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Bangor University project aims to enhance NHS services

A new £300,000 project aims to ensure that NHS decisions about patient-focused services will be informed by greater in-depth feedback from patients.

The two-year project will improve the way researchers use existing qualitative research on health services, to increase the likelihood that it will be used by NHS decision-makers.

The project - titled eMERGe - is funded by the National Institute of Health’s Health Services and Delivery Research Programme.  The project involves a partnership with leading academics from Bangor, Stirling, Edinburgh, and Cardiff Universities and working closely with an international group of experts.

Professor Jane Noyes from the School of Social Sciences at Bangor University said:

‘The project has drawn together an excellent team and we will be working with global experts to develop the best possible guidance to enable researchers to write the highest quality reports to benefit patients and professionals’.

Dr Emma France, Senior Lecturer in the Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions Research Unit (NMAHP RU) based at the University of Stirling, said: “Evidence about which treatments and services work is important and already informs health service design, but to create high quality patient-focused health services we also need to consider why and how they work and people’s experiences of using them.”

“Pulling together evidence from many existing qualitative studies, such as those using patient interviews or focus groups, can shed light on factors like why patients or health professionals behave in a certain way, or what it is like to experience an illness.”

The project will focus on the use of a method called meta-ethnography, which is used to combine information from a range of qualitative studies. The team will be working closely with George Noblet who developed meta-ethnography.

This approach enables researchers to find new insights and conclusions regarding specific health topics, such as people’s experiences of being treated for arthritis.

Publication date: 28 September 2015