We have close links with NHS colleagues in the new primary care organisations in Devon and Cornwall.

Primary care

  • 90% of patient contact in the NHS takes place in primary care
  • The primary care team is extensive, and multidisciplinary
  • Short hospital in-patient stays have led to an increased focus on primary care
  • General practices have identifiable lists of patients, providing an important opportunity for high quality primary care-based research
  • Researchers within this group have attracted substantial research income since 2004.
  • We work closely with colleagues elsewhere within the Medical School, across the University (School of Health and Sport Sciences, Mood Disorders Centre), and more widely within the UK (Universities of Bristol, Cambridge, Glasgow, Manchester)
  • We collaborate internationally with colleagues in Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand.

Read the APEx blog

Written by the APEx research teams providing updates on local primary care education and research within the University.

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APEx Seminars/Workshops

Contact:  All seminars take place in JS07, Smeall Building, St Luke's Campus, Exeter unless otherwise stated. Light refreshments offered from 12.30pm

Academic year 2019/20 Title and speaker

Wednesday 27 November


13.00-14.00 Flyer JB GD Nov 19

Dr Jo Butterworth, NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow, UEMS

Interventions for involving older patients with multimorbidity in decision-making during primary care consultations: A Cochrane systematic review Abstract JB


Grace Dibben, PhD student, UEMS

Cardiac rehabilitation and physical activity levels in heart failure Abstract GD

Wednesday 11 December


12.30 for 13.00-14.00

Flyer Journal Club


A new initiative: three journal articles up for discussion


1. Zeraatkar et al led by Dr Chris Clark


2. Minchin et al led by Professor John Campbell


3. Bohren et al led by Dr Emma Pitchforth 


Wednesday 15 January 2020



Professor Sue Richards, Professor of Primary Care Research, Leeds Institute of Medical Sciences

A primary care response to frailty: mind the (evidence) gap

Core recent/current research projects:

  • Alt-Con with Bristol - HSDR-funded research with Bristol examining alternatives to face-to-face consultation in primary care

  • AMR Historical Foresight - a 26-month AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council) funded project taking an historical perspective seeking to understand the evolution of the AMR (antimicrobial resistance) policy agenda and to inform policymaking in the future.

  • CADENCE – NIHR (HTA) -funded 28-month research project, which seeks to develop and assess the feasibility and acceptability of an enhanced psychological care intervention within cardiac rehabilitation services for patients with new-onset depressive symptoms, compared to treatment as usual.

  • Clinical Pharmacist in General Practice

  • ESTEEM is an NIHR-funded cluster trial of triage for patients seeking same day appointments in primary care
  • GMAP is a project commissioned by NHS England to compare the training and experience of GPs who have trained outside of the UK to support the UK's ambitions to recruit  GPs from overseas
  • IMPROVE - NIHR-funded 5 year program grant. This program grant seeks to increase understanding of the potential and utility of the UK National Patient Survey
  • INTERPRESS-IPD - NIHR RfPB funded project looking at Inter-arm blood pressure difference, cardiovascular events, cerebrovascular disease and mortality: an Individual Patient Data meta-analysis
  • MIR  - NIHR-funded randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, examining the effectiveness of mirtazapine given in addition to SSRI or SNRI antidepressants for patients with Treatment Resistant Depression in primary care
  • ReGROUP – NIHR-funded (Health Services & Delivery Research) project which aims to inform and support the NHS in addressing current GP workforce issues in the UK

  • SoSAA - run by Universities of Bristol and Exeter with the specialist team working for the charity Survivors of Sexual Abuse Anonymous (SoSAA) about the support that is available for people who have experienced sexual abuse, rape or sexual assault. 
  • ViCo with Edinburgh - Chief Scientists' Office (Scotland) funded research examining the potential for video-consulting in primary care.
  • VOLITION Development of an intervention (VOLITION): To support older patients with multiple health problems in joint decision-making about their healthcare with a GP.
  • Waste the Waist NIHR (Research for Patient Benefit) funded research examining alternative approaches to managing obesity in primary care settings. 

Health Services and Policy Research

The Primary Care Research Group works very closely with the Health Services and Policy Research Group under Professor Jose Valderas.

NIHR Clinical Research Network: South West Peninsula:

Associate Professor Philip Evans is the National Specialty Lead for Primary Care within the CRN and is also Cluster Lead for the Cluster based in King's College London, but working from the Primary Care department in Exeter. Dr Lisa Gibbons is an Honorary Clinical Associate Research Fellow in UEMS and is the Clinical Research Specialty Lead (Primary Care) for the the NIHR Clinical Research Network: South West Peninsula. 

Royal College of General Practitioners (Tamar Faculty):

The administrator for the RCGP (Tamar Faculty), Alice Sefton is based within the Primary Care Department.