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 3 October 2023 – now cancelled due to ‘Junior’ doctors’ strikes.

The Mental Health and Well-being FReT showcase will be held on 24 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, 15 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 16 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 13 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 9 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 13 October 2-3pm (online). We are still looking for folks to present!

Mental Health and Wellbeing Faculty Research Theme

Meeting 9 November 2023 highlights


The PREVENT project has been funded by SPCR. Led by Irene Peterson at UCL the study will investigate the association between initiation of statin and development of diabetes in people receiving antipsychotic treatment. Michelle Rickett, Carolyn Chew-Graham, David Shiers, and Veenu Gupta (EXTEND) are co-applicants, leading the PPIE and co-production work.


Sue Molesworth has submitted her RfPB application - to explore outcomes related to carer burden by working with carers delivering psychological for stroke survivors in the community. The project hopes to test whether delivering an intervention increases carer burden and/or reduces their quality of life.

Tom Kingstone has submitted the SUREFIRE application to HS&DR (a follow on from FIRESIDE - working with the fire service to support the identification and sign-posting for anxiety and depression in older adults om Home Fire Safety Visits). Tom and his team will hear the outcome of the application in early December.

Paul Campbell is working on a project concerned with NHS workforce research, looking at burn-out, recruitment and retention.


Sue Molesworth presented her project ‘Realist Evaluation of Admiral Nursing in Primary Care’. Supported by Dementia UK, the study worked with Admiral Nurses (who specialise in dementia care) and their patients (and care givers) in England. Using scientific and critical realism, in which the success of a programme relies on human agency, the project sought to explore:

  • What works?
  • How does it work?
  • In what circumstances/conditions does it work?
  • How does it differ from other support?

Participants included 9 admiral nurses, 6 patients with dementia and 30 family carers. The study used a multimethod approach including observations and qualitative interviews and found several CMOs (context mechanism outcomes). These included, “when careers have a safe space to share their feelings, be listened to and acknowledged, they are more confident in the care they provide, because they feel supported” and “when the admiral nurses tailor their support and expertise to the carer’s individual situation and that of their family, the family becomes more receptive and accepting of help because they perceive it is relevant to them”. The findings emphasised the vital care that Admiral nurses provide. Sue is currently writing up and intends to share findings with Dementia UK and the wider community.

Publications and impact

Ben Saunders’ paper ‘Self-directed self-management interventions to prevent or address distress in young people with long-term physical conditions: A rapid review’ has been published in Health Expectations. https://doi.org/10.1111/hex.13845

Tamsin Fisher’s paper ‘Can the fire and rescue service work with primary care to improve identification of mental health problems in older adults?’ has been accepted by BJGP. https://bjgpopen.org/content/early/2023/07/25/BJGPO.2023.0059


Jane Southam joined us again from Keele Research User Group and is looking forward to joining us in person at the FReT Showcase in January.

Dates for the diary

The Mental Health and Wellbeing FReT showcase will be held on 24 January 2024 at St George’s hospital in Stafford – supported by MPUFT. Please remember to register! If you would like to present, please let Carolyn know (abstracts not needed).

MPFT Research conference, 18 April 2024, St George’s hospital in Stafford

SAPC Primary Care Mental Health (PCMH) conference will be hosted at Keele University, on 15 May 2024 - supported by SPCR, during Mental Health Awareness Week. Please save the date! A call for abstracts will be out soon.

SPCR funded CLASP study is hosting a Perinatal Anxiety webinar 6 June 2024 https://forms.office.com/e/b2E3REYhur

SAPC ASM 3-5 July 2024 Bristol


The Wheel of Wellbeing

Carolyn talked about the importance of ‘Place’ for the Wheel of Wellbeing slot.

Tom invited everyone to consider doing something charitable either before, during or after the festive break and tell us about it at the next FReT meeting.

We will spin the ‘Wheel of Wellbeing’ again in January.

Next MH&WB FReT meeting is 26 January 9-10.30am

Mental Health & Wellbeing (MH&WB) Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Research Theme (FReT)

Meeting summary

26/01/2024 9.00-10.30

During the meeting the group reflected on the recent showcase event at our local NHS partner, Midlands Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (MPFT). As usual we discussed team updates on projects and grants, postgraduate researcher progress, new publications and impact, patient and public involvement and engagement, and upcoming conferences and events.

Reflections on MH&WB FReT showcase event (24/01/2024)

Our team meeting in January began with congratulations to the team who organised the MH&WB FReT showcase held at St George’s hospital. This was a really successful event and showcased the quality and breadth of MH research being conducted at Keele and MPFT. It was inspiring for those who attended to see the variety of research being conducted, and the presentations from doctoral students which showcased the future of MH research is in good hands. The Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) session lead by our PPIE representative, Jane Southam, was very well received. For Jane, the event showcased not only the great research happening across the FReT but also evidenced the strong and successful relationships Keele has with other universities and MPFT.

It was agreed that this showcase event will now be an annual event – with the support of Neil Carr and Ruth Lambley-Burke. The slides will be distributed once permissions from presenters have been given.

Project and grant application updates

Sue Molesworth is going through ethics for the DemCare project. Sue Molesworth has also submitted a PhD proposal for the 3 schools exploring the interfaces of social care and primary care. She also has proposals for intercultural needs in social care and the experiences of people with dementia in receiving social care within Integrated Care systems.

Saeed Farooq and his team are working on guidelines on how to switch anti-psychotics safely, and their systematic review is in the data extraction stage: the iSWITCHED study.

Gayan Ariyadasa is carrying out a systematic review of video games and psychiatric disorders in low and middle income countries.

Carolyn Chew-Graham and Tom Kingstone submitted an application to the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Mental Health Research Group call.

Carolyn and Paul Campbell have submitted an NIHR Research for Social Care application exploring smoking cessation for those with long term conditions and mental health conditions.

Hiyam Al-Jabr submitted a grant with Clinical Research Network (CRN) West Midlands to improve research for hospital pharmacists and is also working on a grant application to explore Long COVID.

Gulshan Tajuria applied for Undergraduate interns to work with Early Career Researchers on building research capacity.  

Research ideas

Steve Trenchard spoke of his interest in researching Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and how their impact on latent conditions especially psychosis and hearing voices. Steve also discussed the potential for research which explores how hearing voices in those who develop dementia are treated. Whilst hearing voices are often regarded as symptomatic of a dementia diagnosis, he argues that often people have suppressed those adverse experiences and voice hearing which become more prevalent with the aging process and therefore more research in this area is needed. There is the potential for research in this area, including o suggested that there may be research which explores how people with schizophrenia experience dementia which may be of relevance to this.

Sue Hunter discussed three potential mental health projects. These include a study exploring sleep disturbance in people living with Parkinsons, a study with the community stroke team exploring the experiences of young stroke survivors and the mental health issues they experience as part of their diagnosis, and a study exploring the unmet needs of those receiving an MS diagnosis.

Research impact highlights

Congratulations to Tamsin Fisher, her paper reporting findings from the FIRESIDE study has been published in British Journal of General Practice Open and advertised on the journal website.

Congratulations to Gulshan Tajuria, her paper reporting an evaluation of the Supporting the Advancement of Research Skills (STARS) programme has been accepted and will be published in BMC Medical Education.

Paul Campbell discussed the new NIHR Social Care Mental Health Research Incubator led by Catherine Robinson in Manchester and Mike Clark at LSE, and how the team at Keele/MPFT are part of this group. The incubator will promote a wide range of research on social care and mental health and as part of this group there will be future opportunities for Keele researchers.   

Tom Kingstone highlighted the need to think strategically about our research impact and how it is evidenced for REF2029. As Dr Andrew Finney is going to be providing roadshows on this subject, he suggested that Andrew is invited to a future meeting so that we can learn ways in which to evidence our research impact beyond publication.

Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement

Saeed highlighted the work of Keele’s PPIE team and the impact they are having in Global Health research, including a presentation at the upcoming Global Health symposium.

Jane highlighted the diversity of PPIE members at Keele which is very good to see and will be important for our future research.

Upcoming conferences

Global Health Symposium at Keele Hall 28/29 February 2024 (for information contact Saeed, Abbie Milner or Nishani Fonseca)

MPFT Research and Innovation conference, 18 April 2024

SAPC Primary Care Mental Health Conference 15th May 2024, Keele University (abstract deadline: 16th Feb)

‘What’s new in Perinatal anxiety?’ Webinar 6 June 2024

SAPC ASM “Healthy systems, healthy people” 3rd – 5th July 2024 Bristol (abstract deadline: 19th Feb)

Health Services Research conference, 2024:


Research and Development Forum, 2024 https://rdfconference.org/

Wheel of Wellbeing

We shared our acts of self-care over the Christmas period which included walking the dogs, de-cluttering, practicing mindfulness, having a sound bath, and creating a reverse advent calendar where each day boxes were filled with items to donate to the local foodbank.

In our next meeting, Katie and Tamsin will lead us in an activity regarding our mind.

We look forward to seeing everyone at our next meeting on 24 April 2024 1-2.30pm, which will be held both online and in person (room tbc).

Meeting closed with thanks.