First study to evaluate mental health decision units is underway

A major two year study investigating England's mental health decision units (MHDUs) is being spearheaded by researchers at St George's.

The mixed methods study, known as the Decision study, has been funded by the NIHR. Mental Health Decision units have recently emerged in Mental Health NHS trusts, and are an innovative source of support for people undergoing acute mental health crises. Usually situated in or near mental health hospitals, they provide 24 hour facilities for enhanced assessment, intense treatment and onward signposting. They do not have ward status, and are for a short stay only, from a few hours to a maximum of 3 days. A typical unit might offer shared living quarters with access to snacks and drinks, chairs or recliner beds and meeting or treatment rooms.

mentalhealth counselling

Meet the Researcher - Dr Angela Sweeney: “It's about bringing everyone together in a compassionate way”

In Meet the Researcher, a series of interviews about inspirational academic research at St George’s, University of London, our people explain their work and its impact on society.

Dr Angela Sweeney is a NIHR postdoctoral research fellow in the Population Health Research Institute. She is interested in the links between trauma and mental health and how the mental health system can retraumatise survivors. She is a passionate advocate for the introduction of trauma-informed mental health services in the UK.


New report spotlights poor health of global labour migrants for the first time

The health of labour migrants, who form the largest migrant group globally, is critically overlooked in the countries where they are employed, according to a new study of the last ten years of data and research. Labour migrants may work in hazardous and exploitative environments where they might be at considerable risk of injury and ill health, say the authors.

The study, led by a team of researchers at the Institute of Infection and Immunity at St George's, University of London, and done as part of the UCL-Lancet Commission on Migration and Health, was a systematic review and meta analysis that pooled data from studies reporting on the health outcomes of over 12,000 labour migrants originating from 25 low- and middle- income countries, who were largely engaged in mainly un-skilled manual labour. 


Asthma studies in Ecuador and Brazil aim to reduce risks in poorest populations

Asthma is a major burden to health systems and families in Latin America and the burden of asthma is greatest amongst the urban poor who often have limited access to medicines and health care.

There are high rates of sickness and hospital attendance rates relating to asthma attacks, and a need to improve health access for individuals with asthma attacks in underprivileged urban populations and to manage their asthma better, including improving access to asthma medications.

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Paediatric infectious diseases researcher awarded prestigious UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship

Dr Kirsty Le Doare has been awarded one of the first Future Leaders Fellowships by UK Research and Innovation which will provide seven years of funding and support for her projects in Africa and the UK.

Dr Le Doare is currently based at St George's University of London and in Kampala, Uganda where she is investigating ways to improve outcomes from infection in women and their infants during pregnancy and early life. The Fellowship funding will be used to support this and to develop a platform for maternal vaccination clinical trials to prevent serious infections caused by Group-B-streptococcus and pertussis (whooping cough).

Dr Kirsty Le Doare