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Welcome to PHIRN

The aim of PHIRN is to increase the quantity and quality of public health improvement research that is relevant to policy and practice.

We aim to achieve this by increasing the number of natural experiments within the roll-out of new initiatives; developing high quality collaborative research proposals for research grant funding; developing high quality collaborative research proposals linked to emerging initiatives; and developing a critical mass of specialised methodological capacity in the design and conduct of community based trials of complex interventions.

Supported by: Cardiff University, Welsh Government and National Institute of Social Care and Health Research.


NISCHR 2015 – 2020: Integrating for Excellence

Date:      Thursday 14th May 2015, 9.00am – 4.30pm
Venue:   Wales Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

The formal launch of the new NISCHR infrastructure will take place on Thursday 14th May, which will provide a forum for discussion to maximise research capacity and excellence in Wales.

Speakers and sessions will include:

  • Vaughan Gething, AM, Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services
  • Professor Jonathan Bisson, Head of NISCHR
  • Directors of the new NISCHR Centres and Units
  • The launch of NISCHR plans for public involvement, engagement and participation
  • Parallel sessions from infrastructure support organisations e.g. clinical trials units, Welsh Health Economic Support Service (WHESS), Secure Anonymised Information Linkage Databank (SAIL), Wales Gene Park, NISCHR School of Social Care Research, NISCHR Support Centre and Workforce

To register for the conference please click here.

Places are limited so early registration is recommended.

DECIPHer Short Course:

Date: Wednesday 24th June – Friday 26th June 2015
Location: Cardiff

The aim of this three-day course is to provide you with a working knowledge of the key frameworks and methodologies currently used to evaluate complex interventions. Teaching will be delivered by experts in the field of public health evaluation, and you will learn about how to work with other scientists, policy-makers, practitioners and the public to apply for funding to pilot and evaluate the effectiveness of complex interventions.

For more information and to book on this course, please click here or contact the DECIPHer short course administrator Elaine Young: 0117 3314566 / elaine.young@bristol.ac.uk.

DECIPHer Short Course: Developing Complex Public Health Interventions

Date: Monday 22nd & Tuesday 23rd June 2015
Location: Cardiff

The aim of this two-day day course is to provide you with an introduction to the socio-ecological model of health and how it can be used as a framework for designing public health improvement interventions. You will also learn about different research methods used for developing new interventions, how to develop an intervention ‘logic model’, and how DECIPHer works with policy-makers, health professionals and the public to co-produce interventions.

For more information or to register please visit – http://decipher.uk.net/decipher-short-courses/short-course-1-developing-complex-public-health-interventions/

DECIPHer short course: Process Evaluation of Public Health Interventions

Date: Thursday 9th and Friday 10th July 2015
Location: Cardiff

The course will provide participants with practical guidance in planning, designing, conducting, analysing and reporting process evaluations of complex public health interventions. It is structured around the newly published Medical Research Council process evaluation guidance, developed by 11 researchers from eight universities, including the course tutors, Graham Moore and Suzanne Audrey of DECIPHer, Janis Baird of the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit at the University of Southampton, and Chris Bonell of the Institute of Education, UCL.

For more information or to register please visit – http://decipher.uk.net/decipher-short-courses/short-course-process-evaluation/

Policy Forum for Wales Keynote Seminar: – Improving public health and wellbeing in Wales

Date: Thursday 2nd July 2015
Location: Central Cardiff

With the Public Health (Wales) Bill scheduled to be introduced into the Assembly by summer 2015, this seminar will provide an timely opportunity to discuss the proposals outlined in the Bill, the challenges these proposals present and the opportunities for further reforms to improve public health and well-being across Wales.

Central to discussions will be the implementation and likely impact of the Bill’s key proposals on smoking, alcohol, substance misuse and obesity as well as steps to improve prevention of ill health more widely and encouraging greater participation in physical activity. 

During this event delegates will also consider how to overcome the challenge of health inequalities including the role of early interventions, improving access to services, the impact of wider poverty alleviation policies. The progress of the Future Generations Bill, which is scheduled to become law by summer 2015 and includes an aims to embed long-term thinking around well-being into all public policy in Wales will also be discussed. 

The conference will bring together key policymakers and regulators with stakeholders from across NHS Wales, Community Health Councils and other patient groups, allied health professionals and their representative bodies, pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies and other healthcare product providers, business and trade association representatives, academics and other interested parties.

Policy Forum for Wales are delighted that Professor Sir Mansel Aylward, Chair, Public Health Wales; Director, Centre for Psychosocial and Disability Research and Professor of Public Health Education in the School of Medicine, Cardiff University and Professor Simon Murphy, Professor in Public Health Improvement, Principal Investigator on PHIRN and Cardiff Co-Director for DECIPHer, Cardiff University have agreed to deliver keynote addresses at this seminar.

For more information and to register for this event please click here

SRA Cymru afternoon seminar – The Millennium Cohort Study

Date: 14th April 2015, 12:30pm-4pm
Location: Cardiff University (Glamorgan Building), Glamorgan Building Committee Rooms, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3WT

The Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) is a world-renowned national longitudinal birth cohort study that follows the lives of 19,000 babies born in the UK in 2000–2001. This event will provide an overview of the MCS and its findings, with a specific focus on Wales.

MCS covers diverse topics including parenting; childcare; school choice; child behaviour and cognitive development; health; parents’ employment and education; income and poverty; housing, neighbourhood and residential mobility; and social capital and ethnicity.

Speakers include Professor Emla Fitzsimons (UCL), Professor Chris Taylor (Cardiff University) and Richard Thurston (Welsh Government). An audience Q&A and discussion will follow each presentation.

To register for this event please visit the SRA website – http://the-sra.org.uk/event-registration/?ee=256 

Entrance to this event costs £15 (free to SRA members who will be sent a discount code).

Creative Research Methods in Social Science: Social Research Association Conference

Date: 8th May 2015

Location: British Library Conference Centre, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB

This conference will bring together researchers from a range of disciplines and sectors to share experiences and learning.

Social Research Association (SRA) are delighted that Professor David Gauntlett from the University of Westminster, author of several books including Creative Explorations and Making is Connecting, has agreed to give the keynote speech.

Four subject experts have agreed to chair workshop streams and form a final panel:

  • ● Dr Kitrina Douglas, champion golfer, broadcaster, sports researcher at Leeds Beckett University (formerly Leeds Met), poet and songwriter, will chair the arts-based research workshop stream
  • ● Jamie Bartlett, Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at Demos, will chair the research using technology workshop stream
  • ● Matt Barnard, Head of Evaluation at NSPCC, will chair the mixed method research workshop stream
  • ● Dr Molly Warrington, Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at Cambridge University, will chair the transformative research frameworks stream

Please see details of the 24 workshop presentations

To download the event flyer, click here

To register for this event please visit the SRA website – http://the-sra.org.uk/event-registration/?ee=212 

NIHR PHR funding calls

Deadline: 1pm, Tuesday 21st April 2015

The current NIHR Public Health Research programme funding calls are shown below. Further details on each specific call can be found via the links below.

Topic Deadline Commissioning brief Guidance notes Apply
15/01 – Interventions for Parents or Carers to Promote Healthy Behaviours in Children and Young People 21 April 2015, by 1pm Access commissioning brief (pdf, 28.02 KB)Link open in a new window Access guidance notes (pdf, 549.06 KB)Link open in a new window Apply
15/02 – Interventions by local authorities and other local organisations to improve nutrition and influence food environments 21 April 2015, by 1pm Access commissioning brief (pdf, 28.65 KB)Link open in a new window Access guidance notes (pdf, 289.55 KB)Link open in a new window Apply
15/03 – Preventing Relationship and Dating Violence 21 April 2015, by 1pm Access commissioning brief (pdf, 29.57 KB)Link open in a new window Access guidance notes (pdf, 289.55 KB)Link open in a new window Apply
15/04 – Unintentional injuries at home in children under the age of 5 years 21 April 2015, by 1pm Access commissioning brief (pdf, 29.12 KB)Link open in a new window Access guidance notes (pdf, 289.55 KB)Link open in a new window Apply
15/05 – Workplace health and wellbeing** 21 April 2015, by 1pm Access commissioning brief (pdf, 29.52 KB)Link open in a new window Access guidance notes (pdf, 289.55 KB)Link open in a new window Apply

** Applicants wishing to apply to the workplace health and wellbeing call should discuss their proposals with us at an early stage. Please email info@phr.ac.uk or via telephone: +44 (0)23 8059 9697. Please note that NIHR PHR will be holding a webinar to support researchers who are considering applying to this call, on Monday 9 February 2015, 14.30-15.30.  To sign up for the webinar, please complete the online form.

For more information about the NIHR Public Health Research Programme please visit –http://www.nets.nihr.ac.uk/funding/phr-commissioned

“Switched On” – New drug and alcohol prevention service

A new service to address drug and alcohol misuse among children and young people in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan has been launched.

The multi-agency Switched On team support practitioners, like school and youth workers, to increase their awareness of the topic, give lessons about the dangers of substance misuse, and support in dealing with incidents.

Switched On comprises staff from Public Health Wales, Inroads, NewLink Wales, and Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.

Christine Farr, Health Promotion Practitioner for the Cardiff and Vale Public Health Team, said: “We ensure that all information we provide is age appropriate, up to date and does not use shock tactics as this is proven to be ineffective.

big red button

“As well as providing substance misuse toolkits for schools, youth and community settings, Switched On also gives one on one support to help schools and other services with policies and education programmes.”Switched On was launched at an event held at Cardiff County Hall on 13 May which was attended by almost 100 education, youth services and voluntary sector workers.

Lisa Cordery, Lead Nurse for the Switched On team, said: “The health board Switched On nurses provide a bridge between unscheduled or inpatient services for young people and follow up.

“This improved communication pathway aims to create a further safeguarding net to compliment processes already in place such as School Nurse referrals.

“The future comprises further work between Switched On and the Alcohol Treatment Centre and the Emergency Unit. The nurses welcome queries about training and referrals for follow up where a young person presents with alcohol use.”

Christine Farr: “We ensure that all information we provide is age appropriate, up to date and does not use shock tactics as this is proven to be ineffective.”

Conrad Eydmann, Head of Substance Misuse Strategy and Development for Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, said: “Switched On is a holistic, multi-agency service that provides an effective response to the important public health issue of substance misuse in children and young people.

“It forms part of our Universal Services which all aim to inform, educate and support people working with substance misuse issues and those going through addictions or recovery in our area.”

More information about Switched On is available from the Cardiff and Vale substance misuse website – http://www.red-button.org/

Alliance for useful evidence

The Alliance for Useful Evidence champions the use of evidence in social policy and practice.  We are an open–access network of individuals from across government, universities, charities, business and local authorities in the UK and internationally.

DECIPHer and PHIRN have now joined the Alliance.

If you are interested in promoting useful evidence in decision making across social policy, would like to connect to a global community of individuals and organisations from a range of sectors and backgrounds, whilst gaining access to stimulating debate, publications and events, simply click here to sign up for membership to the Alliance for Useful Evidence.