Professor Richard Byng
Professor in Primary Care Research/PenARC Deputy Director
Peninsula Medical School (Faculty of Health)
- General Practice
- Mental health
- Primary care
- Health services
- Offender health
- Hospital admissions
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I have worked as a part-time researcher since 1995 in a range of research settings and since 2009 have been developing the Primary Care Group in Plymouth. My main area of research is complex care for complex needs and within that, I have developed specific areas of expertise and interest:
- Shared care for long-term mental illness
- Content of consultations for mental illness
- Management of common mental health problems
- Care for individuals with multi-morbidity
- Offender health care
- Organisational systems of health care.
I am a General Practitioner and researcher with a particular interest in primary care mental health and care of individuals with complex needs. My PhD involved the development and evaluation of shared care for long-term mental illness utilising a cluster randomised controlled trial and a Realistic evaluation-based process evaluation. I have significant experience of service development, management, policy development and teaching.
I continue to work as a GP at Mount Gould Primary Care Centre and a GP with special interest in mental health, for the Icebreak team at The Zone.
2009 GP with Special Interest in Mental Health accreditation
2004 PhD, University of London, Health Services Research
1996 Masters in Public Health (MPH), University of Birmingham
1992-1993 MRCGP, Oxford (Banbury) Vocational Training Scheme
1985-1988 M.B. B.Ch. (Cambridge), The Royal London Hospital Medical College,
1982-1985 B.A. (Hons) Medical Sciences Degree (2:1), Queens' College, Cambridge University
I teach medical students at the Mount Gould Primary Care Centre and our outreach service for homeless and offenders.
I run special study units for research.
I have taught and facilitated three ‘Trailblazer’ work based learning courses for primary care and specialist clinicians. (2005-7)
Work at Rushey Green involved teaching of medical students regularly during years one, two and four of the undergraduate course; it included seminar teaching and clinical contact. (1996-2002)
I supervised the GP registrar working at a hostel on the Homeless and Rootless GP training rotation. (1995-99) and and support supervision of GP registrars at Mount Gould.My post in the South Sudan involved developing an integrated problem oriented curriculum for Medical Assistants, covering clinical care, health promotion, management and teaching skills. (1991-92)
I have been involved in projects related to access, commissioning, inter-professional workng and implementation of evidence-based practice.I have worked as a generalist researcher and become experienced with a range of quantiative and qualitative methodologies relevant to health services research, including:
- Randomised controlled trials
- Studies involving qualitative interviews
- Mixed methods analysis
- Conversation analysis
I have developed a particular interest in developing and field testing theoretical models (programme theory). This is of particular relevance for the development and evaluation of both innovative compled interventions and programmes for translating evidence into practice.
Research degrees awarded to supervised students
Alex Georgiadis. PenCLAHRC PhD studentship, Offenders with common mental health problems and their care: examination of the perspectives of offenders and practitioners in a qualitative study. 2012-16
Hannah Storey. ESRC/MRC PhD studentship, The Institutional structure of consultations for depression in primary care. (Peninsula Medical School) From 2007-2011.
Kaj Gohal. D Clin Sci Thesis. Ethnic differences in the content of consultations for depression. (University of Exeter). From 2009-2011.
Grants & contracts
Grants as Chief Investigator
Enagager 2 Offenders with Common Mental Health Problems. NIHR Programme Development Grant (ENGAGER). 2013-2018 (£2M). This project is developing and evaluating an intervention for prison leavers, incorporating an explorotory RCT
How can frontline expertise and new models of care best contribute to safely reducing avoidable acute admissions? NIHR, SDO funded.(£429k) 2012-2014 (Co-Chief investigator with Professor Jonathan Pinkney). This ethnographicstudy aims to describe decision making for potentially avoidable admissions to acute hospitals.
Engaging Offenders with Common Mental Health Problems. NIHR Programme Development Grant (ENGAGER). 2010-11 (£100k). This project is testing the feasibility of engaging offenders in prison, collecting outcomes and following them up in the community.
A research evaluation of the south west Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme. NHS southwest. 2009-11 (£300k). This research will use qualitative case studies alongside a large naturalistic regional data base incorporating validated baseline, process and outcome data to examine the predictors of better access and improved mental health.
Care of Offenders: Continuity of Access (COCOA). Service Delivery and Organisation (SDO). 2008-2010 (£493,000). This study described health care for offenders across the system, involving 8 case studies and interviews with 200 offenders.
NHS R&D Researcher Development Award, 2001-5. 1) The ‘Realistic Evaluation of Mental Health Link’ made up the second part of my PhD. 2) ‘Impact of consultations for depression’ examined real time consultation data to show an association between expression of emotions, GP activity and better outcomes. This unusual data base continues to be exploited in two research degrees which I am supervising.
Evaluation of the Lewisham Depression Programme. Lewisham Research Unit. 2004-5. (£35,000). This research used another theory based evaluation, Theories of Change, to help understand the mechanisms underpinning translation of evidence into practice.
An evaluation of the introduction of evidence-based interventions to the field of mental health in primary care. NHS North Thames R&D Directorate.1998-2001: (£48,158). This study examined care provided as practitioners aimed to integrate evidence into every day consultations.
A Randomised Controlled trial of shared care (Mental Health Link) between GPs and secondary services for care of the Long Term Mentally Ill. 1998-2001. NHS Primary-secondary interface R&D programme. (£184,650). A Randomised Controlled trial of shared care between GPs and secondary services for care of the Long Term Mentally Ill. NHS Primary-secondary interface R&D programme. Pilot Year 1997-98 (£71,762). I conceived the design, and managed the development of both the intervention and the trial process.
Research projects as co-applicant/investigator
Co-applicant. PCT commissioning practice and health system governance. NIHR, SDO. 2009- 11 (Led by Prof Rod Sheaff, University of Plymouth)
Co-applicant. Preventing depressive relapse in NHS practice through mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). NIHR Health Technology Assessment. (£2.3 million, awarded but under contract negotiation). (Led by Prof Willem Kuyken, Mood Disorder Centre, Exeter University). 2009-2013.
Investigator, International study of conceptual models of consultations for depression (with Prof Chris Dowrick, Liverpool, Alison Karasch, New York, Prof Evelyn Weel-Baumgarten, Netherlands). Unfunded collaboration.
Co-applicant and supervisor, ESRC/MRC PhD studentship, The Institutional structure of consultations for depression in primary care. (With Rebecca Barnes, Peninsula Medical School). 2007-11.
Investigator, ‘Randomised controlled trial of cognitive training’, MRC Experimental Medicine trial (led by Prof Ed Watkins, Mood Disorder Centre, Exeter University) 2006-9.Co-applicant and Plymouth Lead for a three site SDO project: ‘The professional experience of governance and incentives: meeting the needs of people with complex conditions in primary care’. 2006-8. (Led by Prof Fiona Ross, St Georges.)
Study Group member. ‘Randomised controlled trial of Mindfulness based cognitive group therapy for recurrent depression’. 2006-7, MRC. (Led by Prof Willem Kuyken)
Lead researcher and investigator, ‘A research and development programme for suicide prevention: I: The needs of offenders on release from prison. II: Development of a suicide audit toolkit for PCTs.’ 2005-6. (Principle investigator, Prof John Campbell)
Study Group Member. ‘Randomised controlled trial to determine the clinical and cost-effectiveness of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors plus supportive care, versus supportive care alone, for mild to moderate depression with somatic symptoms in primary care’. The THREAD Study. (2004-8 HTA funded, led by Prof Tony Kendrick)
‘Improving the quality of care for older people with depression: a cross cultural study’. 2001-4. (Led by Prof Shube Banerjee,)
Development of The Lewisham Primary Care Research Consortium
In 1997 I was the lead applicant in a successful bid along with six other practices in applying for R&D research support moneys (following the Culyer report). The consortium was awarded £192,000 over a three year period to support research activity in primary care.
Key publications are highlightedJournals