HSC Success at UEA Engagement Awards
Excellence in engagement is publicly celebrated via the annual Engagement Awards that are presented at an awards reception hosted by the Vice-Chancellor. Engagement is recognised in national schemes and is a standard requirement of much research funding.
HSC had three category winners this year:
Dr Lee Hooper, Dr Diane Bunn and Dr Oluseyi Jimoh have worked together since 2012 developing a programme aiming to improve hydration care for older people living in care homes. They have investigated the diagnostic accuracy of commonly-used signs and symptoms of dehydration, demonstrating their ineffectiveness and developing an alternative method of screening for dehydration in particularly high-risk older people. Their work highlights that all older people should be considered to be at high risk of low-intake dehydration caused by not drinking enough fluid. Supporting care home residents to drink well is not simple, and the team have undertaken qualitative work exploring the barriers and facilitators to hydration care from the perspectives of residents, their families and carers to inform practice. They are currently working collaboratively with care home staff to develop an innovative approach to support residents to drink well using an activities-based programme and focussing on the importance of the social aspects of drinking together. The team plan to publish the ‘DrinKit’, which will provide practical guidance for care homes on how to support residents to drink well in the summer. Engagement with care homes and health professionals locally, nationally and internationally has been an intrinsic part of their work, ensuring findings reach the people most affected by them. The team’s engagement activities have included workshops and training sessions for care home staff, development of a commercial Hydration Game, newsletters to NHS networks, talks at study days and conferences on hydration care, stands and demonstrations at public events and collaboration with NHS Improvement. The team have received local, national and international media interest in their research and have raised the profile of hydration care for older people, resulting in novel approaches to improving care in this important area.
Dr Katherine Deane, Senior Lecturer
Navigating roadworks as a disabled pedestrian can be very challenging. The existing ramps that allow people to get down from the pavement to the road level are problematic – they slip off kerbs, bend or break when rolled over, and even tip people out of their wheelchairs. Dr Katherine Deane is a wheelchair user and knows these problems only too well. So she leapt at the chance to work with a ramp manufacturer - Melba Swintex - to redesign a roadworks ramp and ensure it works for all pedestrians - particularly those with disabilities. She worked with a Disability Consultancy (Purple Reach) and people with a range of disabilities to design and test the new ramp. The new ramp sits on the road surface and butts up against the kerb, with no risk of slipping, bending or breaking. The tap rails on the sides work for cane users but don’t tip wheelchairs over. The ramps are now being used by Transport for London and UK Power Networks in their roadworks making them more accessible for everyone.
Dr Guy Peryer, Lecturer
Guy started as a lecturer in applied Health Sciences in September 2017. He became the UEA lead for the Norfolk and Waveney NHS Palliative and End of Life Care Collaborative which comprises over 70 members with representatives from the five NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups in Norfolk, all three hospital trusts, Norfolk Community Health & Care Trust and members of leading charities - such as Macmillan and Marie Curie. In 2018, Guy led a flagship project with members of the collaborative as co-applicants entitled ‘Expanding Community Involvement in Palliative and End of Life Care’. He conducted over 50 interviews with a diverse mix of health and care professionals, care commissioners, volunteers and carers. He also held a series of deliberative workshops at UEA, which attracted attention from neighbouring partners. Subsequently, Guy was asked to go on secondment to St Nicholas Hospice Care in Suffolk by their Chief Executive for two days per week to support their research activities. Guy was also invited onto the panel that is implementing the ‘ReSPECT’ from across Norfolk and Waveney: ‘ReSPECT is a process that creates personalised recommendations for a person’s clinical care in a future emergency in which they are unable to make or express choices.’ For members of the public to be aware of its existence and role in declaring their choices and preferences for emergency care will require a large public health campaign involving local press and radio to spread the word of its importance. In keeping with the public health approach, Guy was asked by the Lord Lieutenant of Norwich to be involved with the judging process of an essay writing competition for 13-15 year-old students at the Norwich School for the national Dying Matters awareness week. The theme was ‘I wish we had spoken earlier’. The winning entries were read by the students at the Dying Matters event at The Forum. Recently, Guy organised a 'Compassionate Communities' meeting at UEA that highlighted the need for a public health approach to palliative and end of life care. Over 130 people from across the East of England attended.
This article was adapted from https://www.uea.ac.uk/community-university-engagement/awards.