Research Projects


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Health Foundation learning report on lining up project SAPPHIRE’s research has had an impact on policymakers, practitioners and patients
SPACE - Space and people, how the atmosphere is created by the environment in paediatric ED
Funder: University of Leicester Knowledge Exchange and Enterprise Development Fund. January- June 2019

There is increasing evidence that the physical environment and feel of a place in healthcare settings have an effect on emotion and behaviour, as well as on well-being and recovery. This project focuses on the urgent assessment space i.e. the process of arriving in a hospital setting seeking medical review, and how place and space influence the experience of care as well as the process of diagnosis and decision making in acute illness.

For more information, please contact Nicola Mackintosh

Red flags and symptom checkers for self-diagnosis in  maternity
SANDS (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity) January - December 2019

Websites and pregnancy apps are an integral source of information for many pregnant women, particularly in high-income countries. This project aims to find out about who uses these resources, and differences in types of resource used and how these digital resources ‘work’ to help women distinguish between normal pregnancy-related changes and what could be a sign of a complication.

For more information, please contact Nicola Mackintosh.

Patient Activation Measure (PAM) evaluation
The Health Foundation and NHS England, November 2014 - February 2017

Patient Activation Measure (PAM) evaluationThe Patient Activation Measure (PAM) is a measurement scale of patient activation based on patients’ responses to questions.


For more information, please contact Natalie Armstrong

Why is Southmead safe? Developing a programme theory of ‘PROMPT’
(Practical Obstetric Multi-Professional Training)
Sub-study, September 2014 - November 2017

A study which uses an ethnographic approach to understand the mechanisms through which improvements in safety have been achieved at Southmead hospital in Bristol, and particularly the role of multi-professional training in managing obstetric emergencies (PROMPT).

For more information, please contact Mary Dixon-Woods

A stronger voice? The role of patient and public involvement in the commissioning and provision of evidence-informed health and social care in the East Midlands


The 2012 Health and Social Care Act made major changes to the NHS and social care, including processes for involving patients and the public in decisions and planning, but to date, there has been little study of the effects of these changes on the influence of patients and the public on commissioning and provision. This study will investigate how well the new system delivers patient and public involvement on health and social care in the East Midlands, how it works in different areas, and how far it secures influence for PPI in major decisions around the translation of evidence into practice.

For further information, please contact Pam Carter

Evaluation of the Impact of High-Intensity Specialist-Led Acute Care (HiSLAC) on Emergency Medical Admissions to NHS Hospitals at Weekends
NIHR, October 2013 - September 2018

HISLAC Project logoEmergency medical patients admitted to hospitals at weekends have poorer outcomes than those admitted during the week. This study aims to evaluate High-Intensity Specialist-Led Acute Care (HiSLAC) to improve the care of acutely ill medical patients admitted as emergencies to English hospitals at weekends. In the first stage, metrics for HiSLAC will be produced, and levels of ‘penetration’ mapped. The second stage of the study will examine the impact of HiSLAC through an NHS-wide comparison of HiSLAC penetration with NHS performance and outcomes. Alongside this, a detailed quantitative and qualitative study of 10 HiSLAC and 10 low-intensity (LoSLAC) hospitals will be conducted involving case note reviews of quality of care and on-site ethnographic exploration of approaches, barriers, and facilitators to HiSLAC. This research is important because it offers an unique opportunity to evaluate the impact of the transition to seven-day working, and to understand factors likely to impede or enhance the effectiveness of this change in practice.

For more information, please contact Carolyn Tarrant

Hospital Wide Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment

A project to inform NHS managers, clinicians, patients and the public about how best to organise hospital services for frail older people, and to provide high quality evidence to support the delivery of Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) on a hospital wide basis.

For more information, please contact Graham Martin

Use of patient experience data in commissioning and care: a scoping study

This project, funded by Leicester City CCG’s NIHR Research Capability Funding, aims to examine current practice in the collection, interpretation and use of patient experience data, and to contribute to a potential larger study that would develop ways of helping NHS organisations maximise the value of this source of information.

For more information, please contact Graham Martin

Antimicrobial resistance as a social dilemma: Approaches to reducing broad-spectrum antibiotic use in acute medical patients internationally
Research Councils' Tackling AMR Initiative, January 2017 - December 2018

AntibioticsThe project will compare attitudes to prescribing antibiotics in England, Sri Lanka, and South Africa, aiming to build a model which identifies the risks, tensions, and elements of social and cultural context that effect the way broad spectrum antibiotics are prescribed, and use this to find ways to improve antibiotic prescribing.

For more information, please contact Carolyn Tarrant

Patient Experience And Reflective Learning (PEARL)
NIHR - Services and Delivery Research Programme, October 2016 - October 2019

The aim of the PEARL project is to create a reflective learning framework for staff in acute medical units and intensive care units, using patient experience data to improve patient and family experience of the emergency care pathway in hospital.Researchers will design an approach to collecting and presenting patient experience data to staff and will develop a protocol to encourage reflective learning so that staff continually engage in self-criticism and improvement.

For more information, please contact Carolyn Tarrant

Building a Culture of Openness from Blunt End to Sharp End
Department of Health Policy Research Programme, 2016-2019

The project aims to evaluate the current state of cultures at every level of the NHS relating to openness, transparency, and learning, including change over time and variation across settings, and to gain an understanding of how far specific policies and initiatives developed by senior managers and policymakers and introduced since the publication of the Francis inquiry have changed norms, attitudes, practices, and behaviour and thus translated into positive action at the level of patient care.

For more information, please contact Graham Martin

Implementing Evidence and Improvement (IEI) Theme, CLAHRC East Midlands
NIHR, 2014-2018

Image by Danilo.mac (CC BY-SA)
This project is a collaborative research and evaluation programme looking at key initiatives in innovation, healthcare improvement and knowledge translation across the region’s NHS organisations.

For more information, please contact Graham Martin

Previous projects


SPACE - Space and People, how the Atmosphere is Created by the Environment in paediatric ED

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