Archive | February, 2015

16 went to Qatar…

24 Feb

by Rebecca Morris, Research Fellow for General Practice theme in the Greater Manchester PSTRC

Qatar blog photo_Feb15_resized

Recently I was lucky enough to be invited to a British Council funded Researcher Links workshop in Doha, Qatar to discuss some shared research interests in long term condition management for both physical and mental health issues. The workshop was organised by Professor Karina Lovell (Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care – Greater Manchester patient-centred care theme lead and Director of Research, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work) and Professor Richard Gray (Assistant Executive Director of Research and Professor of Health Services Research at Hamad Medical Corporation).

Qatar is the world’s richest country per capita with a diverse population made up of Qatari nationals (approximately 278,000 people) and an increasing migrant worker population (approximately 1.5 million people) from around the world. Whilst Arabic is the official language in Qatar, people also speak Urdu, English, Hindi, Tamil, Nepali and many other languages which creates challenges in the delivery of care.

The Primary Care system is also very different to the system in the UK, with the majority of people in Qatar opting to visit the Emergency Department instead of a GP equivalent. This poses many questions for some of the key patient safety issues that are a focus of our work in Greater Manchester PSTRC around medication safety, diagnostic opportunities and long term condition management.

We were a truly multi-disciplinary group with clinicians, social scientists, health services researchers and even an architect. This made for very interesting discussions about the different pieces of the jigsaw we all contribute to in developing patient-centred healthcare system.

The workshop had a mix of group sessions and presentations on a variety of topics including Patient and Public Involvement, Improvement Science, and the Qatar health system as well as a writing masterclass by Professor Roger Watson (Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Advanced Nursing). Bravely people also presented their research using the PechaKucha presentation style (a presentation is 20 pictures long and you have 20 seconds per picture- no slides, graphs or text allowed! It made for a memorable experience and an engaging move away from the classic PowerPoint presentation).

To end our brief time in Qatar, the British Embassy hosted a reception where all the participants of the workshop and members from local health organisations were able to share ideas and experiences. It was a fantastic opportunity, we learnt a lot from each other, had a lot of fun, did a lot of work and are now developing future applications together to explore some of the ideas that we generated in the workshop. Many thanks to everyone who was involved and organised it!

Into the unknown, alone

16 Feb

by Max Scott

  • Part 1 of the blog series “The desperate fight to be heard, and supported, when living with the invisible struggles of Multimorbidity”
  • Introduction to blog series available here


I was full of apprehension as I walked into the GP surgery waiting room – a message on my answer phone the previous day had told me to contact my doctor asap. “I think you’ll feel better when you get in there”; the receptionist said. My heart suddenly felt a little less heavy. Did she know something that I didn’t? I felt bewildered, but now at least I had a bit of hope.

The buzzer on the wall announced that it was time for me to face the facts. I entered the Dr’s room. “I believe you have the results from my brain scan”, I said. “Have I?”, he remarked. My heart began to sink again. “Let me have a look….hmmm…I don’t know how to access these results…I’ll have to ask for help”. He then rang for the receptionist to show him how to open the file. As I realised he had obviously not seen the results after all, all optimism in me evaporated. “Do I have cancer” I said, staring at the floor. “No, you do not have cancer. You have a large adenoma on your Pituitary Gland”. “What is that when it’s at home?” I remarked, hiding my fear with a touch of flippancy. “It’s a lump…a tumour. You poor man. Just when you should be living your life to the full. I thought the headaches you were getting were the result of over indulgence, and I put you in for the scan to prove it to you”.

I had been rather taken aback when the doctor had suddenly announced, at my previous appointment, that he was putting me in for a brain scan, but my main thought at that time was that at least he was being thorough, and the fact that I was having a scan made it no more or less likely that there was a problem. But, from that day onwards, my life was to change forever…

The desperate fight to be heard, and supported, when living with the invisible struggles of Multimorbidity

16 Feb

by Rebecca Hays, Research Associate, Multimorbidity theme


One of our research themes at the Greater Manchester PSTRC focuses on patient safety in primary care for people who have two or more long-term conditions at the same time. This is known as multimorbidity. We believe that people with multiple health conditions may be more likely to experience issues with their physical and psychological safety because they:

  • Use healthcare services frequently
  • Receive care from a range providers
  • Need to manage multiple medications and treatments at the same time, and
  • Face difficult decisions about their healthcare priorities.

We aim to develop a better understanding of people’s experiences of primary and community care when they have multiple health conditions, find out when a patient’s safety may be at risk and how risk could be reduced.

This series of blog posts by Max Scott provides insight into what it’s like to be diagnosed with and manage multiple health conditions. He shares some of the most significant moments in his healthcare and brings to life the concerns and problems some patients face.

Max is in his 50s but no longer able to work. He lives with his wife, in South-East England, who he also refers to as his “carer”, “guide”, and “memory”. Max’s story starts almost 10 years ago…

click here to read part one of Max’s story

click here to read part two of Max’s story

click here to read part three of Max’s story

click here to read part four of Max’s story

click here to read part five of Max’s story

click here to read part six of Max’s story

click here to read part seven of Max’s story

click here to read part eight of Max’s story

INVOLVE Conference 2014 – Changing Landscapes

6 Feb

by Joanne Beresford and Carolyn Gamble, members of the Greater Manchester PSTRC Research User Group (RUG)


We went to the INVOLVE 2014 conference, held at the NEC in Birmingham, eagerly awaiting all the latest research on PPI/PE. There was such a wide variety of workshops and sessions available that we were spoilt for choice and struggled to choose which sessions to attend. We attended separate sessions so that we would get to attend the widest variety of talks and workshops possible and then share information.

The PSTRC session was full and it was standing room only which was excellent and the presentation on the Research User Group Perspective/ Evaluation of the Research User Group in conjunction with Dr Sally Giles (Research Fellow, Greater Manchester PSTRC) was well received with excellent discussions following on from the presentation. This presented plenty of networking opportunities for the PSTRC and Carolyn even met someone from her native Canada which enabled international discussions on approaches to PPI/PE.

Jo was particularly impressed with the presentation from Parkinsons UK, their PPI philosophy and the progress they have made is astounding. PPI members are involved in the shortlisting and interviewing of senior job vacancies and this is something that amazed Jo as she was completely unaware that this sort of PPI/PE existed.

All in all it was an excellent, informative experience and we were proud to represent the Greater Manchester PSTRC at INVOLVE 2014 and hopefully we can take some of the knowledge gained and feed it into the projects we work on within the PSTRC to have impact on the research undertaken.