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Dr Sean Manzi has received £200,000 funding from THIS Institute (Photo credit: Markus Spiske)

PenARC researcher wins prestigious £200,000 Fellowship

A University of Exeter healthcare researcher has secured a prestigious Post-Doctoral fellowship after a highly competitive selection process. The award, of £200,000, will fund and support a three-year project to help improve decision-making in health and social care in the South West before being rolled out nationally.

Dr Sean Manzi, a healthcare researcher who works with PenCHORD, the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration South West Peninsula’s operational research team, was granted the funding from The Healthcare Improvement Studies (THIS) Institute. Through the fellowship programme, THIS Institute is boosting research activity to provide more clarity on what works in improving healthcare, what doesn’t, and why. 

Dr Manzi said: "It’s an honour to have been awarded this fantastic fellowship opportunity. Not only does it enable me to work on a much needed area of applied health services research but also to develop as a research leader and to help improve healthcare provision across the NHS."

Health and social care systems can be large and complex, making it is difficult to understand how services are changing and to identify how these changes might impact both on patients and services. Dr Manzi’s project, Supporting mental health service improvement using whole systems modelling, carried out in collaboration with Devon Partnership NHS Trust, will use advanced quantitative techniques to model healthcare services and predict the impact of change in order to identify where improvement is needed in the Trust’s Mental Health Service. This modelling approach will produce case studies from which a strategic overview of the service will be developed, resulting in more effective, evidence-based decision making, streamlined services and better outcomes for patients.

Professor Claire Hulme, Director of the Institute for Health Research said: "This fellowship will use state-of-the-art data science methods to address current and pressing needs in the NHS, ensuring the most appropriate and highest quality services are available to all patients by developing a whole system understanding of service improvement needs and impact. The fellowship has the potential to provide a strategic overview of services and create the foundations for evidence informed decision making for co-ordinated care planning across the NHS. We greatly welcome this important opportunity to work with the THIS Institute to support Dr Manzi in furthering this research agenda in advancing the key aims of the NHS, NIHR, and PenARC within the University of Exeter College of Medicine and Health."

THIS Institute is a collaboration between the Health Foundation and University of Cambridge and aims to create a world-leading scientific asset for the NHS to improve quality and safety in healthcare, based on high quality evidence. The institute works directly with NHS patients and staff, academics and the public, to produce relevant and scientifically excellent evidence about healthcare improvement.

Date: 10 December 2019

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