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An update on the ARC NWC HaCAL Theme

From Professor Mark Gabbay, Theme Lead.

I thought I’d write a quick piece wearing my alternative hat as a theme academic lead for the Health and Care Across the Life Course (HaCAL) theme.

It started life as a cross cutting theme, but the interest and demand from the off indicated it needed to metamorphose (suspect that’s the wrong metaphor, as it implies, wrongly, that research themes are the grown-up versions of cross-cutting ones, but I’m trying to write serious prose here so let’s not be too literal), to a research theme. We advertised for, and appointed a Research Fellow, who was already working in the MIDAS theme. Dr Clarissa Giebel will be familiar to many of you, with her extensive portfolio of research and publications in dementia care and inequalities for example. Our web pages feature this work:

We share our excellent theme manager Dr Pallavi Deshpande with PCCC. We recently appointed our Public Advisor theme co-lead Dorcas Akeju and her deputy Paul Moran. They have settled into the groove impressively quickly and are actively engaged across our programme and were the stars of our recent ARCFEST theme meeting. We will hopefully be able to appoint our professional co-lead soon, with interviews in the diary.

We have doubled our frequency of theme meetings. These are now every 6 weeks or so, one between and the other within, each ARCFEST. These emphasise active attendee participation and co-production with updates on our programme activities and achievements plus with inviting co-production for proposals in development, as well as small group discussions evaluating our progress etc.

We host two research development networks, the NWC Seaside Towns and Communities RDN and the Social Prescribing RDN. These meet regularly and link into national groups we also help lead, and are actively developing external grant proposals, with a mixture of attendees from within the ARC as well as other organisations, lots of public engagement, and sharing of innovations and ideas.

We formally introduced our subthemes (and even more fundamentally, recently agreed the logos for each one) a few weeks ago. They are: Family & Children; Adolescents; Working-age adults; older adults; cross-generational; marginalised groups. There is loads happening in HaCAL, far more than this whistle-stop introduction can encompass, so if you want to know more, visit oour web pages, attend a theme meeting and please come and get involved in our work, you will be welcomed.

Prof Mark Gabbay MD FRCGP
Professor of General Practice
Director NIHR ARC NWC / Theme Lead Health and Care Across the Life Course (HaCAL)