Our updates

We have decided to try a new way of recording discussions at our FReT (Faculty Research Theme) meetings to illustrate and record the great work we are all involved in.

After introductions around the virtual room, Toby Helliwell advised that he is waiting with bated breath for outcome on global health grant application.

Tom Kingstone discussed two RfPB (Research for Patient Benefit) studies that are coming to an end with some planned dissemination activities. Tom has led the FIRESIDE study and thanked Tamsin Fisher for the tremendous amount of work she has done in planning the stakeholder workshop next week. Tom updated on the progress of the Hi-COVE study and the upcoming online stakeholder workshop on 23 May 2023.

Paul Campbell outlined his programme of work (DEM CARE) funded by ARC (Applied ResearchCollaboration ); Dr Sue Moldsworth has joined Keele as part of the team (Social Care Fellowship) and Paul will introduce her to the FReT. Carolyn Chew Graham and Paul discussed the possibility of convening a ‘dementia research group’ across MH&WB FreT and MPFT (and ARC) and will take this discussion forwards outside today’s meeting.

Faraz Mughal described the CLIMB study which is linked with Kate Dunn’s programme of work on children with musculoskeletal pain, a School of Public Health funded study focused on supporting youth and educational organisations in the area of post-vention (support following suicide). Faraz then updated the group on his PhD work - the COPING study.

Michelle Rickett gave a fantastic presentation focused on the initial analysis of the qualitative work with the EXTEND programme of work. Michelle has done a remarkable number of interviews with health care professionals from Early Intervention in Psychosis services, General Practitioners and Service Users. Michelle mentioned thevaluable input provided by the EXTEND InG group and the co investigators David Shiers and Veenu Guptu.

Carolyn Chew Graham and David Shiers talked about the need to consider oral health in people with severe mental illness. David highlighted the Right to Smile consensus statement and a recent article in BJGP Life.

Tom Kingstone spoke about the emerging concept of “imposter participants” in remote interviews (see image) linked to an editorial published in Health Expectations. Jane Southam emphasized how important it is that we establish potential participants are eligible to take part in our research to ensure the integrity of our data.

Paul mentioned that the SCREEN study at MPFT to engage social care practice with research activitywas featured as a case study within the Charter for Social Work Research in Adult Social Care (British Association of Social Work), cementing SCREEN as a trailblazer!

As always, we mentioned upcoming conferences many have submitted abstracts for the Primary Care Mental Health conference in Bristol, 16 May, and SAPC (Society for Academic Primary Care) Annual Scientific Meeting in Brighton, 18-20 July.

We discussed the call for the Keele Research Conference June 14 and asked if anyone had any innovative ideas for the FReT to present their work.Tom’s creation, the ‘Wheel of Wellbeing’ was deferred this time - but do join our next FReT meeting 18 May 2-3.30pm.

Our team meeting in July began with lots of celebrations. Rosie, Charles and Tamsin were all congratulated for passing their PhD viva over the last couple of months. Congratulations to Professor Saeed Farooq for winning the Leadership Award at the annual MPUFT Awards. Finally, congratulations to Professor Carolyn Chew-Graham on her OBE, awarded for services to general practice and patient care, and to primary care research, particularly work on Long Covid. Congratulations!

Project updates:

The FIRESIDE Study has now come to an end and the team are in the process of finishing up the dissemination for the study including some artwork produced by Tom Bailey, and an animated video that will be used by the FRS to raise awareness of mental health in older adults. The team are planning an application for an implementation study to be submitted later this year.

The SHADOW study kicked off last month and the PharmLC study funding has also been approved (RfPB)and will start next year.

We have an ASPIRE medical student working with Tom and Tamsin this summer, William Nicholls, who is conducting a review on the self-harm in the countryside to better understand the lived experiences and help-seeking behaviours among adults in rural areas.

Rosie shared a passionate presentation of her PhD, “Paid to care: Exploring emotional management in domiciliary care”. She highlighted the important, and often forgotten, differences between residential and domiciliary care and walked through the challenges that domiciliary carers face day to day. Rosie shared the experiences of domiciliary carers and the ways in which emotional management is an underrated and often forgotten skill. Domiciliary carers have little time between house call and must learn (without training) to carefully navigate their own emotions within and between clients’ homes. Rosie emphasized that caring is a skill and is not instinctive in everyone. Rosie described how carers must learn to present confidence to clients, even when they do not feel it themselves, to support the client. They must also learn to build relationships and communicate with not only their clients, but their families, friends, and even their pets.


Saeed and Michelle were unable to join the meeting as they were presenting their research at the RCPsych Conference in Liverpool.


Jane Southam joined us from the Keele Research User Group and has been involved in many research studies across the Mental Health FReT. She mentioned the value of working as a public member and the importance of working with patients and public from the conceptualisation of a study, through the dissemination. Thanks, Jane, for your continued contributions!

The Mental Health FReT work closely with the RUG at Keele IAU to involve public in all research. We have also been working with external organisations too, including the Beth Johnson Foundation, Bescura, and Just Family CIC. Thanks to all for their support on our research.

Dates for the diary:

MPFT research conference on 3rd October 2023 – now cancelled due to ‘Junior’ doctors’ strikes.

The Mental Health and Well-being FReT showcase will be held on 24th January 2024 at St George’s hospital in Stafford – supported by MPUFT.

SAPC Primary Care and Mental Health (PCMH) conference will be hosted at Keele University next year, 15th May 2024 - supported by MPUFT, and SPCR, during Mental Health Awareness Week. Please save the date!

SAPC North will be hosted in Manchester this year on 16th November 2023.

Our team meeting in September meeting was short and sweet.

Jane Southam alerted us to a great piece of work she has just completed with MPUFT: https://www.mpft.nhs.uk/services/msk/self-help

Carolyn asked for ideas for the MH&WB showcase in January – so far we have agreed the keynote speakers (Matthew Broome and Krysia Canvin) and plan a session for our PhD students, and sessions for global health and primary, community, specialist and social care projects to be presented. Do let Saeed, Carolyn or Tom if you have any other bright ideas. There is funding for lay members to attend the showcase.

Alice Faux-Nightingdale talked about the innovative PPIE work done with SPLAT-19, and Kelvin advised that ESRC application (“MEDDIP 3”) was progressing.

On 13th September we held a hybrid seminar with Dr Tanya Davison who presented her work as Research Director of Silverchain    https://www.silverchain.org.au/our-difference/research-and-innovation. We had a stimulating discussion about mental health of older adults, role of social care, and how much of our work overlaps with Tanya’s. We aim to do some collaborative work with Tanya going forwards.

Next MH&WB FReT meeting 9th November 2-3.30pm: offers to present welcome!

We will pick up the ‘Wheel of Wellbeing’ in November.

And don’t forget the SAPC Mental Health SIG on Friday 13th October 2-3pm (online). We are still looking for folks to present!