Category Archives: Summer 2015

UoH-Press-Logo2.1

New publications from the University of Huddersfield Press

The University of Huddersfield Press was established in 2007 to provide an outlet for publication for University authors and to encourage new and aspiring authors to publish in their areas of subject expertise. Producing print books, open access eBooks and academic journals, the Press covers a wide range of subject areas providing a platform for innovative and interdisciplinary research at Huddersfield.

Recent publications

Identity Papers: A Journal of British and Irish Studies

The University of Huddersfield’s Academy for British and Irish Studies was established in 2009. Identity Papers has developed out of the Academy’s varied and interdisciplinary work. The peer reviewed open access journal is of interest to readers from academic, policy, professional and public sectors, drawing on robust research to communicate ideas connected with identities in Britain and Ireland, today and in the past, in an accessible way.

Identity-Papers-Journal-Logo

British Journal of Pharmacy

British Journal of Pharmacy is an online peer-reviewed open access journal publishing original research papers, critical reviews and rapid communications on the latest developments in pharmacy. The journal accepts manuscripts highlighting novel research and development in pharmacy. Subject focuses include the practice of pharmacy, novel therapeutic targets and molecular pharmacy, contemporary formulation strategies to improve drug delivery and targeting, pharmaceutical and medicinal chemistry, pharmacokinetics and therapeutics, pharmacoeconomics, pharmacovigilance and innovations in teaching pharmacy.

BritJPharm-Logo-TransparentBKG

Huddersfield’s Roll of Honour 1914-1922

Huddersfield’s Roll of Honour 1914-1922 is a detailed account of 3,439  service personnel from Huddersfield who lost their lives during the First World War. In the Preface,  HRH The Duke of York KG writes:

“This publication represents the lifetime work of Margaret Stansfield who sadly passed away in 2012. Margaret spent 30 years compiling the 3,439 biographical entries giving a poignant insight into the background, working lives and families of those who selflessly left Huddersfield to fight for their country never to return.”

Along with the biographical accounts there are many moving letters to the families of soldiers who lost their lives reflecting an attempt to bring comfort amid the darkness that their loss brought to both families and comrades alike.

DNA Strands

£1 million in funding is supporting new researchers in evolutionary genomics

The University of Huddersfield’s Archaeogenetics Research Group has led the way in developing mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) as a tool for reconstructing the dispersal history of mankind. Results include a new model of the expansion of modern humans out of Africa and re-evaluations of the settlement history of Europe, Asia and the Pacific. This work has been pivotal in the emergence of commercial genetic ancestry testing and has helped the Human Genetics Commission (HGC) formulate guidelines for the industry.

£1 million in funding for new interdisciplinary research centre

In December 2014 the University of Huddersfield was awarded £1 million by the Leverhulme Trust for the development of a new research centre which has developed out of this on-going research into archaeogenetics. The Centre for Evolutionary Genomics, led by Professor Martin Richards, will bring together researchers from across a range of disciplines to delve into evolutionary history, from the origins of animals to the spread of modern humans.

Supporting the next generation of postgraduate researchers

The grant from the Leverhulme Trust will enable the new Centre to foster a new generation of PhD students starting out their academic career in evolutionary genomics. The award is one of just 14 given to UK universities in the first round of the new Doctoral Scholarship Scheme from the Leverhulme Trust, making possible the creation of 15 PhD scholarships over five years to carry out wide-ranging research under the supervision of Professor Richards and his colleagues. Two new research fellows have also been appointed to the Centre.

The new Doctoral Scholarships Scheme is motivated by the concern that the prospect of increased indebtedness might discourage graduates from undertaking doctorates. Professor Gordon Marshall, Director of the Trust, said: “It is to be hoped that this first round of awards, modest though it is in terms of overall graduate student numbers, will kick-start a solution to the still unresolved problem of how adequately to fund graduate studies in the United Kingdom.”

A revolution in genomics

The new Centre is a result of a major transformation in evolutionary studies that has taken place over the past decade, resulting from the development of new DNA sequencing technologies, as Professor Martin Richards explains: “This led to a revolution in genomics, looking at whole human genomes or whole animal genomes rather than small numbers of individual genes.”

The focus of the research topics carried out by the Centre for Evolutionary Genomics will extend from the origins of multicellular organisms to the prehistoric peopling of Europe.  In several projects, the Centre will focus on both contemporary genetic variation and DNA from human and animal remains.

To find out more about the research in this article, please contact:

Professor Martin Richards – m.b.richards@hud.ac.uk

Business School

Using Lean Thinking to improve experiences of mental health service users

A team of researchers based in the Business School at the University of Huddersfield recently teamed up with the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SWYPFT) to take part in a year-long project to review the referral process for mental health issues. SWYPFT are a specialist Foundation Trust that provides community, mental health and learning disability services to the people of Barnsley, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield. Over 1 million people live within SWYPFT’s catchment area, across urban and rural communities from a range of diverse backgrounds.

Creating a single point of access

Focusing on providing an effective and efficient service, SWYPFT created Single Point of Access (SPA) teams to act as the first point of call for anyone wanting to discuss mental health issues or access services. As SPA teams operate autonomously, there had been perceived variations in service quality, resource availability and some concerns around ineffective and inefficient ways of working.

Using Lean Thinking to improve services

Supported by funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the project team wanted to identify which parts of the existing processes worked well, and also look at areas which could be improved to make sure people were receiving the most appropriate care and advice throughout the referral pathway. Informed by the principles of Lean Thinking, the project team, led by Professor David Bamford and comprising of Siu Cheng, Mary Duggan, Benjamin Dehe and Marina Papalexi, identified a set of key objectives for the research to focus on:

  1. Understand how the Single Point of Access (SPA) teams differed from each other across the Care Pathway
  2. Identify what worked well and what could be improved
  3. Determine what could be changed in order for the SPA teams to be more consistent, efficient and leaner

Collaborative workshops identify issues and solutions

Eight facilitated service improvement workshops were conducted across West Yorkshire, bringing together NHS personnel and Patient User Groups to examine the existing services in place and look at possible redesign ideas to improve future processes and experiences. The workshops highlighted a range of key concerns across the referral pathway, including the duplication of referral information and delays caused by missing information.

From these findings, it became clear that implementing a higher level of electronic communications by phone and email could address these problem points and improve both the decision making and signposting abilities of the SPA teams. In order to improve these processes and reduce the amount of time a referral takes, new policy and procedure guidelines have been developed with the SPA teams, complimented by a set of Key Performance Indicators and regular feedback forums to improve communications between teams.

To find out more about the research in this article, please contact:

Professor David Bamford – david.bamford@hud.ac.uk

Jess Power with example central line

Improving everyday life experiences for young children with cancer

Children with cancer regularly have long term central line catheters inserted in the chest to deliver medication. Often termed ‘Hickman Lines’, they result in tubing protruding from the chest, which can result in medical issues including infections, but also discomfort for the child, particularly when sleeping. A team of researchers, led by Dr Jess Power, including Professor David Leaper and Joanne Marie Harris, has been investigating the design and development of a product to contain these external lines, providing greater comfort and safety for the child whilst also meeting the needs of the medical community.

The project makes use of innovative experimental and industrial research to develop a strategically designed harness for children aged 2-4 years with cancer. The aim is to reduce the chances of infection around the central line as well as combat common issues such as discomfort when sleeping due to the line becoming tangled, snagged or pulled out.

Key input from those caring for children with cancer

The project team were approached by the Little Heroes Cancer Trust who had recognised the need for a product to contain long term central lines. Right from the beginning, the team were keen to focus on the children themselves and providing the best levels of comfort possible. Working with Little Heroes and consulting with experts from the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, a series of focus groups were carried out with parents and carers of children with cancer to ensure that those using the product were at the heart of the design.

Little Heroes Logo TM

Preventing infection

With initial funding support from the Collaborative Ventures Fund, followed by top-up funding from the Yorkshire Innovation Fund and Little Heroes Cancer Trust, the project team has been able to carry out initial research and progress the designs to prototype stage. The antibacterial properties of a range of materials, sourced both locally and nationally, are being explored in order to find a suitable material which will reduce levels of infection whilst also maximising comfort.

YIF logo

Collaborative research leads to innovative design

Part of the Institute of Skin Integrity and Infection Prevention, the project team brings together innovative research from across the Schools of Art, Design and Architecture, Computing and Engineering and Human and Health Sciences. This interdisciplinary team includes experts in performance materials, surface design and infection control – all areas integral to the development of a product which must meet the needs of children, families, carers and the medical community.

Ensuring the end product is available to all children

With the underpinning research in place, the team are hoping to see the harness ready for manufacturing by July 2015. A key focus of the project has been to ensure that the harness can be produced using cost-effective processes to ensure it can be made available to all children with cancer through NHS trusts and services.  An article summarising the project and paving the way for future research is planned for September 2015.

To find out more about the research in this article, please contact:

Dr Jess Power – jess.power@hud.ac.uk