Providing Evidence-Based Solutions

Research Consultants has worked with many organisations and companies to provide answers to their specific questions.

A selection of five clients, their research needs, and what HRC did to help them are presented.

Click on the links below:

1. PCT Patient Satisfaction

2. Engineering Firm Intervention Study

3.
City Council Risk Assessment

4.
Contract Cleaning Opinion Survey

5.
Pharmacy Risk Assessment



 
 

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Patient satisfaction / Public consultation - Health Authority
A Strategic Health Authority wanted to establish which of three options for the possible location of a future hospital and satellite clinics was most popular with people living in the area. HRC was able to conduct public meetings and focus groups with a large cross-section of local people to hear their views and to present the three possible hospital plans. A postal survey was then conducted to establish which option was most popular with local patients, and the PCT was able to go ahead with their future development with public backing.

Client:
Local Health Authority

Problem:
Need to know public opinion and preference of future hospital locations

Approach:
The Health Authority already had a series of public forums planned to hear public opinion.
After consulting with HRC, focus groups with members of the public were held, and 2000 anonymous questionnaires were sent to a cross section of local people to establish what they wanted from local hospitals

Solution:
Analysis of the data allowed the Health Authority to understand which option for the location of the future hospital was preferred

Duration:
Three months

Cost:
∙ Questionnaire design and deployment
∙ 6 Focus groups
∙ Statistical analysis
∙ Report-writing
∙ �3,200

 

 

 

 



Workplace Hazard Assessments - City Council
A city council with 350 employees in an office building had many workers reporting physical symptoms such as coughs, dry eyes and musculoskeletal pains. The city council's occupational health department had conducted a symptom-survey of the workforce, but did not know how to analyse the data. HRC was able to analyse the data and pin-point the specific type of symptoms reported by workers. Analysis of the building plans and an environmental / hygienic evaluation revealed physical hazards in the workplace that were affecting many of the workers. The city council then took simple measures to reduce exposure to the physical hazards for the workers, and symptoms in the workers improved.

Client:

City Council

Problem:
Workplace ill-health in many workers with no known cause of symptoms

Approach:

The City Council had conducted a survey of workers' symptoms and ill-health while at work, but did not know how to analyze the data generated by the questionnaire survey

Solution:

HRC were able to analyze the data and investigate for a variety of possible causes of ill-health. Further investigation using blueprints of the building allowed steps to be made to reduce exposure to physical hazards in the workplace.

Duration:
Two months

Cost:

∙ Coding of questionnaires and data entry
∙ Statistical analysis
∙ Report-writing
∙ �2,100

 

 


 


Intervention studies - Engineering Company
An engineering firm manufacturing gearboxes had many workers reporting irritancy and skin problems on their hands, caused by the cutting oils they used while operating machinery. HRC was able to trial a number of different barrier creams in the workplace with volunteers from the shop floor, and during rest-breaks, the workers were examined. After improvements were clinically observed in the hands and skin of many workers, the company was able to make the evidence-based decision for purchasing and providing two types of barrier cream for their workers.

Client:
Engineering Company, Birmingham

Problem:

Deciding which barrier cream would protect workers' hands best

Approach:

After consultation with HRC, the engineering company recruited volunteers from the workforce to take part in the research. Worker's hands were clinically examined every other day over two weeks, and they applied the two types of barrier creams to their hands everyday.

Solution:

After two weeks of measuring workers' hands and skin, HRC analyzed the clinical data and identified the barrier cream that was most effective for the chemicals and oils used in the workplace that workers were exposed to. The company were able to select and use the most suitable and clinically effective barrier cream for the workforce.

Duration:
Three months

Cost:

∙ Hiring of specialist skin assessment equipment
∙ Measuring skin condition for 2 weeks
∙ Statistical analysis
∙ Report-writing
∙ �5,500


 

 

 

 


Musculoskeletal problems in workers - Hospital Pharmacy
A large hospital with a pharmacy department found that many workers using isolator cabinets and industrial-style cleanrooms to prepare delicate medicines, were reporting increased levels of back pain, fatigue and visual disturbances, especially after long periods working in the cleanrooms. HRC used a focus group and recorded videos of cleanroom workers in their jobs, to obtain a clear picture of what was causing the symptoms. Modifications were made to the cleanrooms, the isolator cabinets, and the work schedules in order to improve employees' well-being.

Client:
NHS Hospital

Problem:

High level of musculoskeletal problems and fatigue in pharmacy workers

Approach:

After consultation with HRC, video observation was used to record and identify working practices and environmental aspects of hospital pharmacy cleanrooms. A focus group was convened with pharmacy workers within the hospital to identify any issues of concern.

Solution:

The isolator cabinets in the pharmacy cleanroom were observed to be older and did not come with adjustable foot rests. In addition, workers were leaning into the isolators and performing tasks requiring great manual dexterity. Adjustable foot rests were fitted to the isolator cabinets, along with new seating, and more frequent breaks were implemented. Incidents of musculoskeletal problems and visual disturbances dropped immediately.

Duration:
Two months

Cost:

∙ Video observation of working practices
∙ Ergonomic assessment
∙ Report-writing
∙ �2,500

 

 

 

 

 

 


Attitudes to working in the cleaning industry - Contract Cleaners
A major UK contract cleaning company wanted to improve the image of cleaning as a profession in order to improve recruitment rates, increase the calibre of staff, and to redress the balance concerning poor staff turnover. HRC used a survey approach to interview young people and gather their impressions about the cleaning industry.

Client:

Contract Cleaning Company

Problem:

The company wanted to understand young peoples' attitudes to working as a cleaner and how to improve job recruitment and retention in the industry

Approach:

After consultation with HRC, a survey was designed and conducted among several hundred young people in the West Midlands. Questionnaires asked young people what they thought the good and bad aspects of cleaning would be

Solution:

The contract cleaning company were able to make changes to the image of their company in order to improve what young people thought about cleaning and a job within the industry


Duration:
Three months

Cost:

∙ Design of questionnaire
∙ Conduction of interviews
∙ Report-writing
∙ �4,500