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Christine A'Court


Clinical Researcher & GP

I am a GP in West Oxfordshire undertaking qualitative research into the impact and utility of Telehealth and video consulting in patients with heart failure. This work is part of a multi-site programme called Studies in Co-assisted Living Solutions (SCALS).

Telehealth research builds on my previous work in the arena of accuracy of diagnostic and monitoring devices used by health professionals and the general public. Qualitative research into Telehealth goes much further, examining how the often complex processes of diagnosis, clinical decision-making and a therapeutic interaction can happen 'remotely' through use of technology.

Gaining insights into the lives of heart failure patients and the workload pressures on teams caring for them assists with my work as cardiovascular lead for Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group. I endeavour to encourage research mindedness in the commissioning process.

My passion for integrating research into routine healthcare explains an additional role as Primary Care Research Champion for NIHR, South Midlands & Thames Valley. This stems from several years of introducing local Health Centres to the benefits of involvement in research. Once practices appreciate the enthusiasm of patients for NHS research, the personal development opportunities for staff involved, and the support available, more are prepared to consider how to integrate research into their already hard-pressed working week. I am keen to work with researchers to ensure studies are do-able in terms of participant numbers, study design and practical requirements asked of recruiting staff and patients. I strongly suspect that for the public, involvement in research helps mitigate the sometimes disempowering effects of illness.

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