Teaching and Research

Air Balloon Surgery has for some years had a strong interest in teaching and research, and has developed close links with the Division of Primary Health Care at the University of Bristol.  Air Balloon Surgery is a core teaching practice, and all partners are involved in teaching medical students from first to fourth years.  Health Visitors and District Nurses are also involved in teaching nursing students from the University of the West of England.

Research at Air Balloon Surgery

Air Balloon Surgery is registered as an accredited Research Practice with the Royal College of General Practitioners, and belongs to the local hub of Research practices which have to comply with national quality standards and research regulations.

You may be invited to participate in research studies. All research must be approved by a ‘Research Ethics Committee’ before it can commence. Details about you and your health will never be passed to researchers unless you choose to take part and consent to the disclosure of your information for this purpose.

Members of the Practice team have always supported high quality and relevant research studies which will benefit patients. We became a government funded core research practice, largely as a result of the enthusiasm of Dr David Memel who set up a Research Unit at Air Balloon Surgery based in the building with two permanent researchers. Sadly, funding for this ceased and we were unable to continue with our own account work. However many of the existing practice team have been active in hosted research projects designed and run within the surgery. We feel that this has a bearing on the culture of the practice as research skills and experience are retained within the team. Many of these projects were published and most involved working collaboratively across academic, primary and secondary care organisations.

Among current and recent projects that the Practice has been involved in are:

  • Primary care Identification and Referral to Improve Safety of women experiencing partner violence (IRIS): a randomized controlled trial.
  • The Cohort For Skeletal Health In Bristol and Avon (COSHIBA) Study – looking at simple screening for osteoporosis.
  • Physical activity as a treatment for depression (TREAD)
  • Genetic Predictors of treatment response in depression (GenPod)
  • Paracetamol and Ibuprofen for the Treatment of fever in Childhood (PITCH)
  • Prostate cancer testing and treatment study (PROTECT)
  • eradication of a stomach infection to prevent ulcer bleeding in aspirin users (HEAT)
  • testing of an interactive website to help people prevent the spread of respiratory infections (PRIMIT)

Research where the research team and other members of the practice have been actively involved has resulted in a number of publications in professional journals, including:

  • COOLING, H. & DUNSTER, W. (2008) Nurse intrauterine device training. Journal of Family Planning & Reproductive Health Care, 34, 193-195.
  • LANGLEY C, MAGGS C, PORTMAN S & DAVIS J (2008) Using a screening questionnaire to reduce non-attendances at first appointments for smoking cessation advice clinics in general practice: A pilot study. International Journal of Health Promotion and Education, in press.
  • MAGGS, C. & LANGLEY, C. (2008) Why patients miss primary care appointments: involving patients in research. Primary Health Care, 18, 34-38.
  • HEWLETT, S., KIRWAN, J., POLLOCK, J., MITCHELL, K., HEHIR, M., BLAIR, P. S., MEMEL, D. & PERRY, M. G. (2005) Patient initiated outpatient follow up in rheumatoid arthritis: Six year randomised controlled trial. British Medical Journal, 330, 171-175.
  • POWELL, J. E., LANGLEY, C., KIRWAN, J., GUBBAY, D., MEMEL, D., POLLOCK, J., MEANS, R. & HEWLETT, S. (2004) Welfare rights services for people disabled with arthritis integrated in primary care and hospital settings: Set-up costs and monetary benefits. Rheumatology, 43, 1167-1172.
  • LANGLEY, C., MEMEL, D. S., KIRWAN, J. R., POLLOCK, J., HEWLETT, S., GUBBAY, D. & POWELL, J. (2004) Using the health assessment questionnaire and welfare benefits advice to help people disabled through arthritis to access financial support. Rheumatology, 43, 863-868.