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North-East Palliative Registrar Research and Education Alliance (NEPRRA) update


NEPRRA is a successful, long standing research collaborative consisting of palliative trainees in the northern deanery. The alliance has successfully completed both quantitative and qualitative research projects resulting in national and international publications, presentations and awards.

In 2019 NEPRRA received the NIHR Palliative Care Research PA award to support the development of a portfolio-adopted qualitative study. This study aims to evaluate the benefits of, and barriers to, advance care planning for patients who are established on home-NIV for COPD. The views of both healthcare professionals who provide a tertiary home-NIV service and patients who access the services were explored.

Conducting this study during the COVID-19 pandemic prompted reconsideration of how consent was obtained and more notably prevented face-to-face interviews, and consideration of how this would affect the ethical approval. Thankfully there were no issues in recruiting participants. We are delighted to have overcome the challenges of completing this during the pandemic and are presently in the write-up phase.

During the past 12 months NEPRRA have been working on a number of other projects, including a survey highlighting the impact of the pandemic on training in palliative medicine and a new collaboration with colleagues in Liverpool focused on the use of denosumab for hypercalcaemia of malignancy.

During the past 12 months NEPRRA have been working on a number of other projects, including a survey highlighting the impact of the pandemic on training in palliative medicine which we are looking forward to presenting as a poster in the Spring. We are proud to have presented other work as posters at the 2021 Palliative Care Congress (PCC) and the 2020 European Association of Palliative Care 11th World Congress (EAPC). As a team we strive to attend as many of the conferences as possible to facilitate exposure to our work, with six members attending the PCC and 2 members at the EAPC. We have published an article on inequality in access to bereavement services in BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care. Looking forward, we are in the early stages of planning our next research project.

Our Terms of Reference have been updated and we have agreed to allow more scope to focus on educational, as well as clinical academic work. We have developed a simulation programme for internal medicine trainees aimed at the palliative care aspects of the curriculum, which has been presented widely across palliative medicine and internal medicine. We have also been involved in the revision of regional palliative care guidelines, and have created content for a palliative care app.

To find out more about NEPRRA, contact us via twitter @neprra or directly to Dr. Amy Huggin, NEPRRA co-chair 2021-2022, via email