View this email in your browser

ARC NWC Newsletter April 2020

A message from ARC NWC Director, 
Professor Mark Gabbay


Dear All

Thank you for taking the time to read our Newsletter, which enables me to update you on ARC NWC’s response to Coronavirus.

Firstly, I hope you and your friends and family are keeping well during these unprecedented times.
We have ARC NWC staff working on numerous COVID-19 projects, these feature on our new ARC NWC coronavirus page which also features resources shared by our members and links to national resources.  

If you are interested in the prioritised national studies happening in the fight against COVID-19, managed by NIHR, you can see all of the latest developments here. We know some of our members have been involved in several of these projects and helping recruit participants where required.

We are also working with members on looking ahead to post-COVID-19 issues and ARC NWC is part a national ARC group looking at mental health welfare of frontline and other staff during the pandemic. As you might expect this issue is a high priority across health and social care providers and our task is to try and co-ordinate academic input to maximum benefit and saving duplication and certainly conflicting research activity.

ARC NWC staff are also working on rapid reviews, which are documents that bring together timely information for decision making compared with standard systematic reviews. Decision-making and public debate are best served if policymakers have access to the best current evidence on an issue and we are playing our role in that sphere. We will publish these on our Coronavirus page so all members and other stakeholders can benefit.

I am aware the Public Adviser sub-groups have been continuing, albeit remotely and adopting new technology for communicating, which is something we are all learning about in both our personal and work lives.I appreciate these efforts as we all adopt to new ways of interacting.  

Although we have a venue booked for a potential ARCFEST in September, we are still keeping an open mind as to whether it will go ahead, as complying with government advice will be our key influence.   

In other news, we are hoping soon to have a complete portfolio of staff as during April we recruited a theme manager, data experts and a new public involvement lead (via remote means!). More will be revealed on the new staff in the coming weeks. 

If you have any queries or questions please email us at We appreciate your patience and continued support.

Professor Mark Gabbay
Director, ARC NWC

If this communication has reached you by error or you do not wish to receive any further updates please email


How does involvement in the process of applied health research benefit healthcare staff?

The ARC Yorkshire And Humber Improvement Science team are seeking the views of researchers and healthcare staff from ARCs across the country, to capture evidence of the potential benefits for healthcare staff involved in, and/or directly exposed to, the process of applied health research.

Research to date has rarely explored the benefits of Applied Health Research specifically. Identifying these benefits will help in making an even stronger case to funders and also to healthcare organisations of the value of the work we do.

The study is not interested in the benefits that arise from exposure to research findings. There is a lot of evidence already in this area. Capturing and understanding what is perceived to be the benefits to staff of engaging in applied research is the key aim..

To participate visit the website:


Gearing up for ARC NWC at Health Services Research (HSR) UK 2020 conference 

We are preparing our interactive session for the Health Service Research UK Conference 2020. It will now be online due to the Coronavirus outbreak. 

ARC NWC's session is titled: Implementing social prescribing - lessons learned from CLAHRC NWC and ARC NWC research collaborations.

Social prescribing enables health professionals to refer people experiencing social/economic difficulties to non-clinical services. Although not a new approach, social prescribing as a mechanism for promoting health and wellbeing (through the provision of social and economic support) has become a key deliverable of government and health policy. This session focuses on what we as academics, clinicians, local authorities and members of the public, have learned about the implementation and evaluation of social prescribing approaches through CLAHRC NWC research projects. We also present findings from a recent ARC NWC online survey of social prescribing in the North West region.

The format of the workshop will include both formal presentations and round table group discussions. During two presentations representatives from two social prescribing projects undertaken as part of the CLAHRC NWC Partner Priority Programme, will share key learning from their experience of designing, implementing and evaluating social prescribing programmes. A third presentation will outline findings from recent CLAHRC NWC/ARC NWC workshops, online survey and knowledge exchange events on social prescribing.

Full details at:

New dementia study to explore impact of COVID-19 social services cuts


The University of Liverpool and ARC NWC are leading a new national COVID-19 study to explore the effects of social service closures on the lives of older people, people with dementia and unpaid carers.
People living with dementia can be heavily reliant on accessing support groups, social activities in the community, befrienders or day care centres to stay socially active and get support that health care services cannot provide.

However, due to COVID-19 these face-to-face services are now temporarily closed, leaving huge gaps in this important support. Family carers may now be struggling to provide enough support for their loved ones and those living alone with dementia may have found themselves completely shut off from much needed social support.

An expert team of NHS, voluntary and academic collaborators have been brought together to try and understand the immediate and longer-term implications of these COVID-19 related closures on the people most affected.

The two-part study funded by the University of Liverpool’s COVID-19 Strategic Research Fund, is being headed up by Dr Clarissa Giebel, Postdoctoral Research Associate, from the University’s NIHR ARC NWC team.

The first part of the study involves a telephone interview with a researcher to capture how people are faring under current Covid-19 regulations. This should take no more than 45 minutes to complete.
Dr Giebel said: “We want to hear from unpaid carers and people living with dementia, either alone or in a supported context. They can have their voice heard in our research and the results will be put in front of decision makers.”

The team is also working with collaborators at UCLAN, Lancaster University, University of Bradford, and UCL to investigate the wider national picture of the effects of social care service closures and self-isolation on well-being. This second part of the study, which is aimed at older people, people with dementia, and unpaid carers, can be done online or via the phone and requires a commitment of 30 minutes three times over a period of 12 weeks.

The project has already gained support from key service providers in the city.

National Museums Liverpool’s award-winning dementia awareness programme – House of Memories is sharing the new study through its networks across the UK to reach people living with dementia, and their carers.

Carol Rogers, Director of House of Memories at National Museums Liverpool said: “This vital research by the University of Liverpool will helps us to fully understand the impact of Covid-19 on families living with and affected by dementia during this difficult time of social isolation. We want to extend the reach of this study to our audiences to ensure their voices are heard and consider how we can adapt House of Memories’ programme based on the research.”

Anna Gaughan, Chief Executive at Life Story Network said: “As from April 1st local authorities will have the power to implement more stringent cuts- further reducing their support for unpaid carers under the emergency Covid-19 Act.

“Taking part in this vital research and sharing your experience of the impact of these cuts will help inform the six-month review that the government has committed to undertaking.

“We want to ensure that the voice of unpaid carers of people with dementia still continues to influence policy, research and practice during this critical time.”

The project is being conducted in partnership with a large number of NHS Trusts and front-line care support providers, including Mersey Care NHS Trust, North West Boroughs NHS Trust, Lancashire & South Cumbria NHS Trust, Tide Carers, The Brain Charity, National Museums Liverpool, SURF Liverpool, Lewy Body Society, Liverpool and Wigan Dementia Action Alliance, Sefton Older People’s Forum, and Me2U Day Care Centre.

For more information or to take part please visit the COVID-19 Dementia Study webpage.

Dr Clarissa Giebel discusses her new national dementia research project.



Open Seminars on implementation

The NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) East of England is running an Implementation Fellowship featuring a series of open seminars in which speakers discuss an aspect of research implementation in which they are internationally preeminent. Anyone interested in research implementation is welcome to join via Zoom.

The next event in the series will be 'Implementation from the perspective of a knowledge mobilisation fellow', with Dr Lesley Wye Consultant in Knowledge Mobilisation, and Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Bristol Medical School, at 12.30 - 13.30 on 7 May.
For the Zoom link, and details of other events in the Implementation Seminar Series see the flyer on NIHR ARC EoE's website.

Dementia blog

Guest Blog – Corona virus and dementia – impacts from research to care has been published by ARC NWC Postdoctoral Research Associate Dr Clarissa Giebel.

Learning Ressource

A new Covid-19 e-learning resource has been created by NHS England  for all health and care workers in the UK. Free to use and no need to login. More details and link here: 



Two Full-time PhD (via MPhil) studentships are available at the University of Central Lancashire, funded by ARC NWC. The research should be generalisable and have wide applicability across health and care nationally, as well as within the local health and care system where it is conducted.

The full-time studentships are tenable up to 3 years full-time (subject to satisfactory progress) and will cover the cost of tuition fees at Home/EU rates. A stipend in line with the UK Research Council is payable at £15009 per annum, and an additional allowance of up to £1000 per year will be paid for approved research costs.




ARC NWC Publications this month include:

Bray, E.P., McMahon, N.E., Bangee, M. et al. Etiologic workup in cases of cryptogenic stroke: protocol for a systematic review and comparison of international clinical practice guidelines. Syst Rev 8, 331 (2019).

Kampanellou, E., Wilberforce, M., Worden, A., Giebel, C., Challis, D. and Bhui, K. (2020), The Barts Explanatory Model Inventory for Dementia: An item reduction approach based on responses from South Asian communities. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1002/gps.5313

Maguire  MJ, Jackson  CF, Marson  AG, Nevitt  SJ. Treatments for the prevention of Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2020, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD011792. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD011792.pub3.

Porroche-Escudero A., Popay J., The Health Inequalities Assessment Toolkit: supporting integration of equity into applied health research, Journal of Public Health, , fdaa047,

Liabo, K., Boddy, K., Bortoli, S. et al. Public involvement in health research: what does ‘good’ look like in practice?. Res Involv Engagem 6, 11 (2020).

(Special thanks to our Public Advisers who made such a valuable contribution to publications this month)

ARC NWC has now produced over 20 publications since its inception in 1 October 2019.  


 © 2019 National Institute of Health Research. Applied Research Collaboration North West Coast (ARC NWC), All rights reserved.

Our email address is: 

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.