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Strategic Funding projects supported by CRN Greater Manchester in 2023/24


Relevant Research 

1. Prisons

Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust: This piece of work aims to consult with key stakeholders to explore how a Prisoner Advisory Group (PAG) should be developed in prisons by considering the following:

  • What type of training should be delivered
  • How benefit from involvement could be maximised for people in prison
  • How to recruit people to be involved in more research routinely and
  • What kind of infrastructures would be needed to facilitate this in an effective and ethical way
  • How to evaluate PAGs and ways to increase sustainability

2. Stroke 

Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust: The funding is to build capacity and capability in stroke research to support research delivery capabilities. It will add value and increase research capacity by removing some barriers to AHPs getting involved in research and reducing the need to rely on members of the medical team and experienced researchers. It will also provide dedicated time to develop closer working with the local community to support future stroke studies by engaging with a broader range of relevant partner organisations, including community and speciality groups and non-NHS organisations representing people from under-served populations.

3. Chronic kidney disease 

Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust: Chronic kidney disease (CKD), enabling expansion to a far larger population of advanced CKD patients transitioning to renal replacement therapy, working with experts in cognitive impairment and dementia to develop the most user-friendly and validated assessments to cover the key domains of cognition.

4. Pilot partnership 

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: Fund the staff to support a pilot research partnership with health and care providers and the community across the Wigan area. The main aims would be to increase the capacity and capability to deliver CRN Portfolio studies in partnership across health and care services, and to develop new research funding applications relevant to our local community following full engagement with our local community and health and care partners.

5. PPIE 

Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust: Establish and set up a new model of PPIE that will better understand and address the health needs of pregnant women, postnatal or thinking about becoming pregnant, focusing on areas of Greater Manchester where research does not usually occur.

6. Community engagement 

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust: A community engagement project to listen to the voices of people who don't access healthcare or participate in research in Blackburn, one of the UK's top 10 most deprived areas. The overall aim of the project is to:

  • Understand barriers and facilitators for under-served populations in the area to take part in research and accessing health care services.
  • Take research closer to people in the communities where they live and work and build relationships of trust over time.
  • Engage communities in under-served regions in dialogue about research.
  • Build long-term relationships with community leaders.
  • Give people the confidence to take part in health and care research.

7. Primary Care 

Primary Care GP Practice – Readesmoor Medical Group Practice: Enhance and transform the local research culture in one of our primary care partners. Increase research capacity and capability and increase patient awareness and involvement. The funding will strengthen research delivery by supporting interdisciplinary ways of working.

8. Diabetes 

Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust: The prevalence of diabetes in the community is significant but much greater in people coming into hospital who often have unknown hyperglycaemia. The funding will grow the FIND-IT study team which aims to identify undiagnosed diabetes in people attending Tameside Hospital, which will, in turn, help to address the health needs of people in Tameside and reduce further complications and burdens on the NHS.

9. Major trauma

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust: The GM Major Trauma population is a diverse group of individuals who predominantly come from under-served populations, including minority ethnic groups and those from deprived socio-economic backgrounds. The Major Trauma Academic Group (MTAG) is a multi-speciality group formed in 2022 to advance GM-relevant MT research. The key aim of the MTAG is to increase research exposure, education, capability, and activity within the MFT Major Trauma Centre and expand to GM network MTCs. The group aims to adopt NIHR portfolio research projects relevant to GM's diverse and social-economic challenging population. MTAG aims to run feasibility studies and apply adequately powered studies to this challenging population. 

Inclusive Involvement

1. Identifying participants 

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust: The innovative Senior Adult Oncology Service (SAOS) based at The Christie NHS FT is uniquely positioned to increase the participation in research of older patients with complex health issues. This patient group has been typically excluded from research studies due to eligibility criteria which mandate a level of health which patients with multimorbidity, complex chronic conditions, or frailty do not meet. The result is that evidence gained through these research studies cannot be generalised to older people with cancer and complex needs. We propose a project which aims to utilise the new SAOS to increase the identification of older patients with cancer and complex needs who are potentially eligible to participate in research studies.

2. Common mental health disorders tool 

Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust: Further development of the common mental health disorders tool (CMHDS). Mental health interventions and research need to be conducted in culturally sensitive ways and cater to all groups in society, ensuring meaningful inclusion of all groups. This work builds on the expert and expert-by-experience priorities for making the CHMDS culturally sensitive and potentially adapted to some disabled groups.

3. Optimising outcomes with medicines 

Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust: In November 2022, the 'Optimising Outcomes with Medicines' (OptiMed) Research Unit was launched. OptiMed is a collaboration between Pennine Care NHS FT and the University of Manchester. It aims to carry out medicines optimisation and safety research to benefit patients with mental illness. The unit is committed to ensuring that its research involves and reflects the priorities of those with mental illness from all communities across Greater Manchester. OptiMed considers it a priority to first carry out early work to address the lack of input from under-served communities to attract research funding to deliver more representative research, and aim to create a structure they can use for enhanced engagement by:

  • Building a collaborative research network with key organisations and groups representing under-served communities with mental illness,
  • Co-designing with stakeholders from the above network recommendations facilitating greater engagement and identifying the priorities of these communities in medicines optimisation and safety research.

4. Community priority setting partnership 

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust: PPIE. Vocal Co-deliver and evaluate a Community Priority Setting Partnership (CPSP) on health and care research priorities in Central/East Manchester.

5. Addressing ethnic under-representation 

Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust: Funds to support a project to address ethnic under-representation in research by:

  • Improving researchers' cultural competence and confidence in engaging with and recruiting from different ethnic groups
  • Increasing understanding and confidence in research within underserved and racialised local communities by recruiting and training community research ambassadors as 'Research Champions' via community-partnered participatory research opportunities

6. Engaging children and young people 

Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust: Funds will support the engagement of children and young people (CYP), young adult service users, and patient and public involvement groups who are underrepresented in research to inform how we can overcome the barriers to participation in research and co-production that perpetuate inequalities in health research.

Exceptional Experience 

1. Student placements 

Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust: Funds to support a 1.00 WTE research assistant training post as student placements within the research delivery teams across the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust (NCA). This supports the NCA's commitment to nurture and develop future talent across the footprint of the NCA, developed in collaboration with Manchester Metropolitan University which aims to build the capacity of the research workforce and increase the capability to deliver a broad range of NIHR portfolio studies.

2. Primary Care questionnaires 

Support The Ashton Medical Group, a GP Practice with over 18,000 patients, to gather information via bespoke questionnaires. These questionnaires would provide valuable qualitative and quantitative data about patients' experiences within research. This may include information on particular studies, information on attitudes to research as a whole, and potentially data on why patients may not want to join research studies.

3. Pharmacy risk assessments

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust: To enable the development of a more robust process for rolling the pharmacy risk assessment process out across GM, exploring whether the process could be digitalised. Digitalising the process would enable the process to be utilised in other settings and on a broader geographical scope for when the CRN GM and CRN NWC merge to establish the Regional Research Delivery Network.