|Stephen Sutton – Director of programme grant. Lead of workstream 4.
Background: Stephen trained in social psychology and computer science. He took up the post of Professor of Behavioural Science at the University of Cambridge in 2001. He leads the Behavioural Science Group whose research programme addresses physical activity, smoking cessation and medication adherence, including studies of determinants of these behaviours and development and evaluation of interventions.
Role: Stephen is director of the programme. He will be mainly involved in workstreams 1, 3 and 4.
|Wendy Hardeman – Deputy director of programme grant. Lead on workstream 1, 3.
Background: Wendy has a long-standing interest in how best to help people to become more physically active, using insights from psychology. She has developed and evaluated physical activity interventions for people at risk of Type 2 diabetes and people with a recent diagnosis.
Role: Wendy is the deputy director of the programme. She leads workstream 1 in which we are reviewing the cost and effectiveness of very brief physical activity interventions and select promising interventions. She will also lead workstream 3, where we will test whether the selected interventions are feasible and acceptable to those who deliver and receive them, and whether they increase physical activity in the short term.
|Simon Cohn – Lead on workstream 2
Background: Simon is a medical anthropologist whose research involves investigating the ideas of health and health care delivery in patients and medical professionals.
Role: Leading the qualitative research portion of the programme (workstream 2), working with Phil Miles to analyse the dynamics of NHS health checks.
|Ann Louise Kinmonth– Member of programme management group. Contributing to workstreams 1-4.
Background: Ann Louise is the Foundation Chair of General Practice and came to Cambridge in 1996. She brings extensive experience of behavioural trials in primary care.
Role: Her role as a Principal Investigator on the programme is to advise on the development of the very brief interventions and the appropriate trial designs for their evaluation.
|Simon Griffin– Member of programme management group. Contributing to workstreams 1-3, 5.
Background: Simon is Assistant Director of the MRC Epidemiology Unit and is group leader for the Prevention Programme. His research contributes to efforts aimed at preventing the growing burden of diabetes, obesity and related metabolic disorders by translating epidemiological knowledge into preventive action, and evaluating the effectiveness of different preventive approaches. Simon is also a qualified General Practitioner.
Role: Simon will advise on four of the five programme workstreams, contributing knowledge of primary care, disease screening and health implications, measurement of physical activity and trial design.
|Ed Wilson – Lead on workstream 5
Background: Ed has over 10 years experience in decision analytic modelling, economic evaluation alongside clinical trials, option appraisals, and programme budgeting and marginal analysis (PBMA). Ed has applied these in a variety of disease areas including obesity, stroke, dementia, lupus, IVF, erectile dysfunction, essential thrombocythaemia, diabetes, actinic keratosis, malignant melanoma, prostate cancer, and ulcerative colitis. Ed was a researcher at UEA from 2003 to 2009, when he was appointed lecturer in health economics.
Role: Ed is co-leading the health economics input to the programme grant, supervising Vijay (research associate) in developing the decision analytic model (workstream 5) and economics input into initial literature reviews (workstream 1).
|Marc Suhrcke – Member of programme management group. Co-leading workstream 5.
Background: Marc has joined UEA in 2008 as a Professor of Public Health Economics, focusing on socioeconomic inequalities in and determinants of health, economic consequences of health and the economic evaluation of public health interventions. He leads the health economics work of the Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR) and of the Behaviour and Health Research Unit (BHRU), both collaborations between the Universities of Cambridge and UEA. Prior to UEA he worked as an economist for the World Health Organization and for UNICEF.
Role: Marc is co-leading the health economics input to the study, supervising Vijay for the economic modelling (workstream 5) and providing economic input to the literature review (workstream 1).
|Toby Prevost – Senior statistician
Background:Toby Prevost has been Reader in Medical Statistics at King’s College London and Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge since 2009. Prior to this he worked in Cambridge in the Health and Lifestyle Survey team, the Centre for Applied Medical Statistics, the General Practice and Primary Care Research Unit and the MRC Biostatistics Unit. His research interests are principally in the development and application of methods for the design, evaluation and meta-analysis of trials of interventions to influence lifestyle behaviours. He is Honorary Reader at University College London where he collaborates in cancer biomarker research. Current research interests include application and development of adaptive two-stage designs for biomarkers in early phase studies. Related designs are employed in the Unit’s Fast study (PI Fiona Walter) and in the VBI trials.
Role: Toby will be supervising the VBI Statistician to support the meta-analyses and trials in the Programme.
|Laura Lamming – Research Assistant across workstreams. Patient and Public Involvement.
Background: Laura has been at the General Practice and Primary Care Research Unit since December 2008 and has previously worked with members of the Behavioural Science Group investigating medication adherence.
Role: Currently Laura is involved in contributing to the review process of workstream 1 and providing administrative support across the ongoing workstreams. Laura is also developing a panel of Patient and Public Involvement representatives to assist the study.
|Dan Mason– Research Associate, workstream 1.
Background: Dan’s background is in social psychology. He has been at the GP Unit for 10 years working on a range of projects in risk communication and smoking cessation.
Role: To review existing studies of behavioural interventions to increase physical activity, while consulting with a range of experts, practitioners and patients. The results of this review process will feed into the early stages of the project and inform decisions regarding which interventions the study team should focus on.
|Philip Miles – Social Scientist/Research Associate, workstream 2.
Background: Phil Miles is a sociologist engaged in undertaking original ethnographic research as part of workstream 2. With a background in educational ethnography centring on the combined issues of social class, educational pathways, community and the risk of ‘anomie’, Phil has also worked as a social policy and research consultant for a variety of clients on projects relating to impacts and needs of educational support centres and counselling services for adolescents as well as the impact of alcohol and drug interventions for young people in the Eastern region. In other capacities, Phil has worked as a Lecturer in Sociology at Lancaster University; as a Policy Advisor for the national housing regulator; as a private sector Research Manager; and as a Parliamentary Aide.
Role: Phil’s role will be to design, undertake and analyse in-depth qualitative research relating to the dynamics of NHS Health Checks. Phil is particularly interested in the dynamics of professional-patient interaction, focussing on the delivery and receipt of advice, evaluation of ‘setting’ and the impact of potential change.
|Vijay Singh GC– Research Associate, workstream 5.
Background: Vijay has a background in public health and has worked in Nepal on behaviour change interventions and a community-based trial on neonatal infections management with a particular emphasis on monitoring and evaluation. Before joining UEA in April 2011 as a research associate in health economics, Vijay worked for a short time with the Department of Information, Evidence and Research at the WHO Regional Office for Europe in Copenhagen.
Role: Currently Vijay is involved in reviewing the evidence for cost effectiveness, development of a decision analytical model, undertaking analysis of economic data (workstream 5) and providing economic input to the literature review (workstream 1).
|Sally Pears – Research Associate (Intervention Developer), workstream 3
Background: Sally’s background is in Psychology. She has extensive experience conducting research in the field of cognitive neuroscience as well as experience researching the cognitive and emotional processes operating during episodes of food craving. From 2008-2011 she worked in the Bangor University Food and Activity Research Unit, where she was involved in the development, implementation and evaluation of a school-based healthy eating and physical activity intervention based on psychological principles of behaviour change.
Role: Sally’s role is to develop and pilot intervention protocols, training manuals and intervention materials and test the feasibility, acceptability and potential efficacy of the most promising interventions.
|Katie Morton – Research Associate (Study co-ordinator), workstream 3.
Background: Katie joined the General Practice and Primary Care Research Unit in December 2011 after completing a PhD in Exercise and Health Psychology at the University of British Columbia, Canada. Katie’s background has broadly focused on understanding both barriers to, and facilitators of, physical activity behaviour across the age spectrum.
Role: Katie’s role is the study co-ordinator for workstreams 3 and 4. This involves obtaining ethical and research governance approvals for the studies, coordinating the recruitment of practices and participants and ensuring that the workstreams are conducted in accordance with protocols, ethics and regulatory and quality standards.
|Maaike Bijker – Research Assistant, workstream 3.
Background: Maaike joined the General Practice and Primary Care Research Unit in January 2012. She recently completed an MSc in Social and Cultural Psychology at the LSE, focusing particularly on the inherent social and cultural nature of human thought and behaviour. She has taken a keen interest in behaviour change, specifically health-related behaviour.
Role: Maaike is the Research Assistant for Workstream 3. She will be working closely with the Study Co-ordinator and the Intervention Developer to assist them with their main responsibilities, such as obtaining ethical approval, recruiting practices and participants and piloting intervention materials and training manuals.
|David Ogilvie– Collaborator.
Background: David Ogilvie originally trained as a general practitioner. He is now a clinical investigator scientist and honorary consultant in public health medicine at the MRC Epidemiology Unit in Cambridge.
Role: Collaborator providing a link with the evidence synthesis programme of the Behaviour and Health Research Unit.
|Richard Parker –Statistician.
Background: Richard has worked as a statistician at the General Practice and Primary Care Research Unit since October 2008 and is also a consulting statistician at the Centre for Applied Medical Statistics (CAMS).
Role: Richard is a research assistant (medical statistician) involved in providing statistical support for the study.
|Sue Boase – Collaborator, assisting PPI
Background: Sue Boase is a Research Associate working at the General Practice and Primary Care Research Unit, University of Cambridge. She has a background of working for several years as a practice nurse in primary care. Since joining the Research Unit she has worked on many studies focusing on prevention and behavioural change in primary health care, both initially in the delivery of an intervention herself and in the training and supervision of other researchers and health professionals subsequently. She has also developed an interest in qualitative methodology, communication specifically from the perspective of primary care nurses and Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) in research. She has until recently been one of the leads for Patient and Public Involvement in the GPPCRU.
Role: Her role as a collaborator in the VBI programme is to contribute to the development and process of undertaking the study using her experience of working clinically in primary care, delivering and training others in the delivery of behavioural interventions and her knowledge of PPI in research.
|Janet Watkinson – Collaborator
Background: Janet qualified as a pharmacist and spent much of her professional life in secondary care. During this time she worked closely with the healthcare group at the Engineering Design Centre, University of Cambridge, focussing on improving patient safety through examining systems in healthcare. Since 2009, Janet has been the NHS Health Checks programme manager for NHS Cambridgeshire and combines the role with that of ‘Flu Director’ during the winter months should the need arise.
Role: Advising the VBI programme on the NHS Health Checks.
|Gillian Orrow – Clinical Advisor
Background: Gillian works as a GP registrar in Suffolk and has been involved in research on physical activity promotion at the General Practice and Primary Care Research Unit since 2008.
Role: Clinical advisor i.e. providing advice on organisational and other factors that may influence feasibility and acceptability of very brief interventions in UK general practice.
|Sophie Atwood – PhD Student (CEDAR)
Background: Sophie’s background is in health psychology and public health. She completed an MPhil in public health at the Institute of Public Health at Cambridge in 2012, having previously studied public health nutrition at the University of Bristol.
Role: Sophie is working on her PhD project exploring factors associated with uptake and response to physical activity interventions using data from work streams 3 & 4. This work hopes to consider the role of the social environment and social inequalities in this area.
|Jo Mitchell – Trial Co-ordinator, workstream 4
Background: Jo has had an interest and has worked in public health for a number of years. She has been involved in many studies researching questions around Type 2 diabetes, Physical Activity, Dementia and Ageing.
Role: Jo’s role is the trial coordinator for workstream 4. This involves setting up and managing the explanatory trial of the VBI shown to be the most effective in promoting physical activity during the pilot study.
|Miranda Van Emmenis – Research Assistant
Background: Miranda graduated from the University of Bristol in 2013 with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology. Miranda’s research interests lie within health psychology, in particular the cognitive and psychological factors that determine dietary behaviour and physical activity.
Role: Miranda joined the VBI Programme in July 2014 as a Research Assistant. Her role is to assist the Study Coordinator with running the main trial, as well as providing administrative support for the other workstreams. Miranda is also the main point of contact for the Patient and Public Involvement panel.
|Florence Theil – Research Assistant
Background: Florence graduated from the University of South Wales in 2014 with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology. Florence is interested in health and exercise psychology, in particular ways to encourage physical activity and make it more enjoyable.
Role: Florence joined the team in March 2015 as a Research Assistant for workstream 4.
|Advisory panel -Public and Patient Involvement||Jennifer Bostock
Role: Providing the perspective of the general public/patients/service users in order to ensure the VBI programme is carried out with direct relevance, and is accessible to, those it aims to help.