Nov 112013
NICRN Primary Care Research Forum 9th October 2013

The forum began with Lunch in the lobby of the Post Graduate Medical Centre at the Belfast City Hospital where delegates had a chance to meet and network over sandwiches and coffee. The primary care clinical leads Prof Carmel Hughes and Prof Margaret Cupples welcomed everyone and introduced the Keynote speaker Prof Frank Sullivan Director of the Scottish School of Primary Care who spoke on ‘Recent advances in recruitment- how do we persuade GPs and patients to consider taking part in research?’  Frank spoke of the vital importance of primary care as a setting for research, providing opportunities not available to others and the challenges to be overcome in order to prevent studies under-recruiting and the consequenecs that this can have for research.

Frank  presented information on ‘SHARE’  a new NHS Research initiative in Scotland created to establish a register of people interested in participating in health research. Those who agree to be included in the register allow SHARE to use the coded data in their various NHS computer records to check whether they might be suitable for health research studies. For more information, please visit

Next Dr Paul Biagioni, Senior Manager of the NICRN, spoke on enabling & enhancing research output in Northern Ireland’s Health and Social Care (HSC) Service.  Paul gave the delegates information on the background of the NICRN, services the Network provides and the benefits to researchers, practices and patients of engaging with the Network. Paul also provided an overview of the outputs from the Primary Care group and displayed some opinions gathered from practices and researchers who had worked with them – overwhelmingly positive!

After a Coffee/Tea break, Carmel introduced a showcase of adopted studies presented by the researchers:

  • The PPhIT Study: by Dr Rebecca Noad: This study looked at the effect of a polyphenol rich diet on vascular and platelet function.
  • The MOSAICC Trial: by Dr Lesley Anderson. This is a case-control study investigating aetiologial factors associated with classic myeloproliferative disorders.
  • The SPHERE Study (Follow up):  by Claire Leathem. This was a six year follow-up of a cluster randomised controlled trial examining the effect of tailored practice and patient care plans on secondary prevention of heart disease in general practice.
  • The Nic-Pip Trial: by Solveig Noble and Margaret Greer.This randomised controlled trial is testing a composite caries prevention intervention for children aged 2 and 3 years old in Northern Ireland dental practices.

It was a very enjoyable and enlightening afternoon with delegates representing various disciplines and organisations, including General Practice, HSC Public Health Agency, Centre of Excellence for Public Health, BHSCT, QUB, UU, Pharmacy, Industry and Nursing.

We’d like to sincerely thank everyone who took the time to attend and the presenters who gave such extremely interesting and informative talks.

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