Dr Melanie Rees-Roberts BSc (Hons), PhD
- 01227 816433
I joined CHSS in November 2016 as a Research Manager providing research support across 2 projects.
I facilitate research undertaken across the 16 GP practices that make up the Encompass Multispecialty Community Provider group providing primary care services across the Canterbury and Coastal Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). Our aim is to embed research within Canterbury and Coastal CCG in order to make research part of the normal everyday primary care and commissioning activity.
My academic interests lie in self-management of minor illnesses resulting from infectious diseases, public health research and clinical research. I have ten years of experience in clinical research management within the NHS and University setting.
After completing my PhD, I worked at Barts Health NHS Trust supporting the running of NIHR portfolio cancer clinical trials. In 2011, I moved to Imperial College London to run an NIHR portfolio study investigating new diagnostics tests for tuberculosis. In 2014, I became Research Manager for the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Respiratory Infections. This new partnership between Imperial College London and Public Health England created a centre of excellence for public health research in Respiratory Infections.
I undertook my undergraduate training in Biological Sciences at the University of East Anglia before moving to Imperial College London to complete a PhD in HIV vaccine research.back to top
Published in 2014, the NHS England’s Five Year Forward View saw the beginning of an ambitious programme to develop new models of care. The result has been the establishment of new ways to organise health services being piloted in a number of ‘Vanguard’ sites around the country. The Encompass Vanguard sits within the Canterbury and Coastal Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and involves general practices in Whitstable, Faversham, Canterbury and surrounding areas including Ash and Sandwich. Serving a population of 170,000 people, Encompass is formed into a new model of integrated care known as a Multispecialty Community Provider and is focussed on moving specialist care from hospitals to the community and in particular emphasising on integrated care for older people – a key element within the Five Year Forward View. The new models of care aim to address longstanding problems in the UK health system. Integration of health and social care services will ultimately meet patients’, service users’ and carers’ needs more effectively. Whilst shifting services from hospital to community settings, and closer health and social care service integration are far from new concepts, developing effective new ways of community working to address health and social care demands remains a challenge. A research office has been established as a joint partnership between the Encompass Vanguard and CHSS. The office supports research undertaken within the 16 practices that make up the Encompass group and also conducts and supports research and evaluation of aspects of Encompass’ activities. The research function ensures delivery of high quality national portfolio studies working in collaboration with the NIHR Clinical Research Network and generates and facilitates research activity within all the member practices. The aim is to make research part of the normal everyday activity of the practices and use the knowledge generated by new research to improve care quality. The research will ultimately contribute to the development of the new model of care, provide educational and development opportunities for practice staff and improve staff recruitment and retention. Start date: 01/02/2016 End date: 31/03/2018 Funder: Encompass Vanguard Funding: £164,000
Optimum Hospice at Home services for end of life care
What are the features of Hospice at Home models that work, for whom, and under what circumstances? Offering a choice about where people receive care at the end of life is central to UK policy and the numbers of people wishing to die at home is increasing. There are a range of “Hospice at Home” (HAH) services and most operate within non NHS settings, but are funded to provide NHS specialist care. Gaps exist in the evidence around what works best in terms of outcomes. This three year project, funded by the NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research Programme is a collaboration between CHSS, Pilgrims Hospices East Kent, and the Universities of Cambridge and Surrey. The team will conduct a realist evaluation of a range of UK ‘Hospice at Home’ service models to understand their impact on patients and carers, and identify which features work for whom, under what circumstances. A project PPI (patient and public involvement) advisory group will advise on sensitive approaches to working with bereaved people. The project team includes two lay members. The project incorporates three phases. Phase 1: A national telephone survey of all HAH services in the UK on funding, staffing levels and roles, extent of service and care, local demographics etc. Data will inform the design of a typology of services, patterns and models using a CMOc framework (Context-Mechanism-Outcome configuration). 1-2 case studies per service model will receive in-depth investigation. Phase 2: An economic evaluation to compare the costs of delivering services in the different models and assess which models are likely to lead to the best outcomes and represent best value for money. Phase 3: Stakeholder validation Two national workshops will gather feedback on the implications of data findings from HAH providers, local health service planners and service user representatives. Guidelines will be developed to help plan HAH services in the future. Dissemination strategy includes a project report, conference presentations and peer reviewed journal articles aimed at professional audiences. Start date: 01/02/17 End date: 31/01/20 Funder: NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research programme. 14/197/44 HS&DR Researcher-led Funding: £760,162 Project team: CI: Dr Claire Butler Contractor: University of Kent Co-investigators: CHSS, Uni of Kent: Prof Tricia Wilson, Dr Ferhana Hasham, University of Cambridge: Dr Stephen Barclay University of Surrey: Prof Heather Gage, Dr Peter Williams Pilgrims Hospices East Kent: Ms Charlotte Brigden NHS England: Prof Bee Wee, (Nat Clin Dir. End of Life Care/Assoc Prof Uni of Oxford) Nat Assn for Hospice at Home (NAHH): Ms Kay Greene, Chair & Trustee PPI/Service users: Ms Mary Goodwin, Mr Graham Silsbury
Innovate: optimising the depression pathway through novel digital assessment technology
More than a million people in the UK seek or receive treatment for depression at any given time. Finding the right treatment can be difficult and for many, can take weeks or months to work. Professor Jenny Billings leads the evaluation of a digitally-enabled precision medicine approach to diagnosing and treating depression accurately and quickly. The two year project aims to reduce referrals to scarce secondary and crisis care services, freeing up GP time. ‘Wrapping’ care from GPs, specialist professionals and charities around the patient helps them return to healthy, productive lives. Specially designed web-based App; ‘i-SPERO’ helps patients assess their response to treatment and monitor their depression. It uses validated questionnaires and assessments including facial expression recognition testing. Developed by Oxford-based P1vital Products Ltd, i-SPERO will be piloted at selected GP practices in Canterbury and Coastal CCG. An improved triage style patient pathway adopted alongside the technology, will give greater choice and quicker access to quality care. Mental health charity MIND is supporting crucial patient involvement in this project. Start date: 01/01/19 End date: 31/12/20 Funder: Innovate UK Funding: £201,599