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Case study: Working with a Local Authority to support obesity prevention

Research in wider care settings

The Integrated Care Delivery Team (ICDT) at CRN West Midlands recently supported a study called HENRY (Heath, Exercise, Nutrition for the Really Young). HENRY is the evaluation of a sustainable obesity prevention programme which will be integrated into Local Authority (LA) community centres in Wolverhampton. 

A bit about set up: 

We were the first CRN to provide support to this study making the set up quite challenging.  The Primary Care Study Support Service (PC SSS) supports the set up of studies in wider care settings through looking at the Assess, Arrange, Confirm (AAC) process to help support sites ensure all the key issues have been considered.  Linking in with the relevant people (ICDT and the Study Team) the key issues identified were:

  • CRN Support - Letters of assurance (facilitated by ACROSS) to ensure CRN staff had everything required to access the Local Authority sites
  • Delegation log and Site File - The Study Team initially wanted the CRN to have their own delegation log and site file but we had issues around storage.  It was agreed these would be kept at the Local Authority Site
  • Data protection considerations - CRN Staff have access to identifiable patient information and therefore data was the main issue to resolve.  The main lesson learned here was to involve Information Governance staff at the earliest opportunity

As we expanded into wider care settings, there were a lot of firsts for everyone in the team.  Processes have been reviewed with clear steps for the future, so that we can ensure consistency across the team. There was  also lots of learning around what considerations are needed when delivering research in these new settings.  By working together as a team (ICDT and PC SSS) we were able to work through these to give the study the best chance of success in the West Midlands.

A bit about delivery: 

The first wave of this study started recruitment on Friday 13 October 2023 giving the LA and CRN study staff eight days to approach, consent and complete the baseline assessments, which required home visits, for a target of eight recruits. Following the amazing work of all involved, the target recruitment was exceeded and a total of nine recruits has been included in Wave 1 of the study. The study was a great example of positive multi-agency working between the Study Team, CRN and Local Authority. 

We were also able to offer support to the LA by putting on a consent training session for staff who would be delegated that duty. This was something they found extremely beneficial and this, along with the achievement of over recruitment,  led the study team to use our experience to connect other CRN sites.  These have ffed back that they found our input extremely helpful.

We are due to start Wave 2 of the HENRY study imminently and have ensured that we will take forward lessons learnt from Wave 1 to continuously improve on the delivery of the study.