Edinburgh Clinical Trials

Health Services Research Studies

ECTU has a portfolio of health Services research studies.

We have been supporting the NHS and its social work partners in a range of different ways.  A key role for us is to work with NHS staff and services at all levels to identify areas where research may help to improve service delivery.

Complete list of funded studies

For full details of our funded studies, download the 2014 / 2013 / 2012 annual reports.

Selected current health services research studies

telescot logo


The Telescot programme is led by Professor Brian McKinstry and managed by Dr Lucy McCloughan, both based at the University of Edinburgh.  It is a collaboration involving public, private and voluntary sector organisations.  Further information is available from the Telescot team.

Asthma UK projects

Led by Prof Aziz Sheikh, Health Services Research staff (Brian Mc Kinstry, Mome Mukherjee and Andrew Stoddart) are working on an Asthma UK - funded project, to produce estimates of the prevalence of, and costs associated with, asthma. They will report separately for the four nations of the UK and for the UK as a whole, with collaborators from each.

This work will feed into creating an UK Asthma Observatory (UKAO), one of the strategic platforms of the new Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research (AUKCAR). This is a UK-wide virtual centre of key universities, NHS and other organisations, and Asthma UK, with directors at both the University of Edinburgh and Queen Mary University of London.

Health Services Research staff have also been involved in a PhD studentship application to the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research to study the prevalence and healthcare costs of the comorbidities of asthma. This covers two strategic platforms of AUKCAR, namely UKAO and the UK Postgraduate Training Scheme for Asthma Researchers.

Global Position Satellite Tracking for People with Dementia who Wander

Health Services Research staff (Brian McKinstry and Janet Hanley) worked with social work colleagues in south east Scotland to develop this CSO funded feasibility study.  Early results indicate that GPS tracking is useful in helping people maintain their usual activities for longer, but we need to identify people who may benefit at an earlier stage in their illness.

Interventions to help parents of babies who cry excessively

Health Services Research staff (Rhona Hogg, Janet Hanley, Chris Weir and Andy Stoddart) is working with infant feeding advisors in NHS Lothian to develop and evaluate interventions to help parents of babies who cry excessively.  They have formed a partnership with researchers in Brisbane, Australia where there are dedicated services and are discussing how some of their interventions can be modified and trialled in Scotland.

Assessment of health system performance, outcomes across seven countries

EuroHOPE (European Health Care Outcomes, Performance and Efficiency) is an EU funded project using routine data to assess the health system performance, outcomes and efficiency across seven countries for five different health conditions.  The project is coordinated in Finland, with Edinburgh as its UK site, and has health economics support from Health Services Research staff (Joel Smith).

Record linkage study for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

A team led by Rachel Hardie (Public Health, NHS Lothian) have developed a primary care based record linkage study to identify factors associated with emergency admissions and repeat admissions for a cohort of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  Health Services Research staff assisted with funding and provides statistics expertise through Chris Weir.

Patient complaints relating to staff communication, attitudes and behaviour

Rhona Hogg (Health Services Research staff) undertook a qualitative analysis of patient complaints relating to staff communication, attitudes and behaviour.  The results were fed back to NHS Lothian and provided useful insights which are currently being used to implement values development training and feedback mechanisms to support improved staff attitudes, behaviour and communication as part of NHS Lothian’s improving patient experience programme.

An economic model for health improvement outcomes in Scottish prisons

This work was commissioned by Health Scotland/Scottish Public Health Network in relation to the NHS assuming responsibility of healthcare within Scottish prisons.  A micro simulation model was developed to estimate the costs of implementing a mental health screening assessment, physical health check and group based cognitive behavioural therapy. It indicated a potential cost saving of £1,683 per prisoner which could represent a reduction in overall expenditure of over £10million.

For further information on our current studies, please get in touch with Pamela Sinclair, Administrator, in the first instance.

Pamela Sinclair

Centre Administrator

Contact details

Further information:

All current studies UKCRC Studies Commercial Partnerships
Data Linkage Studies Completed Studies