervals in mixed Pfizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca schedules (9.6.22)

A standard two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech or Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine schedule showed a greater antibody increase when given at a 12-week interval, compared to a four-week interval. Read more here. 

NIHR leaders recognised in Queen’s Jubilee Honours List (8.6.22)

Leading NIHR researchers Professors Jill Manthorpe, Saul Faust and Margaret Johnson have been recognised in the Queen’s Jubilee Honours List. Read more here.

NIHR’s Research for Social Care call to run twice per year, with expanded remit to include children and young people’s social care (25.5.22)

NIHR’s Research for Social Care (RfSC) call will now run twice per year instead of once, thanks to increased NIHR investment into social care research. Read more here.

NIHR salutes TrialBlazers in new campaign to take part in health and care research (20.5.22)

To celebrate International Clinical Trials Day, the NIHR has launched a two-week campaign called TrialBlazers, that recognises the life-changing contribution made to health and care research, and calls on people across the UK to be a TrialBlazer and to take part in research which could one day save lives. Read more here.

Children’s physical activity levels fell below national guidelines in wake of pandemic, shows study (16.5.22)

New research has revealed children’s physical activity levels in the UK were significantly lower by the time the COVID-19 pandemic public lockdown restrictions were lifted. Read more here

Fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose provides stronger immunity boost than third dose, shows UK study (10.5.22)

COVID-19 vaccines given as fourth doses in the UK offer excellent boosting immunity protection, according to the latest results from the NIHR-supported COV-BOOST study. Read more here.

Children could find it easier to reach a healthier weight if their parents are addressing their own weight (9.5.22)

New research funded by NIHR has found that many parents attending commercial weight management programmes would be happy for their child, if overweight, to also receive support to reach a healthier weight. Read more here.

People hospitalised with severe COVID-19 show cognitive decline similar to 20 years of ageing (5.5.22)

New research funded by NIHR shows that patients who were hospitalised with severe COVID have lasting cognitive problems several months after their acute illness. Read more here.

1,000 healthcare professionals take their first step in research as part of innovative NIHR scheme (29.4.22)

The NIHR is delighted to announce that over 1,000 health and care professionals have now got involved with research for the first time as part of the Associate Principal Investigator (PI) Scheme. Read more here

Researchers create new tool to assess symptoms of long COVID (27.4.22)

Researchers have worked with patients to develop a comprehensive tool to assess the symptoms of long COVID and their impact on everyday life. Read more here.

COVID-19 vaccine boosters give well-maintained immunity three months on, finds NIHR-supported COV-BOOST trial (21.4.22)

The latest results from the UK’s COV-BOOST study, led by University Hospital Southampton, have shown prolonged immune responses following third doses of several COVID-19 vaccines. Read more here

NIHR publishes framework to promote race equality in public involvement in research (20.4.22)

The NIHR is proud to publish our Race Equality Framework - a self-assessment tool to help organisations improve racial equality in public involvement in health and care research. Read more here.

Antiviral treatment Paxlovid investigated through PANORAMIC study (12.4.22)

The NIHR-supported PANORAMIC trial is investigating a new COVID-19 antiviral treatment, Paxlovid, among vulnerable groups in the community. Read more here.

Transforming care and health at home (12.4.22)

NIHR has co-funded 14 new research projects to develop technologies such as self-care apps, smart devices and wearables to help people transform their care and health at home. Read more here.

Major new mental health study inspired by lived experience (8.4.22)

Experts at Northumbria University are supporting a £1 million research study, funded by the NIHR, which aims to improve the outcomes and experiences of those being discharged from mental health hospitals. Read more here.

Landmark clinical trial shows benefits of virtual reality treatment for severe psychological problems (7.4.22)

The largest ever clinical trial of virtual reality (VR) therapy for mental health, funded by NIHR, has shown that automated VR treatment works well for patients diagnosed with psychosis. Read more here.