This week we’ve been revisiting our work in health service delivery… we also celebrated our birthday with tea and cake!

Monday was all about our PaReNt project – a mixed methods systematic review funded by the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit Programme which we completed almost a year ago.  The review considered the qualitative and quantitative evidence for parent-to-parent support for parents of babies in neonatal care.

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We benefited from the wisdom of some great parents and clinicians throughout the project.  Kate Boddy reflected on the experience of working with our parent advisory group in a guest blog.   We also thoroughly enjoyed working with Rae Goddard who attended our final project meetings and created live drawings of our discussions. These graphics have now been printed on postcards and delivered to neonatal units around the UK.

On Tuesday, we revisited our work on the use of patient initiated clinics in secondary care.  A topic that arose from a clinician facing uncertainty as to the best model for providing routine outpatient care for people with rheumatoid arthritis. The issue is beautifully captured in this video featuring the lovely Vicki Goodwin.

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This review led to further work with Derriford Hospital including an implementation study and the development of a DIY toolkit and we have also conducted a Cochrane Review which is due for publication in 2020.


We also shared the findings of a systematic review published in 2013 on the use of telephone consultation follow-up after routine surgery.

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On Wednesday, we shared the findings from a more recent review conducted with colleagues in Plymouth and Truro on social prescribing. If you are interested in reading more, Kerryn Husk and Becca Lovell have both written fascinating blogs based on this review.

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And… on Wednesday, we hosted a birthday party in Exeter… it was great to see so many people and to share copious amounts of cake with them.  We raised a total of £78.40 for the local charity Young Devon, that has been supporting young people across Devon, Plymouth and Torbay for 70 years and is passionate about helping young people thrive.  We also asked our guests to write a Postcard of Kindness to send to care home residents across the UK.


Thursday was all about diagnostic testing.  Two systematic reviews concerned with thyroid function testing and a third on the diagnostic accuracy of troponin assay tests.

And finally, we’d like say a HUGE thank you to all our collaborators – it has been a complete pleasure to work with so many people from different and varied backgrounds on this set of systematic reviews.

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Full list of publications:

  1. Zhelev Z, Ohtake H, Iwata M, et al. Diagnostic accuracy of contemporary and high-sensitivity cardiac troponin assays used in serial testing, versus single-sample testing as a comparator, to triage patients suspected of acute non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction: A systematic review protocol. BMJ Open 2019;9(3) doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-026012
  2. Zhelev Z, Abbott R, Rogers M, et al. Effectiveness of interventions to reduce ordering of thyroid function tests: A systematic review. BMJ Open 2016;6(6) doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010065
  3. Whear R, Thompson-Coon J, Rogers M, et al. Patient-initiated appointment systems for people with chronic conditions in secondary care. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013;2013(12) doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD010763
  4. Whear R, Abdul-Rahman AK, Thompson-Coon J, et al. Patient initiated clinics for patients with chronic or recurrent conditions managed in secondary care: A systematic review of patient reported outcomes and patient and clinician satisfaction. BMC Health Services Research 2013;13(1) doi: 10.1186/1472-6963-13-501
  5. Whear R, Abdul-Rahman AK, Boddy K, et al. The Clinical Effectiveness of Patient Initiated Clinics for Patients with Chronic or Recurrent Conditions Managed in Secondary Care: A Systematic Review. PLoS ONE 2013;8(10) doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0074774
  6. Thompson-Coon J, Abdul-Rahman AK, Whear R, et al. Telephone consultations in place of face to face out-patient consultations for patients discharged from hospital following surgery: A systematic review. BMC Health Services Research 2013;13(1) doi: 10.1186/1472-6963-13-128
  7. Husk K, Blockley K, Lovell R, et al. What approaches to social prescribing work, for whom, and in what circumstances? A realist review. Health and Social Care in the Community 2019 doi: 10.1111/hsc.12839
  8. Husk K, Blockley K, Lovell R, et al. What approaches to social prescribing work, for whom, and in what circumstances? A protocol for a realist review. Systematic Reviews 2016;5(1) doi: 10.1186/s13643-016-0269-6
  9. Hunt H, Whear R, Boddy K, et al. Parent-to-parent support interventions for parents of babies cared for in a neonatal unit-protocol of a systematic review of qualitative and quantitative evidence. Systematic reviews 2018;7(1):179. doi: 10.1186/s13643-018-0850-2
  10. Hunt H, Abbott R, Boddy K, et al. “They’ve walked the walk”: A systematic review of quantitative and qualitative evidence for parent-to-parent support for parents of babies in neonatal care. Journal of Neonatal Nursing 2019;25(4):166-76. doi: 10.1016/j.jnn.2019.03.011
  11. Goodwin V, Jones-Hughes T, Thompson-Coon J, et al. Implementing the evidence for preventing falls among community-dwelling older people: A systematic review. Journal of Safety Research 2011;42(6):443-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jsr.2011.07.008
  12. Thompson Coon J, Martin A, Abdul-Rahman AK, et al. Interventions to reduce acute paediatric hospital admissions: A systematic review. Archives of Disease in Childhood 2012;97(4):304-11. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2011-301214