Monday, 25 July 2016

CAHPR Writing Workshop

CAHPR Cumbria and Lancashire Hub held a Writing Workshop at the University of Central Lancashire on Tuesday, 12th July.

Eleven people attended from a wide range of AHP backgrounds – SLTs, Physios, Radiographers and OTS joined us for presentations from other clinical practitioners about their experiences of writing and submitting papers and articles.

We shared top tips and held a structured session to make a start on writing on the day. The workshop was led by Dr Hazel Roddam, Dr Jessie Janssen and Dr Philippa Olive.

Emma Hooper spoke about her experiences of submitting work and getting published.

The session was interactive with active participation allowing attendees to develop and progress their own writing with support and encouragement.

We plan to continue the conversations on Twitter - check @CumbriaLancsAHP and #ResNetSLT for updates.

We also hope to launch a virtual writing club to help you keep in touch with us and with each other, so that you can have support to submit your work.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Building a research career - A guide for aspiring clinical academics

NIHR CLAHRC NWC is hosting a free event for aspiring clinical academics from nursing, midwifery and allied health professions.

Featuring researchers and speakers from the NIHR, Health Education England and NIHR Research Design Service, this event will provide you with the information on the various options and support available to pursue a research career.

Please book early as places are limited.

The event takes place on Thursday, 22nd September (12.30 - 4.00pm) at Westleigh Conference Centre, University of Central Lancashire, Preston.

For more information and bookings, please email CLAHRNWC.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Neurological Rehabilitation research forum event

Manchester Metropolitan University is hosting a Neurological Rehabilitation research forum event on Tuesday, 12th July (10.00am - 2.00pm).

If you are interested in helping shape a forum that might support and develop research in this field, please email Rachel Stockley who will send you more information.

You may also have colleagues who you might feel would be interested, both in your own institution and beyond, so please feel free to pass these details on.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Dr Roddam collaborates on new speech and language programme

CAHPR Cumbria & Lancashire Hub Leader Dr Hazel Roddam has collaborated on a new programme to help children with 'hidden' speech and language problems.

The Social Communication Intervention Programme (SCIP), a joint project between Dr Roddam, Salford Royal and the University of Manchester, has been developed by one of the UK's leading experts in the field, Dr Catherine Adams, and research speech and language therapist Jacqueline Gaile.

Children with social communication disorder (SCD) struggle to understand and use language, especially in social situations.

Although they may be quite chatty – so their difficulties aren't always spotted – their problems expressing themselves and understanding others can affect how they do at school, their friendships and their emotional and mental health.

It has been tested on a small scale in schools, where teachers and parents reported it led to improvements in children’s social and learning skills.

The study, first reported in the Manchester Evening News, is also breaking new ground in the way results will be measured – because the 24 primary school children who will be involved have different needs, individualised aims will be set up and progress measured against these.

One parent whose views have helped to shape the research is Clare Cusack, whose son Tomas, 16, has SCD with elements of autism. He has worked with Jacqueline for five years.

Clare, from Saddleworth, said: "Tomas has had to learn the social rules that come naturally to others, such as being persuasive or having a reciprocal conversation.

"One size doesn't fit all with conditions like these – it's really important that the help he gets is completely sensitive to his needs.

"Learning these skills has made him more independent and given a voice to his personality, so that people can get to know the real Tomas."

Children with SCD can sometimes lack tact, have difficulty in telling a story so it can be understood and struggle to understand others. They may also have autistic traits.

The study will train NHS speech and language therapists in the new intervention, specifically designed to give children new language and social skills.

The research, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research for Patient Benefit Programme, will also look at how many children in England are affected and what sort of help they are getting, as it's a condition that hasn't always been recognised.

Dr Adams said: "We know there is an association between these communication problems and behavioural difficulties that continue into adolescence. These can have huge repercussions and affect the whole family.

"We very much hope that this intervention, which looks at individual children's needs, will help to bring about long-term improvements and we will be consulting with parents and therapists to make sure it is of value to them.

"We are trying to bring changes in practice and give speech and language therapists new skills. SCD is still something of a hidden problem and there may be different awareness and approaches to dealing with it in different areas of the country."

Salford's child Speech and Language Therapy service provides assessment, therapy and intervention for children with communication impairments, including children with autism and social communication disorder. It is also active in research.

The researchers say they will ask local therapy services to identify children on their caseload whose communication needs match the new intervention.

Research will be coordinated from Salford Royal and the University of Manchester, with the majority of participants expected to come from the North West.

If outcomes of the feasibility study are convincing enough to make a strong case for further funding then it could lead to a bigger study being carried out.