Most of today I spent in the School of Healthcare Sciences’ Bringing us back together postgraduate research symposium, and very much enjoyed hearing about the projects which doctoral students in the School are engaged in. The event was opened by Eluned Morgan, Minister for Health and Social Services in the Welsh Government, who spoke in support of the health care workforce and of the importance of research which makes a difference to the care and treatment which people receive.
The talks which followed demonstrated, faultlessly, how applied the School’s postgraduate research projects are. Amongst our 90 or so research students are people investigating the improvement of clinical interventions. Many are also examining the experiences of people with long-term conditions and the support they receive, whilst others are exploring aspects of the workforce and the organisation and delivery of services.
This symposium, set up by Dr Tina Gambling who served with great distinction as the School’s Director of Postgraduate Research prior to her untimely passing in November 2020, is (or has been) an annual event, the organisation of which is always led by students with support from staff. The organising committee for today did a very fine job, as did the session chairs and speakers. The Bringing us back together theme, too, felt right.
With Nicola Evans and Rebecca Playle I’m on the look-out for someone to begin a full-time PhD in the autumn, investigating the interventions and processes that promote young people’s connection to their education, friends and families during inpatient mental health care. This is a Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship (KESS2), which is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) West Wales and the Valleys programme. It has also been developed in collaboration with Cwm Taf University Health Board which is making a contribution to the award.
For those interested, the studentship has been explicitly designed to build on our RiSC evidence synthesis, about which I have previously written here, here and here. We found significant knowledge gaps in this previous project, which we’re now anticipating this PhD will begin to fill.
Time, just about, to use a bus journey across Cardiff en route to the University Hospital of Wales site (for the purposes of teaching) to post an update on recent activities.
There’s lots to say. Projects I’ve blogged about on this site (COCAPP, COCAPP-A, Plan4Recovery) are now being written up. Our main findings paper from COCAPP appears imminently in BMC Psychiatry. Alan Simpson, as lead author, completed checking the proofs of this in the last few days so we know it’s on its way. Michael Coffey has lead authored a COCAPP paper addressing risk; earlier this week this was accepted for publication in Health Expectations. Further papers will follow, as they will in the future from COCAPP-A. I’ll make a point of posting about each as they appear. Plan4Recovery has been about shared decision-making and social approaches to care, and here, too, work on a first publication is well underway.
Meanwhile, Therapeutic skills for mental health nurses edited by Nicola Evans and me has just been published by Open University Press. This is a fine text indeed (though I say so myself), which we hope proves particular useful to students.
A big highlight of the last few weeks has been the award of a doctorate to my colleague and (now former) student Pauline Tang. Pauline used qualitative methods to investigate the use of electronic patient records in a medical assessment unit, and you can read her thesis here. And talking of doctorates: Mohammad Marie, writing with Aled Jones and me, has a second paper from his study of resilience in Palestinian community mental health nurses about to appear: this one in the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing.
Right! I’m off the bus and walking to a classroom. Time to fly, and to remind myself that it is perhaps better to post more frequently than to cram so much into a single, short, piece like this.