What is South West Clinical Schools?
South West Clinical Schools is a collaboration between the University and the NHS to encourage nurses, midwives and other allied health professionals to look at their practice, challenge current thinking, try out new ideas and work out ways to measure what they're doing.
Our work with local health services has identified the urgent need to capture improvements in patient and family outcomes, as well as ensure that existing evidence is used to best effect and increase the amount of research led by non-medical health professionals.
To meet these needs, we have invested in the clinical schools, which are professorial-led centres, in five local NHS trusts.
- Develop capacity and capability for clinical research, evidence-based practice and quality improvement activity.
- Support the nursing, midwifery and allied health professions' leaderships within the trusts.
- Embed a clear clinical academic career path to assist the transition from undergraduate student through newly registered health professional to research leadership roles located within clinical settings.
The School of Nursing and Midwifery and the School of Health Professions are both involved in the South West Clinical Schools, and the staff work beyond the boundaries of these five trusts to support activities in the communities as well.
To contact South West Clinical Schools, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
More articles from South West Clinical Schools:
4 May 2022, 9.15 - 15.45, Rolle Marquee, University of Plymouth
The nursing, midwifery and allied health professions' declaration to implement strategies to make clinical academic careers a reality.
The five South West Clinical Schools of the University of Plymouth and the five affiliated NHS Trusts are hosting the 7th South West Clinical Schools Convention. This year we will focus specifically on research implementation strategies in clinical settings. We are consolidating the experiences of the past seven years of our Clinical School activities.
Professor Jos Latour
Professor in Clinical Nursing
University Hospitals Plymouth and Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust
Professor Jill Shawe
Professor of Maternal and Family Health
Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust
Dr Frazer Underwood
Honorary Associate Clinical Professor
Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust
Professor Bridie Kent
Professor of Leadership Nursing
Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust and University Hospitals Plymouth
Professor Patricia Schofield
Professor in Clinical Nursing
Professor Mary Hickson
Professor in Dietetics
Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust
Dr Susie Pearce
Associate Professor in Clinical Nursing
Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust
Dr Pamela Rae
Post Doctoral Research Fellow PIHC
South West Clinical Schools Research Assistant
Clinical School successes
Harriet Hughes, Physiotherapist, Torbay and South Devon NHS Trust
Harriet is the latest recipient of the Torbay and South Devon Doctoral Research Fellowship. Harriet has just completed the pre-doctoral award and is now ready to begin her PhD. Her work aims to improve mobility in children with cerebral palsy.
Harriet will be studying Functional electrical stimulation (FES) as a way to improve knee straightening and walking speed. FES is an electrical pocket device that trains muscles whilst walking, so the child can take part in activity on their own.
A group of children with cerebral palsy and walking problems will use the device for 4 hours a day, 6 days a week, over an 8-week period, and Harriet will monitor what benefits it brings. If it works well it could be incorporated routinely into physiotherapy treatments for such children in the future. Harriet’s award will fund her time and fees to undertake a PhD at the University of Plymouth, where she will join the Rehabilitation Research Group under the supervision of Professor Jon Marsden.
The award is funded by the Torbay Medical Research Fund and Torbay and South Devon NHS Trust.
Dr Rich Collings, Podiatrist, Torbay and South Devon NHS Trust
Rich has recently gained his doctorate where he studied the use of in-shoe pressure measurement in the design and optimisation of insoles to reduce the risk of foot ulceration in people with diabetes. More recently he has been awarded a SW Integrated Clinical Academic post-doctoral bridging award, which will support backfill for two days a week for seven months from his NHS position. He plans to widen his skills and experience in engaging and involving patients with diabetes in research, leading to developing an application for further funding for research into foot ulcer prevention.
Dr Joanne Paton and Professor Anne Maree Keenan will support his clinical academic career development. The award is funded by HEE/NIHR Integrated Clinical Academic scheme.
Vanessa Kavanagh, Podiatrist, Torbay and South Devon NHS TrustVanessa has been awarded the Torbay and South Devon Pre-Doctoral Research Fellowship, which will support her for one day a week for one year to prepare to apply for doctoral level fellowship funding.
Dr Rich Collings will supervise Vanessa and her work will support her clinical service. She will undertake masters modules at the University of Plymouth. The award is funded by the Torbay Medical Research Fund.
Stephanie Janka-Spurlock, Dementia Education Specialist, Torbay and South Devon NHS Trust
Stephanie has also been awarded the Torbay and South Devon Pre-Doctoral Research Fellowship, which will support her for one day a week for one year to prepare to apply for doctoral-level fellowship funding.
Her work focuses on improving dementia care in care settings, particularly looking at the provision of meaningful activities and social interactions.
These activities were very badly affected during the pandemic and this triggered the idea to examine in more detail how this has affected clients and how access to activities and social interaction can be improved in the future.
Dr Susie Pearce, (Associate Professor Nursing) and Professor Ray Jones (Professor of Health Informatics) from the University of Plymouth, and Dr Rhoda Allison (Associate Director Nursing and Professional Practice) of Torbay Hospital, will provide supervision.
She will undertake masters’ modules at the University of Plymouth. The award is funded by the Torbay Medical Research Fund.
Stephanie will undertake a masters-level module, join Professor Ray Jones’ research team to get more exposure to and experience of research, carry out some preliminary data collection mapping activities and interactions occurring with current patients, and talk to people who work with patients with dementia to help plan the future doctoral study.
Kate Taylor, Dietitian, Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Trust
Kate has been awarded a Clinical Research Network Research Associate Award which provides her with one and a half days a week for a year to gain further research experience.
Kate will work with the Clinical Research Team at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust and Devon Partnership NHS Trust to support NIHR portfolio studies with recruitment, eligibility screening, gaining consent and baseline questionnaires.
She plans to present her previous research at a conference and write up this work for publication.
She will also spend time working on a NIHR pre-doctoral fellowship application to support her next step towards completing a PhD around combined dietary and exercise interventions in the prevention and treatment of sarcopenia amongst older adults.
Professor Mary Hickson, Professor of Dietetics at the University of Plymouth, will provide mentoring. The award is funded by the NIHR Clinical Research Network (South-West peninsula).
James Bruce, Occupational Therapist, Intensive Care Unit, Torbay & South Devon
James has been awarded a Clinical Research Network Research Associate Award, which provides him with one day a week for six months to gain research experience.
James will use this time to observe the Clinical Research Team at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust to understand NIHR portfolio studies. It will also give him the opportunity to broaden his knowledge base of research techniques including attending short courses.
He hopes to complete a qualitative service development project using focus groups of discharge ICU patients to explore their information needs to support their discharge.
It is hoped this project will influence practice in our unit and the wider ICU rehabilitation community. He is also using the time to complete an observational project exploring what functional outcome measures track patients' functional journey post-critical illness.
The award is funded by the NIHR Clinical Research Network (SW Region). Mary Hickson, Professor of Dietetics at the University of Plymouth, will provide mentoring. The award is funded by the NIHR Clinical Research Network (SW Region).
Joan Redome, Senior Research Nurse, Torbay and South Devon NHS Trust
As a senior research nurse, Joan looks after the rheumatology research portfolio at Torbay Hospital. She is also the lead nurse for BADBIR, which is a dermatology study, and the RECOVERY trial, which has made significant contributions to COVID-19 treatment or management.
Joan was recently awarded the Torbay Research Associateship, which will allow her one day a week for six months to work with the Torbay Clinical School and develop a clinical academic career.
Joan will be attending workshops and seminars to improve her knowledge of writing her own research proposal.
Her service development project will involve producing a rheumatology research newsletter to see how this helps increase patient referrals from the clinical team, thereby increasing recruitment to research trials. Dr Susie Pearce (Associate Professor of Nursing) and Dr Rich Collings will provide her supervision.
The award is funded through the 70@70 scheme via the R&D department at Torbay and South Devon NHS Trust.
Linking research with practice
A cluster randomised, controlled feasibility study of a nurse-led, holistic assessment and care planning intervention for older people living with frailty in primary care.
Helen Lyndon, NIHR Clinical Doctoral Academic Research Fellow
A feasibility study to inform the development of a large scale, multi-site, randomized controlled trial to investigate the clinical effectiveness of a new instant insole solution for people at risk of diabetic neuropathic foot ulceration to instantly modify and optimise plantar pressure. The ultimate aim is to reduce the risk of diabetic foot ulcer (re) occurrence.
Richard Collings, NIHR Clinical Doctoral Fellowship Researcher
Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) model of evidence-based healthcare
JBI's approach to evidence-based healthcare is encompassed in the JBI Model of Evidence-based Healthcare.
The University of Plymouth is a Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) Centre of Excellence, of which Bridie Kent is director. The JBI framework is a gold-standard for all aspects of evidence based healthcare, including all stages of healthcare research and is designed to improve healthcare practice and health outcomes.
Press office news
- Professor appointed to newly created role with NIHR 25 March 2021
- From staff wellbeing to children’s physio – new projects to help patients in Torbay 8 October 2019
- £250,000 grant to support research for health and social care practitioners in Torbay 9 April 2019
- New study looking to prevent hospital admissions of older people in Cornwall 13 February 2019
- Research to investigate domestic abuse in older people 25 May 2018
"The most exciting experience I had on my course was presenting my dissertation at the 2020 online South West Clinical Schools Symposium and having my research topic considered the one that generated the most discussion. Getting this feedback from acclaimed and experienced researchers was such a boost of motivation to carry on in the research path."
Applying for an NIHR internship
Advice from Kate Taylor, community dietitian, on joining a research internship
Considering a clinical academic career?
An introduction from the University of Plymouth’s clinical research team
How to start your career as a clinical academic
A talk by Prof Jonathan Marsden, Professorship and Chair in Rehabilitation in the School of Health Professions