Primary Care Researchers in Training
What is academic GP training?
Each year several GP trainees from the Northumbria GP Speciality Training Programme have the opportunity to undertake academic experience.
There are two routes: as a NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow or as an extended academic integrated training post.
NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow (ACF)
This is a national programme across all specialty training with positions available specifically for GP training. Entry is usually at GP training entry, however a small number of ST3 entry (applications in ST2) are available annually. Further information regarding GP ACF applications can be found at https://gprecruitment.hee.nhs.uk/Recruitment/Academic and at http://www.spcr.nihr.ac.uk/trainees.
ACF trainees usually complete a 4 year training programme, with 25% of time allocated to academic training.
Who are our current ACFs?
We asked some academic GP trainees at Newcastle University to tell us a little about their backgrounds, how they became academic GP trainees, and their current work.
Eugene Tang - NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow (previous NIHR ACF)
Eugene is currently a salaried GP in Newcastle and a PhD students at Newcastle University. Eugene was previously funded by NIHR for an Academic Clinical Fellowship (ACF) in General Practice. During his time as an ACF he also completed a range of projects in dementia/cognitive impairment and obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Research. He was subsequently awarded an NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship which has enabled him to undertake a PhD looking at the care of stroke-survivors with memory/cognitive difficulties and also incorporating risk models to assess their risk for a future post-stroke dementia illness. The PhD encompasses mixed methods including a systematic review, a qualitative study of stakeholders, external validation of dementia risk models in stroke populations and a national electronic Delphi survey of stroke clinicians.
Lisa Newton - Alzheimer's Society Clinicial Training Fellow (Previous NIHR ACF)
Lisa is a GP and researcher working in Newcastle. Prior to medicine she worked as a Chemical Engineer for large multinational organisations (Guinness, Proctor and Gamble and Rhodia), gaining invaluable experience in manufacturing and research and development. Her clinical training and love for research led her to an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship (ACF) in General Practice. She is passionate about supporting older people to live an independent and healthly life as long as possible. As an engineer she has naturally an interest in assistive technology; with her Masters in Clinical Research project exploring the knowledge and experience of assistive technology among GPs (awarded distinction).
Through her Alzheimer's Society Clinican Training Fellowship she hopes to develop her research further and explore the current provision of assistive technology by community health and social care professionals to support people with dementia to live independently. This is a national study exploring the provision of information on and access to assitive technology by Memory Assessment Services as they are the first service providing information after diagnosis. Using mixed methods she will work with key stakeholders to co-design practical and acceptable information and referral pathways to enable families living with dementia more timely access to assistive technology. This study will also produce information and referral pathways which are tailored to the needs of people with dementia and educational resources for professionals. This fellowship will allow her to complete her PhD while giving her the opportunity to develop key research skills and to progress towards her goal of becoming an independent researcher.
NIHR Integrated Academic Training Programme (IATP)
Recognising that some trainees develop an interest in academic medicine once on a training programme, Northumbria GP Speciality Training Programme provides several extended academic integrated training posts each year. Applications are available to those in ST1/2, and provides a 6 month academic placement usually as a 0.5wte combined with clinical training.
Who are our current IATPs?
Helen Jarvis - NIHR In Practice Fellow
Helen is an NIHR funded In Practice Fellow, using her funding to begin her doctoral studies, focused on developing a chronic disease management framework for people living with liver disease. She is currently undertaking a systematic review and separate scoping review looking at prognostic factors for poor outcomes in liver disease and the role of alcohol as a co-factor in NAFLD as the first stage in her doctoral work. She also works part time as a salaried GP in the West end of Newcastle. She has a background in hospital medicine (hepatology) and Public Health (MPH with distinction from LSHTM). She is now focusing these transferable skills into primary care research, working with a team in the academic primary care group with a developing interest in this area.
She has taken on a number of leadership and colloboration roles. She is the RCGP clinical champion for liver disease, acting as the clinical lead for this college identified priority area. She is the primary care advisor for the British Liver Trust and Hepatitis C Coalition, and sits on the Lancet standing commission on liver disease. She is collaborating with other national centres involved with comminuty liver disease research, including being GP co-investigator on a recently awarded grant by the CSO in Scotland looking at GP led hepatitis C treatment pathways.
Johanne Dow - Clinical GP Research Fellow (Previous IATP)
Johanne if a GP with a Masters in Public Health and Health Sciences Research which she completed during an extended Academic Integrated GP Training Post in Newcastle. She was awarded the NIHR SPCR GP Career Progression Fellowship in October 2018 which she has used to continue doctoral training.
Johanne is currently studying for a PhD at Newcastle University. Her research interests are in the care offered to people with dementia and their carers in primary care. Her PhD project "The Annual Dementia Review: Exploring current practice in primary care" aims to explore how annual dementia reviews are delivered in primary care and how the delivery of evidence-based dementia care in primary care could be improved. The project is being undertaken as a doctoral thesis.
Fellowships in Primary Care
Two year fellowships available to individuals with a strong academic record who wish to develop a career in primary care research. The goal of these fellowships is to publish papers from their PhD and write grant applications to secure future funding (e.g. an NIHR fellowship). Fellowship awards will not in general be based around a specified single project but will involve attachment to a research group involved in a programme of research. The awards are open to all disciplines relevant to primary care research, clinical non-medical and non-clinical, although the individual Universities vary in the disciplinary opportunities they offer.
In February 2018, Andrew began a Launching Fellowships Program with SPCR to establish Early Career (ECR) Researchers in primary care and to support them to secure long term fellowships. Alongside this, to allow ECRs time to publish works from their PhD and build the foundation upon which the future fellowship will rest. The fellowship program has been a critical stepping stone for Andrew to do exactly what the program intends to achieve. Between February 2018 and early 2019 Andrew has published one paper from his PhD and another is well underway. Moreover, its given him the chance to refine his scientific thinking and research vision. His primary area of scientific research is ageing and ways in which he can improve age related health outcomes for older people. Coupled with his underlying skills (statistician and epidemiologist) he has formulated a programe of work for the next five years. The Launching Fellowship Program has given him the time to write this work into a cogent research proposal and pitch the scheme to funding bodies for funding. He recently submitted his research proposal to the Newcastle University Research Fellowship scheme and was successful in securing a five year fellowship to establish himself as a future research leader in the area of ageing, epidemiology and primary care related research.
Amy's work focusses on the challenge of implementing evidence-based care for alcohol and other substance misuse in primary health care systems. She held a SCPR Post-doctoral Launching Fellowship at Newcastle between 2015-2017. The Fellowship provided the time, support and resources to allow Amy to advance the thinking from her doctoral studies, to further develop her statistical skills/expertise, and to build her academic CV. Over the course of the Fellowship, Amy published three papers based on her PhD, was PI/co-PI on two successful European grant applications, and worked on several high profile research projects including the Cochrane Review of Digital Interventions for Alcohol and the ORBITAL initiative to develop a core outcome set for alcohol intervention trials. Following her SPCR fellowship, Amy was awarded a Faculty Fellowship at Newcastle University and a Visiting Fellowship in Implementation Science at Linkoping University, Sweden. Most recently, an Addiction paper based on her SCPR-funded research (Interrupted Time Series analysis of the impact of the introduction and withdrawal of financial incentives on screening and brief alcohol advice delivery in England) was highlighted in the BMJ and received coverage in the national and international press.
NIHR PhD Studentships
Available to those with limited primary care experience (e.g. Masters-level training). The awards offer traditional project-specific training in shortage-areas of particular importance to primary care. They focus on non-clinical disciplines (e.g. medical statistics, health economics, health psychology). Students will be encouraged to maintain links with thier own disciplines through collaborative arrangements for co-supervision with established senior non-clinical primary care researchers.
Who are our past and present PhD Students?
Beth is a post-doctoral researcher with a focus upon late-life alcohol use. Her work aims to understand and support older people's alcohol-related decisions, with a view of addressing alcohol-related harm amongst the older age group through intervention in primary care. She completed her doctorate in Public Health in 2019 as an NIHR School for Primary Care Research Trainee, which looked to identify health and psychosocial factors shaping later life drinking. Beth spent 3 months working as a post-doctoral embedded researcher with Drink Wise Age Well having secured support from the Newcastle University Faculty for Medical Sciences. This Glasgow-based programme is at the forefront of prevention and treatment services to address alcohol-related harm amongst the older population. She is co-convenor for the Gerontological Society of America's international interest group for Ageing, Alcohol and Addictions, and works closely with other academics and stakeholders to develop capacity in her field. Beth is also a felllow of the Newcastle University Policy Academy.
Cardiff, UK - "Understanding factors shaping older people's drinking practices. Alcohol in the lives of older adults: Understanding and intervening across the UK" (Invited Emerging Researcher Keynote)
Society for Academic Primary Care (SAPC) Annual Scientific Meeting: London, UK - "Supporting healthier alcohol use amongst older people within community care settings: Insights from a qualitative exploration of older peoples' care and care providers' perspectives"
2017 - Society for Academic Primary Care (SAPC) North: Kendal, UK - "A systematic review and qualitative synthesis of health and social care workers' views and experiences regarding older adults' drinking" (won 'best researcher' prize)
MedSoc Annual Conference: York, UK - "We are not 'drinkers': Older adults' considerations and priorities surrounding drinking in later life"
2018 - Gerontological Society of America (GSA) Annual Scientific Meeting: Boston, USA - "The late-life and the life-long: Exploring perspectives of factors shaping older adults' alcohol use"
2017 - Society for Academic Primary Care (SAPC) North: Kendal, UK - "Supporting healthier alcohol use amongst older people within community care settings: Insights from a qualitative exploration of older people's and care providers' perspectives"
2017 - School for Primary Care Research (SPCR) Showcase: Oxford, UK - "A qualitative exploration of older adults' and associated health and social care workers' perceptions of the positive and negative consequences of drinking in later life, and how these are considered and prioritised in practice
2017 - IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics: San Francisco, USA - "A qualitative systematic review and synthesis exploring roles, risks and social patterns of drinking in later life"
2017 - Society for Academic Primary Care (SAPC) Annual Scientific Meeting: Warwick, UK - " A systematic review and comparison of qualitative synthesis of older adults and associated health and social care workers' perceptions and experiences of drinking in later life"
2017 - British Sociological Association (BSA) Drinking Bodies Conference: Manchester, UK - "Roles and practicalities of drinking in later life: A systematic review and synthesis of qualitative studies exploring older adults' perceptions"
2016 - School for Primary Care (SPCR) 10 year Anniversary Showcase: London, UK - "Qualitative systematic review of perceptions of drinking in later life" (won first prize)
2019 - North East Commissioning Service (NECS) event: Newcastle, UK - "What works and for whom - Identifying with risky alcohol use as a responsible older drinker: Implications for alcohol-related discussion in primary care"
2019 - Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research (CADR): UK - "Wine-ing down in retirement: Understanding the new 'risky' drinkers"
2019 - School for Primary Care Research (SPCR): UK - "Time on the frontline: working as an embedded researcher within alcohol services for older adults" (blog)
2019 - "Alcohol Change UK: Are ABIs with older adults in public spaces hitting the mark?" (blog)
2019 - "Drink Wise Age Well: Acceptability and effectiveness of alcohol use screening and brief intervention with older adults in public spaces" (oral presentation)
2018 - Newcastle University Faculty for Medical Sciences: Newcastle, UK - Public Lecture Prize Finalist Presentation: "Wine-ing down in retirement" (oral presentation)
2018 - Drink Wise Age Well: Glasgow, UK: "Thinking about drinking - exploring older people's and their health and social care workers' considerations and priorities regarding drinking in later life" (oral presentation)
Newcastle University Institute for Ageing Q & A
2016 - Clinical Research Network ageing and dementia research matters: UK - "Thinking about drinking" (oral presentation)
2016 - Carlisle Rotary: Carlisle, UK - 20 minutes of w(h)ining (oral presentation)
Clinical Research Network: A multi-method exploration of perceptions of risks and benefits of alcohol consumption in older adults (oral presentation)
2019 - Post-submission enterprise scholarship awarded by the Newcastle University Faculty of Medical Sciences to work as an embedded researcher within Drink Wise Age Well to exchange and develop knowledge in the field of alcohol and ageing (February 2019 - May 2019)
2018 - Newcastle University Spotlight Award for Outstanding Achievement for contributions to organising the International Perspectives on the Evaluation of PPI in Research conference in Newcastle
Newcastle University Faculty of Medical Sciences INSIGHTS Public Lecture Prize Finalist
First prize awarded for poster 'Qualitative systematic review of perceptions of drinking in later life' School for Primary Care Research 10 year Anniversary Showcase, London
2018 - Society for Academic Primary Care (SAPC) North: Kendal, UK - Researcher prize for best research presentation "A systematic review and qualitative synthesis of health and social care workers' views and experiences regarding older adults' drinking"
Gemma came to Newcastle University in October 2016 to take up an NIHR School for Primary Care Research doctoral studentship in the Institute of Health & Society. Her research explores the relationship between access to social care and healthcare utilisation by older adults. Her work included two systematic reviews, a scoping review, and an analysis of the Newcastle 85+ dataset to understand how older people's financial resources moderated this relationship. Gemma completed her PhD in September 2019, and her thesis was nominated for the Newcastle University Faculty of Medical Sciences Doctoral Thesis Prize. Her PhD work has been published in two journals and presented at eight national and international conferences. As part of her PhD, Gemma also completed an NIHR Short Placement Award at the School for Social Care Research at the PSSRU in the London School of Economics. Gemma is now continuing her research in ageing, care and inequalities as a Senior Research Associate in the Older People and Frailty Policy Research Unit, within the Population Health Sciences Institute at Newcastle University. A full list of publications is available on Gemma's Research Gate page here.
Spiers G, Matthews FE, Moffatt S, Barker R, Jarvis H, Stow D, Kingston A, Hanratty B (2019). Does older adults' use of social care influence their healthcare utilisation? A systematic review of international evidence. Health & Social Care in the Community
2019 - School for Primary Care Research (SPCR) Showcase: London, UK - "Understanding the relationship between access to social care and healthcare utilisation by older adults: development of an existing theoretical framework"
2019 - British Society of Gerontology (BSG) Annual Conference: Liverpool, UK - "How is socioeconomic status measured in older populations? A critical scoping review"
2018 - Society of Academic Primary Care (SAPC) Annual General Meeting: London, UK - "How do socioeconomic circumstances influence older adults' use of social care and healthcare? Findings from the Newcastle 85+ study"
2017 - Society of Academic Primary Care (SAPC) Annual General Meeting: Warwick, UK - "How does access to social care influence healthcare utilisation for older adults?"
2017 - School for Primary Care Research (SAPC) Showcase: Oxford, UK - "Access to social care and its influence on healthcare utilisation for older adults: A systematic review of international evidence"
2019 - Gerontological Society of America (GSA) Annual Scientific Meeting: Texas, USA - "Measuring socioeconomic status in older populations: a scoping review and international perspective"
2018 - Gerontological Society of Americal (GSA) Annual Scientifice Meeting: Boston, USA - "Use of long-term care and health services by older adults - what difference does wealth make?"
2018 - Society of Academic Primare Care (SAPC) North Meeting: Kendal, UK - "Measuring socioeconomic status in studies of older adults' health, healthcare utilisation and social care use: A scoping review"
2017 - International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics World Congress: San Francisco, USA - "The relationship between access to social care and healthcare utilisation by older adults: A systematic review"
2018 - NIHR Infrastructure Short Placement Award for Research Collaboration, Round 4 - PI £3,571
Paper published in Age & Ageing discussed in Stott, DJ. (2019) Editors View, Age & Ageing, 48, 1:1
Daniel is a postdoctoral researcher with an interest in ageing, multimorbidity and frailty, and end of life care. His current work focusses on the role of primary care in meeting the needs of ageing populations towards the end of life. He completed his doctorate in publid health in 2019 as an NIHR School for Primary Care Research Trainee, investigating the needs of people dying with frailty, and the use of big data to support clinical recognition of the dying phase where people do not have a recognised terminal diagnosis.
During his time as an SPCR trainee, Daniel spent one month working with researchers at the Cicely Saunder's Institute at King's College learning about current research in palliative care, and investigating frailty and end of life care needs as part of the NIHR SPARC award. Daniel is involved with collaborations as part of the FUSE network. He has recently initiated an international collaboration with a research group based at Dalhousie University and was recently accepted as a trainee for the 2020 intake of the Transdiciplinary Understanding and Training on Research (TUTOR-PHC) programme.
2019 - School for Primary Care Research (SPCR) Showcase: London, UK - "What is the relationship between social deprivation, frailty and end of life care? Evidence from primary care electronic health records"
2018 - Gerontological Society of America (GSA) Annual Scientific Meeting: Austin, USA - "How does social deprivation influence frailty trajectories at the end of life? Evidence from primary care electronic health records?"
2019 - European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) World Congress 2019: Berlin, Germany - "What are the palliative care needs of older people with frailty near to the end of life, and can primary care identify when to help?"
2018 - Gerontological Society of America (GSA) Annual Scientifice Meeting: Boston, USA - "Unstable frailty: a focus for end of life care?"
2017 - School for Primary Care Research (SPCR) Showcase: Oxford, UK - "Fraity scores to predict mortality in older people using data from population based electronic health records: case control study"
2017 - International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG) Annual Scientific Meeting: San Francisco, USA - "Primary care for frail older adults at the end of the life: can a frailty index enhance routine care"
2018 - Society for Academic Primary Care (SAPC) Annual Scientific Meeting: London, UK - "Do people with frailty have palliative and end of life care needs?"
2016 - North East Frailty Summit: Gateshead, UK - "Frailty trajectories in the last year of life: analysis of a frailty index generated from routine primary care electronic health records"
2019 - Editors Choice - "What is the evidence that people with frailty have needs for palliative care at the end of life? A systematic review and narrative synthesis" (in Palliative Medicine)
2019 - Wellcome Trust - Broadening Horizons Award to facilitate collaborative visit to Dalhousie University (Canada)
2019 - NIHR Short Placement Award for Research Collaboration (SPARC) with King's College London
2019 - Faculty Travel Award for travel to European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) Conference (Berlin, Germany)
2020 - TUTOR-PHC programme trainee
Newcastle Elders Council radio show (2019): Researcher profile
Daniel is a reviewer for Age and Ageing (OUP), Palliative Medicine (SAGE), BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care (BMJ Group), Journal of Pain and Symptom Management (Elsevier), Drug Safety (Springer) and has acted as a judge for presentations at the North East Postgraduate Conference
Ananya's work focusses on the use of mixed method research synthesis to produce reviews to inform general practice. This work is important for primary care as GP's routinely rely on evidence sources such as guidelines and systematic reviews to inform their decision-making and guide the treatment plans of patients in order to provide timely, evidence based care. In some clinical areas however, guidelines from influential sources such as NICE may be unavailable or insufficient, leaving clinicians to decide the relevance and quality of many different competing types of evidence that may be available to them. This is especially true of mixed method reviews which have only recently become popularised. It is hoped that this project will provide clarity in this area for both review authors and GP's utilising reviews which may help improve patient care. Ananya is supervised by Professor Dawn Craig and Professor Niina Kolehmainen who are leaders in the area of evidence synethesis and mixed method research methodology and also supervised by Professor Barbara Hanratty who is a leader in Primary Care Research and Ageing.
2019 - School for Primary Care Research (SPCR) Showcase: London, UK - "Which mixed method research synthesis methodologies are best suited for use in Primary Care?"