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Our second symposium brought a wide range of stakeholders – and others interested in CLAHRC Oxford – together for day of updates and workshops.

To make things a bit more readable, we've split up this short review into sperate sections in the tabs below.


Introductions and who's in the room

The symposium began with an introduction by Stuart Bell CBE and Professor Richard Hobbs, CLAHRC Oxford Director. Professor Hobbs updated us on the impressive growth of the CLAHRC Oxford since it started in January 2014, and briefly discussed plans for the future.

This was followed by a ‘who’s in the room’ session, where everyone had to get up and talk to someone they didn’t know, and even involved some ball-throwing…. Such introduction sessions are often difficult and can make people feel uncomfortable. Fortunately, we had Dr Angela Aristidou, of the Said Business School, leading the session

Angela soon had everyone relaxed, and the introductions went incredibly well; leading one feedback respondent to say “The ice-breaking activities were spectacular. Well done for choosing the presenter, she was inspiring.”

Theme Presentations

Theme one

Professor John Geddes, updated us on the successes of projects in the Emergency Multidisciplinary Units, Youth Mental Health Services, and Dementia care homes projects.

John also noted the fantastic news that Dr Jane Fossey, who leads the Dementia in care homes project, recently won the National Dementia Lead award at the awards in November.

Theme two

Professor Sallie Lamb updated us on the progress of their implementation accelerator for low back pain, the back skills project (, showcasing some of the real progress being made with their unique online training programme.

Theme three

Professor Ray Fitzpatrick, updated us on development progress for their new ‘patient reported outcome measures’ (PROMs) for long term conditions (LTCs), using stakeholder consultation and Patient and Public Involvement to identify, and then validate the right questions.

Theme four

Professor Michael Sharpe ran through a range of projects, their development and impacts so far, including their Depression in Cancer project, using a collaborative care model to integrate both cancer care and mental health care in cancer patients.

Theme five

Professor Richard McManus ran us through the progress so far for a number of his PhD student projects. This including the OxFab study, which aims to uncover the cognitive and behavioural strategies people use to control their weight, in order to enhance the success of future self-directed weight loss efforts. As well as progress updates on the SNAP-HT, COMBO and self-management of type 2 diabetes projects.


Finally, Dr Sian Rees gave us an update on PPI within the CLAHRC, its importance and potential impact. She also highlighted the PPI information available on our website.

Afternoon Workshops

Theme presentations were followed in the afternoon by a series of workshops, developed and lead by CLAHRC Oxford Partners.

There were six workshops in total, carried out across two sessions.

Feedback so far on the workshops has been very positive, with almost all participants reporting that they felt the workshops were useful to them and well delivered. So, congratulations to our workshops leads, and thank you to everyone who participated in them to make them a success.

We will be delivering feedback from attendees to all workshop leads in due course, once we’ve captured as much feedback as possible.

Keynote: Dr Bruno Holthof

Finally, Dr Bruno Holthof, the new CEO of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust delivered his keynote speech. Dr Holthof covered a number of points, including some insight to his direction for OUHFT:

“The strategy, going forwards, will also be very digital, helping integrate medical and academic centres,” he said. “It's through working together that people start to really respect each other, building connections and having an impact[…]" he went on, highlighting the need to create effective collaborations with all stakeholders in health and social care.

What actually came out of the meeting?

There were a wide range of meetings and discussions between delegates at the symposium, and a number of people began forming new relationships, which could all come to fruition in the form of new collaborations and projects.

However, even though we’re only just over a week out from the symposium, we already have some tangible and exciting possible outcomes.

One involves a collaboration formed at the symposium to include more research training for trainee GPs in the Thames Valley, as well as the potential for offering real research projects to a number of trainee GPs. These bottom-up approaches to increasing the number of GP practices that are ‘research ready’ will also act as a springboard for a cultural shift, helping to embed research into general practice across the Thames Valley.

The second involves the AHSN and CLAHRC Oxford exploring new areas of industry collaboration, mapping CLAHRC research areas with current AHSN industry links and other stakeholder priorities.

Other outcomes involve developing closer collaboration across health and social care, and mapping rehabilitation services across the Thames Valley.

There are also a number of exciting collaborations in the very early stages of development – so watch this space….

From feedback after the event, and twitter on the day, the audience reaction was very positive, and they were impressed with the progress the CLAHRC has made. Progress that wouldn’t be possible were it not for the excellent work of you, the researchers.

Thank you!