Primary care

Our research is conducted through the involvement of practitioners, and the public, who are instrumental in helping to develop focused research questions and in designing projects.

We use a range of research methods, qualitative and quantitative, to solve pressing and often complex research problems. Our research is often directed towards those individuals who are the most excluded or disempowered, have mental health problems and have difficulty accessing services.

Primary Care Research is led and co-ordinated by Professor Richard Byng.

Key externally funded projects

  • Person Centred and Co-ordinated Care - this CLAHRC and AHSN supported programme of work involves supporting local health systems to develop and evaluate integrated care initiatives.
  • Engager (NIHR) - developing and evaluating a collaborative care intervention for prisoners with common mental health problems, near to and after release.
  • DeCoDer Trial Debt Counselling for Depression in Primary Care: an Adaptive Randomised Controlled Trial ​(NIHR) - this trial aims to determine the clinical and cost effectiveness of the addition of a Primary Care debt counselling advice service to usual care, for patients with depression and debt.
  • PARTNERS2 - this NIHR programme grant aims to enable Primary Care and community based mental health services to work more closely together and to develop a model of care to allow selected individuals with severe mental illness to be managed in primary care with secondary care support.
  • A development study to examine feasibility and acceptability of pulmonary rehabilitation in Uganda for adults with chronic respiratory disease (MRC / Wellcome Trust / DFID Joint Global Health Trials).
  • e-coachER - a multi-centred randomised controlled trial to investigate the effects of adding web-based coaching (e-coachER) to an exercise referral scheme as a way to increase uptake and sustained health enhancing physical activity for patients with chronic physical and mental health conditions.

Recently completed projects

  • Avoidable Acute Admissions​ (NIHR) - this NIHR HS&DR funded project is investigating how clinician expertise and decision making in four hospitals in South West England can contribute to safely reducing acute admissions​.
  • Engager 1 (NIHR) - developing a model for engagement and demonstrating feasibility of a trial for prison leavers.
  • COCOA - investigating access to and continuity of health care for offenders.
  • EARS (NIHR-HTA) - A pilot RCT to assess the methods and procedures for evaluating the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of an Exercise Assisted Reduction then Stop (EARS) counselling support delivered by health trainers, among disadvantaged smokers in Devonport and Stonehouse.
  • Scrutiknee (NIHR) - Pilot RCT group acupuncture for knee pain.
  • BAcPAc - (MRC - National Prevention Research Initiative - 4 funded) - Parallel-group feasibility randomised controlled trial comparing a Psychological Well-being Practitioner supported self-help intervention combining behavioural activation and physical activity promotion (BAcPAc) with behavioural activation alone for adults receiving treatment for depression in IAPT Services in Plymouth and East / Mid Devon​.
  • South West Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (SHA) - investigating the implementation of the national IAPT programme.
  • Community Health Networks (NIHR) - understanding how networks contribute to recovery for people with severe mental illness.

NIHR CLAHRC South West Peninsula (PenCLAHRC)

The National Institute of Health Research's Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) for the South West Peninsula.

PenCLAHRC is a partnership between Plymouth University, the University of Exeter and NHS organisations across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset.

Learn more about PenCLAHRC