Bournemouth University (BU) and University Hospitals Dorset (UHD) NHS Foundation Trust marked their second year of partnership by holding a workshop-themed celebration of collaborative research.
UHD gained university status as part of the merger of Poole Hospital and The Royal Bournemouth & Christchurch Hospitals Foundation Trusts on 1 October 2020.
Staff and academics from across the four faculties of Health & Social Sciences, Media & Communication, The Business School and Science and Technology joined UHD colleagues to showcase collaborative work that had been conducted through the partnership and discuss plans for further research.
The evening began with a networking opportunity for staff to gather informally in the reception at BU’s Executive Business Centre Building. A series of workshop discussions were then held to help understand current challenges that could be solved through future partnership research, on topics such as:
- Access and health inequalities
- Digital futures
- People and workforce
- Sustainable futures
- Medical science.
Dr Deborah Lane, Associate Director of Allied Health Professionals and Health Scientists at UHD, was one of the event organisers. She said, “Even before the event day we knew that the first joint research event would be a success. The demand for tickets for the event was phenomenal with all tickets allocated very quickly and a very long reserve list. Attendees from both BU and UHD were engaged and keen to be involved with discussions, drawing on the expertise and insight of colleagues and sharing the goal of wanting to use collaborative working to benefit both organisations.
“There was a real buzz from the energising conversations generating new research ideas and collaborations, and the event has not only strengthened existing working relationships but created new ones. We’re looking forward to developing the discussions and ideas born during this event and organising future events to build on this success.”
Sue Varley Programme Manager for the BU-UHD partnership explained “This event aimed to educate, inform and inspire staff from both organisations about the potential for research to assist with some of the challenges we have at work and that our organisations currently face. It was great to have so many staff involved, make new contacts and share their research ideas”.
The event also highlighted the work both organisations had delivered throughout the year including its work with PhD students to help them carry out research that will benefit patient care and the wider community. One of the students who benefited from a jointly funded PhD through the partnership is Gladys Yunisa who said, “The funding from BU and UHD enabled me to complete my research into organisational culture and its influence on food & nutritional care for older adults. On a practical level, what that meant was that I had both academic and clinical supervision at the hospital. The hope is that this research will help to make improvements to nutritional care for elderly patients in hospitals in the future”.
BU’s Professor Mike Silk also helped to organise the event in his role on the Research Steering Group. He said, “This was a landmark event, bringing together both senior leaders and experts from across UHD & BU. The event aimed to celebrate the research undertaken over the first two years of the partnership, inform colleagues in the room of the types of opportunities available to them—ranging from PhDs, match-funded studentships, possibilities for developing collaborative research projects and external funding—and inspire staff from both institutions to explore synergies and opportunities.
“There was a real energy and enthusiasm throughout the event; it was really enthralling to witness the animated conversations between colleagues exploring potential new relationships and projects and to see input from across the breadth of expertise at both UHD & BU. We’ve collated outcomes and captured all the innovative and inspirational ideas that emerged and are looking forward to following up with colleagues who attended, and developing additional events, based on these outcomes.”
The partnership between BU and UHD extends beyond healthcare. The Business School at BU, have designed their new Level 7 Senior Leader Apprenticeship course specifically to help the next generation of graduates lead and manage change in socially responsible organisations such as the NHS.
During the summer, the Faculty of Media and Communication also partnered with the UHD Communications department to deliver a seminar on their research on digital storytelling led by Professor of Digital Storytelling Anna Feigenbaum, and co-head of the Science, Health & Data Communication Research Centre. The aim of the workshop was to help improve information communication within the NHS and externally to members of the public.
The MRI scanner at BU’s Institute of Medical Imaging and Visualisation has also continued to be used across both organisations to help conduct research into radiology and medical imaging.
The event took place at the Executive Business Centre (EBC) on BU’s Lansdowne Campus, which is also home to BU’s Orthopaedic Research Centre who are embedded in both BU and UHD to conduct vital research into orthopaedic conditions. One such research project is the CHAIN programme, helping local people with hip pain to avoid hip operations, and allowing them to live longer, healthier lives.
For many years now, BU and UHD have been actively engaged in a series of clinical placements for students in nursing, midwifery and allied health courses. Currently there are 1,500 students in UHD placement programmes, actively working in hospitals to provide patient care.
More information about the partnership between BU and UHD can be found at: https://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/collaborate/university-hospitals-dorset or watch the partnership video: