Our aim is to foster a spirit of (co-)enquiry and partnership for innovation and change in response to challenging health issues and related social problems, to make a real difference to peoples’ lives in organisations, services and communities internationally, nationally and locally.
The submission of five impact cases studies drawn from across multiple subject areas demonstrates our commitment to research which has a tangible impact and which benefits society outside of academia. Examples of the impact our research has had include working with service providers to implement new strategies that prevent the relapse rate of mental health issues; improving clinical care through the development of training in simulation-based learning; developing competency frameworks for practitioners involved in chronic wound care to ensure best practice; and empowering patients to make more informed decisions before undergoing heart surgery.
The following impact case studies have been entered for the REF2021 submission. Find out more below.
At least one in twenty patients undergoing surgery acquire a surgical site infection (SSI), with a fatality rate of 4.5% in patients affected. More than one-third of post-operative deaths are related to SSI. Research at the University of Huddersfield has changed policy and practice nationally and internationally for the prevention and management of SSI, through expert contribution to influential best practice statements and international consensus documents.
The research has generated a novel in-vitro test method assessing the fluid-handling properties of super-absorbent wound dressings, leading to increased revenue and a larger client base for Perfectus Biomed, a UK microbiology contract testing laboratory. The findings were also incorporated into an online training module which was taken by nearly 5,000 health care practitioners from 125 countries within a three-month period.
The cost of chronic wound management in the UK is more than £5.3 billion annually. Researchers from the University of Huddersfield have developed the Tissue Viability Leading Change (TVLC) competency framework; the first to provide equity in education and skills development for multi-professional teams managing chronic wounds.
TVLC formed the cornerstone of the National NHS Improvement Stop the Pressure Programme education curriculum and the NHS England National Wound Care Strategy (NWCS) education stream. It delivered improved continuing professional development and education for Tissue Viability Practitioners. It is central to competency training of healthcare professionals across the UK, supported by a business skills course for senior Tissue Viability Practitioners. Its implementation has changed clinical pathways for wound care and delivered parity of skills and service delivery to NHS Trusts, enabling benchmarking and standardisation between services. It has provided commercial benefit to an industrial partner.
Three million people worldwide consent to coronary angioplasty (CA) treatment annually. Research at the University of Huddersfield has shown that people often agree to CA without fully understanding the possible consequences, contravening international guidance.
University of Huddersfield research has 1) driven improvements in CA services and consent practice in six National Health Service (NHS) Trusts, benefiting patients and yielding in savings, 2) increased ‘consent’ knowledge levels of 130 leading cardiology health professionals, in 16 countries, which led to improved patient education processes in Greece, Austria and Poland; for the first time patients received written information to inform them about CA treatment ahead of consent discussions, 3) informed the updated 2020 General Medical Council guidance on decision making and consent, which now reinforces the importance of greater patient involvement, and is circulated to over 335,000 UK doctors for implementation.
Common mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression, affect one-in-six people in any given week. Research from the University of Huddersfield (UoH) has led to the development and provision of a new and effective Self-Management After Therapy (SMArT) intervention in Barnsley, Bradford and Cumbria and informed evidence-based health workforce training with the Self Help Access in Routine Primary Care (SHARP) resource.
SMArT led to low relapse rates and improved longer term recovery in people with depression. SHARP has been used to train over 100 healthcare practitioners per year, across Yorkshire and Humberside, to provide more effective support for people with anxiety and depression.
Simulation Based Learning (SBL) is an educational approach used globally in clinical settings and universities. However, little was known about how best to train educators to deliver SBL.
Researchers at the University of Huddersfield developed the Nurse Educator Simulation-Based Learning Framework (NESTLED) which increased the knowledge and confidence of SBL Educators. These SBL Educators then delivered NESTLED-based SBL training across professional groups and clinical specialties in seven European countries, including the United Kingdom. Reduced risk of patient harm (e.g. reduced rates of low blood sugar events in one National Health Service (NHS) Trust) has been achieved by increasing staff confidence and knowledge, improving communication between teams and through delivering better clinical care by increasing the ‘preparedness’ of systems. It has contributed to annual cost savings of £1m in one NHS Trust and increased revenue for industry