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HPRU Executive Group
Scientific Advisory Board
Spread Germ Defence, not the virus!
25 November 2020: With Covid-19 infections still high and people preparing for Christmas gatherings, it is vitally important to try to reduce the spread of infection in people's homes as this is where infections are now most likely to be transmitted. Research suggests people...
Treatment for drug addiction - how do patients cope in lockdown?
24 November 2020: There are encouraging signs that people in treatment for drug addiction can manage their medication when they are entrusted with a substantial quantity of opiate substitutes and told to take it in small daily doses. This finding comes from an 'early insight'...
Accuracy of rapid test for COVID-19 may be lower than previously suggested
12 November 2020: The accuracy of a rapid finger-prick antibody test for SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19 infection, may be considerably lower than previously suggested, finds a study published by The BMJ.
Major new project secures nearly £500K in funding to tackle HIV inequalities in the African and Caribbean communities of Bristol
28 October 2020: A major new three-year-project is to launch in Bristol to work with people of African and Caribbean heritage to increase HIV testing and awareness and reduce the stigma of the virus.
Evidence that new consent procedures for HPV vaccine can sometimes improve uptake
16 October 2020: An evaluation of new procedures for getting parents' or young people's consent to the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination has found some evidence of improved uptake of the vaccine but results were mixed.
Bristol's Professor Yardley awarded OBE for services to Covid-19 response
13 October 2020: University of Bristol professor, Lucy Yardley, has been awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours 2020 for her services to the Covid-19 response. Professor Yardley is an Executive Group member of the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Behavioural...
RAPCI study final report reveals how general practice has coped with COVID-19
13 October 2020: The final report from a study that monitored changes in general practice during the first few months of the coronavirus pandemic reveals how staff have coped and how consultations with patients have changed.
Stopping the spread of coronavirus in universities
15 September 2020: As universities prepare to welcome students back, infectious disease modelling experts at the University of Bristol have conducted a rapid review and developed a new epidemic model which contributed to evidence considered by SAGE to assess the effectiveness of...
Back to School final report reveals views of young people, families and school staff
15 September 2020: Back to School final report reveals views of young people, families and school staff
How can we get pupils and staff back-to-school safely during COVID-19?
11 September 2020: A ground-breaking research project will test whether 5,000 staff and pupils have active or past COVID-19 infection, develop systems to help schools prevent and cope with an outbreak and assess strategies to support the mental wellbeing of the school community...
Researchers win funding for vital research to tackle Scotland's drugs deaths crisis
4 August 2020: Addictions experts have been awarded more than £170,000 in Scottish Government funding to lead life-saving research to help tackle the country's drugs death challenge.
Sharing learning from the HepCATT trial
14 July 2020: Hepatitis C case-finding in primary care: we're sharing learning from the HepCATT trial to support the implementation of the NHS England Hepatitis C Virus Elimination Initiative in Primary Care.
Researchers to investigate social contact and physical distancing behaviours during COVID-19
1 July 2020: It is known that coronavirus spreads between close contacts. Researchers at the University of Bristol are investigating social contact patterns and physical distancing behaviours to help understand how the virus spreads.
Reducing hepatitis C among people who inject drugs: evidence for policy makers
26 June 2020: A new PolicyBristol briefing brings together evidence from a range of research projects investigating strategies to reduce hepatitis C transmission among people who inject drugs.
Researchers to explore the impact of COVID-19 on people who inject drugs
21 May 2020: A new study by researchers at the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) in Behavioural Science and Evaluation at University of Bristol will explore how coronavirus is impacting on people who inject drugs and how drug treatment services can adapt to support...
Roll-out of coronavirus behaviour change website will help public transition to 'new normal'
11 May 2020: The rapid redeployment of the infection control website 'Germ Defence' in response to COVID-19 can play an important role in changing people's behaviours and cutting infection, say researchers.
Germs, homes and apps: can we do more to protect people at home when a family member has coronavirus?
6 May 2020: A paper published in the BMJ today [6 May] argues that since most people with Covid-19 are cared for at home, it may be important to try to protect the people caring for them by limiting how much virus they come in contact with, the 'viral load'.
Billions worldwide living with herpes
5 May 2020: About half a billion people worldwide are living with genital herpes, and several billion have an oral herpes infection, new estimates show, highlighting the need to improve awareness and scale up services to prevent and treat herpes.
Elizabeth Blackwell Institute funds research projects to tackle COVID-19
28 April 2020: Four NIHR Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) in Behavioural Science and Evaluation-led research projects to help tackle the global health crisis have been funded by the University of Bristol's Elizabeth Blackwell Institute.
Rapid research in the time of COVID-19
24 April 2020: Researchers at the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Behavioural Science and Evaluation are supporting the local applied research community's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is being co-ordinated by NIHR ARC West.
£14.1 million funding announced for new COVID-19 research on treatments, vaccines and epidemiology
23 April 2020: Twenty-one new studies into the novel coronavirus have been funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).
UKRI priority funding for 'Germ Defence' app to help reduce worldwide COVID-19 spread
21 April 2020: UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has announced priority funding for 'Germ Defence' - the only digital behavioural infection control intervention worldwide. Proven to reduce the transmission of infections in the home, clinicians and researchers from the...
Re-launching our HPRU with a new focus and identity
1 April 2020: From today, we will be known as the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Behavioural Science and Evaluation (HPRU BSE) at the University of Bristol (formerly NIHR HPRU in Evaluation of Interventions). This change reflects our expanded scope to use insights into...
Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic
24 March 2020: As one of 14 National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Protection Research Units (HPRUs) in England that provide research support and capacity to Public Health England (PHE), we are joining colleagues from HPRUs across the country to support PHE's...
Intervention to help GPs identify, assess and treat patients with hepatitis C found to be effective
27 February 2020: The first UK clinical trial to increase the identification and treatment of hepatitis C (HCV) patients in primary care has been found to be effective, acceptable to staff and highly cost-effective for the NHS. The University of Bristol-led Hepatitis C...
Big investment needed to eliminate hepatitis C in Pakistan could deliver huge health benefits
19 February 2020: A large investment of at least US$3.9 billion needed to meet the World Health Organization's (WHO) target for the elimination of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) in Pakistan could deliver huge benefits in terms of lives saved and reduced ill health, according to...
Professor Helen Lambert appointed Global Health Challenge Leader by UKRI
18 February 2020: Professor Helen Lambert from the University of Bristol and member of the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Evaluation of Interventions has been appointed a Global Health Challenge Leader by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and will join the flagship...
New research into how peace of mind can influence parents' attitude to vaccines
5 February 2020: Findings should be used to inform vaccination schedule, says charity. The qualitative study, published in Vaccine, found that peace of mind should be considered in the health economic framework used by decision makers.
Educating young people about the HPV vaccine
4 February 2020: Researchers from the University of Bristol have received funding from the Medical Research Council to develop an educational package to increase the uptake of the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine in schools.
£4M funding boost for Bristol's Health Protection Research Unit
27 January 2020: We have been awarded a £4M funding boost from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to fund a new Health Protection Research Unit in Behavioural Science and Evaluation.
Hepatitis C: more testing and treatment needed for men who have sex with men
10 January 2020: Relatively modest increases in Hepatitis C virus testing delivered through routine NHS appointments could help the UK meet the World Health Organization target for eilimination of the virus in men who have sex with men.
Doctors should avoid co-prescribing benzodiazepines to opioid dependent patients due to increased risk of overdose death
17 December 2019: Doctors should avoid co-prescribing benzodiazepines to opioid dependent patients who are being treated with methadone or buprenorphine, also known as opioid agonist treatment (OAT), due to a three-fold increase in risk of overdose death.
Pilot study helps reduce use of opioid painkillers in patients with long-term pain
17 December 2019: A pioneering pilot service set up in South Gloucestershire to review patients' use of prescription opioid painkillers for long-term pain has helped many users reduce their use and improve their quality of life.
New study to evaluate patients' electronic access to medical test results
8 November 2019: A new study by researchers at the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Evaluation of Interventions and the Centre for Academic Primary Care at the University of Bristol will review and evaluate the electronic test results services currently offered to...
Flooding has a big impact on people's mental health
5 November 2019: Flooding can have a profound effect on people's mental health, and aspects of their health-related quality of life according to research by led by Public Health England and the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Evaluation of Interventions at the University...
The Lancet: 20th century views and responses to drug use are no longer fit for purpose
24th October 2019: A report from The Lancet, co-authored by Professor Matthew Hickman and others from the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Evaluation of Interventions at the University of Bristol, calls for a new international approach to drug use - using evidence-based...
Special issue of Mathematics Today celebrates women's contributions to mathematical biology
15 October 2019: A special 'Biology and Medicine' issue of Mathematics Today published on 12 October is celebrating women's contribution s to mathematical biology.
Hepatitis C prevention: 'treat-all' strategy is important but targeting people who inject drugs has the greatest benefit
1 October 2019: Treating all hepatitis C (HCV) infections helps prevent transmission of the disease globally but targeting treatment at people who inject drugs has the greatest benefit per treatment given.
Model shows that screening for hepatitis C in NHS Health Checks could be cost-effective
3 September 2019: Screening for hepatitis C as part of the NHS adult Health Check programme could be cost-effective, according to a study led by researchers from the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) in Evaluation of Interventions, at the University of Bristol, the...
School-based provision of flu vaccine increases uptake
20 August 2019: Vaccinating children in schools against influenza results in greater vaccine uptake, with less variation between sites and by age group, compared to programmes delivered through GPs and pharmacies according to a new study by researchers from Public Health...
Potential link between cannabis use and tuberculosis: more research is needed
14 August 2019: A systematic review of the association between cannabis use and the risk of tuberculosis (TB) led by the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Evaluation of Interventions at the University of Bristol has been published in BMC Public Health.
Medications for opioid dependence linked to reduced crime rates
6 August 2019: Methadone and buprenorphine, medications used to treat opioid dependence, are associated with a significant reduction in crime rates and staying in treatment is key.
Hepatitis C - new models of care for drugs services
6 August 2019: The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) has launched a new set of hepatitis C (HCV) resources to support the HCV elimination agenda to coincide with #WorldHepatitisDay 2019 (28 July).
Hepatitis C infections could be greatly reduced in the US
11 July 2019: New research has found that an increase of clean injecting equipment provided through syringe service programmes, provision of medication assisted treatment (MAT), and antiviral treatment for hepatitis C (HCV) among people who inject drugs could reduce incidence of...
£9 million boost for health research in the west country
11 July 2019: Health researchers in the west country have been given a £9 million award from the Government's Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to enable them to tackle the area's most pressing health problems.
New Research Fellow in Health Service Implementation to boost research impact
25 June 2019: Dr Clare Thomas has been appointed Research Fellow in Health Service Implementation at the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Evaluation of Interventions at the University of Bristol, a joint post with NIHR CLAHRC West.
Rising opioid-related deaths are a public health crisis
18 June 2019: Rising deaths from opioid drug use in England and Scotland are a public health crisis and urgent action is needed, according to Professor Matt Hickman and colleagues in The Lancet Psychiatry.
Co-designing harm reduction materials with Bristol Drugs Project service users
11 June 2019: A paper describing a project to implement research findings using materials co-designed by Bristol Drugs Project services users has been published in Harm Reduction Journal.
More support needed to increase HIV testing in GP practices
7 June 2019: One-off training sessions for GPs are not enough to increase rates of HIV testing in general practice and greater support is needed, according to researchers from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Protection Research Unit in Evaluation of...
Antimicrobial Resistance Partnership Hub launched in China
21 May 2019: The University of Bristol along with Peking University and a consortium of partners has launched the 'UK-China AMR Partnership Program on strategies to reduce the burden of antibiotic resistance in China'.
£6.6 million for major UK non-communicable disease prevention project
14 May 2019: The UK Prevention Research Partnership (UKPRP) awards £6.6 million to the University of Bristol and partners to tackle unhealthy urban planning and development linked to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, obesity, poor mental health, cancer and...
Up to 43 per cent of hepatitis C infections could be prevented if transmission among people who inject drugs was reduced
10 April 2019: Stepping up efforts to prevent transmission of hepatitis C among people who inject drugs, could reduce future infections by 43 per cent globally, according to a study by researchers at the University of Bristol published in the Lancet Gastroenterology and...
No active recall is the most economical way of recalling individuals for chlamydia retesting
9 April 2019: A study published by researchers at Bristol University, in partnership with Public Health England, has examined which method of recalling individuals for chlamydia retesting is the most economical.
Blog: Zoonotic TB affects humans and needs to be taken seriously
2 April 2019: With 40 new cases of zoonotic tuberculosis in the UK in 2017, and incidence globally likely to be underestimated, Dr Ellen Brooks-Pollock argues it's time this preventable disease was taken seriously.
NIHR Senior Investigator award for Professor Alastair Hay
26 March 2019: Professor Alastair Hay awarded Senior Investigator status by the NIHR in 2019.
GW4 Crucible 2019 - Dr Gemma Lasseter selected to explore Digital Innovation
21 February 2019: Dr Gemma Lasseter, Senior Research Associate and Programme Manager for the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Evaluation of Interventions has been awarded a place as one of the competitively selected 30 future research leaders on the 2019 GW4 Crucible...
New project to reduce harm from bacterial infections among people who inject drugs in Bristol
19 February 2019: A new project to reduce harm from invasive bacterial infections among people who inject drugs in and around Bristol has been launched as part of the 'Design in the Public Sector' programme delivered by the Design Council and funded by the Local Government...
Needle and syringe programmes are highly cost-effective at preventing hepatitis C transmission and could save money
24 January 2019: Providing clean injecting equipment through needle and syringe programmes is a highly cost-effective way of preventing hepatitis C (HCV) transmission among people who inject drugs and could save millions of pounds in infection treatment costs in the UK.
Children's respiratory infections can last up to three weeks
23 January 2019: Children's respiratory infection symptoms, including runny nose, dry cough and sore throat, can seem never-ending. Researchers from the University of Bristol's Centre for Academic Primary Care have found that it can take up to three weeks for 90 per cent of...
New developments in serological testing for chlamydia could have huge public health benefits
15 January 2019: Improved tests that detect Chlamydia trachomatis antibodies in blood serum (serological tests) have the potential to transform the public health response to chlamydia infection in the UK and internationally, according to experts in an article published in Lancet...
10 years of human papilloma virus vaccination in Europe
20 December 2018: It is 10 years since the introduction of the first human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination programmes in Europe. Professor Adam Finn highlighted the successes, challenges and striking variations in vaccination coverage at an international event in Portugal in...
New materials designed with people who inject drugs to promote the benefits of low dead space equipment
11 December 2018: New posters, a booklet and an animation, co-designed by service users from Bristol Drugs Project, are being launched on 24 January to promote the benefits of low dead space injecting equipment for people who inject drugs, alongside broader harm reduction...
Drug deaths paper wins European scientific award
27 November 2018: A paper co-authored by Professor Matthew Hickman, co-Director of the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Evaluation of Interventions at the University of Bristol, with Professor John Marsden (National Addiction Centre, Kings College London) has been...
ESRC award to create infographics
NIHR CLAHRC West and the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) in Evaluation of Interventions have been awarded a grant of £20K to produce infographics and training materials for people who inject drugs and needle and syringe programme staff.
Incarceration is likely to increase HIV and HCV transmission among people who inject drugs
29 October 2018: New research led by the University of Bristol has found that, among people who inject drugs, recent incarceration was associated with an 81 per cent and 62 per cent increase in HIV and HCV acquisition risk, respectively.
Vaccines a victim of their own success?
09 October 2018: Professor Adam Finn gives an impassioned speech on the importance of effective vaccination programmes at the 68th Session of the World Health Organization's (WHO's) Regional Committee for Europe in Rome in September.
Blog: Can we eliminate human papilloma virus?
12 September 2018: Dr Sam Merriel and Dr Joanna Kesten ask whether and how we can eliminate human papilloma virus (HPV), one of the most common sexually transmitted infections. Are we doing enough?
Prescribing antibiotics for child cough does not reduce hospitalisation risk
11 September 2018: Study finds little evidence that antibiotics reduce the risk of children with cough ending up in hospital, suggesting that this is an area in which unnecessary antibiotic prescribing could be reduced.
Overcoming obstacles to social science research in AMR
4 September 2018: Professor Helen Lambert has described her work as the Economic and Social Research Council's Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Research Champion (2015-2017) in an article published in Impact.
We have a new website!
10 July 2018: We have a new website, launched today, which strengthens our identity as one of 13 National Institute for Health Research-funded Health Protection Research Units in England.
UK public shows strong preference for vaccines that prevent severe illness
13 June 2018: The UK public has a clear preference for funding vaccination programmes which protect young children against severe diseases, finds a new study that considered the public's preferences on vaccines available on the NHS.
Buprenorphine may be a safer opioid substitute than methadone
20 April 2018: The less commonly prescribed opioid substitute buprenorphine may be safer than methadone for problem opioid users, especially if used during the first month of treatment.
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