Multi-professional approach delivers results in obstetrics training

Tim Draycott, who led the development of the PROMPT course, on the fellowship that gave him three years’ precious thinking time. Plus the latest higher education jobs and appointments

May 22, 2014

Source: Alamy

Birthplace of new ideas: interdisciplinary work can make a real difference

“I’d do it for another three years, absolutely no question about it, but I think you’re only allowed one term,” laughed Tim Draycott when asked if he would consider applying for a second Health Foundation Improvement Science Fellowship.

Mr Draycott, clinical senior lecturer at the University of Bristol and consultant obstetrician at North Bristol NHS Trust, benefited from a fellowship – which offers senior postdoctoral candidates three years’ research funding and a tailored leadership development programme among other things – to develop the PROMPT (practical obstetric multi-professional training) course.

The course has been associated with improved knowledge, communication and teamwork in dealing with childbirth emergencies.

His work, along with that of two other Bristol researchers, contributed to the university recently winning a Queen’s Anniversary Prize.

“The main benefit was being [given] three years of head space – thinking time – which has been great because in the middle of a busy NHS job, it’s difficult sometimes to think deeply and in a sophisticated way about the intervention we’ve actually arrived [at],” he said.

The fellowship, which brought practitioners and social science academics together, allowed them to get a “broader, better, deeper understanding of how to make a difference”.

“I’ve spent a lifetime training to better understand how to look after women in labour, but you leave behind other areas for which other people have incredible expertise – we can work together and harness that expertise,” he said. He said such interdisciplinary working needed to be more prevalent.

“If practitioners could work with other academics more broadly, I think there’s something really exciting in it,” he said. “The trouble is we all live in silos and ivory towers. By working altogether [and] understanding intervention…even more mothers [are saved].”

The fellowship and the backing of the Health Foundation – a charity working to improve the quality of healthcare in the UK – was invaluable, he said.

“They’re completely independent and that makes them a very powerful organisation,” he said. “For example, the standard research streams in the NHS would not fund three years’ thinking time for some projects. They also find it very difficult to fund a multi-professional group of academics and practitioners.”

The “external validation” of the Queen’s Anniversary Prize not only affirms the decision to award the fellowship, he said, but also has an added effect of extending his work beyond the UK.

“Outside the UK it has put, literally, a royal polish on our work,” he said. “It visibly has made a difference on our work for overseas audiences – India, China, Singapore, Malaysia.”

The Health Foundation’s involvement through the fellowship also meant that the project could gain a foothold at “high policymaking levels”.

“If you’re a working obstetrician, albeit in an academic unit in Bristol, you’re not automatically at the top table of policymaking,” he said.

“What the Health Foundation has been really useful for is the weight of their organisation to get traction at that kind of level.”

john.elmes@tsleducation.com

Finger on the pulse: healthcare jobs

Cardiff University
The Cardiff University School of Healthcare Sciences is looking for a professor in arthritis research.
Closing date for applications: 15 June 2014
View the full job description and apply for this role

Bournemouth University
Bournemouth University has an opportunity for a senior lecturer in mental health nursing.
Closing date for applications: 12 June 2014
View the full job description and apply for this role

University of the West of Scotland
The University of the West of Scotland has a one-year fixed-term post for a clinical midwifery lecturer.
Closing date for applications: 23 May 2014
View the full job description and apply for this role

Appointments

The Association of University Directors of Estates has announced the appointment of Andrew Burgess as its new chairman. Mr Burgess, who is deputy chief operating officer at Loughborough University, will hold the position for one year.

Patrick Johnston, vice-chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast, has been elected a fellow of the European Academy of Cancer Sciences. Professor Johnston has been honoured for his outstanding contribution to cancer research.

Jon Hunt has been made director of the research development and support office (RDSO) at the University of Bath. Dr Hunt was previously deputy director of the RDSO and head of research development and collaborations at the university.

The University of Huddersfield’s head of accountancy, Wilma Teviotdale, has been invited by the Quality Assurance Agency to join the national review panel that revises the benchmark statements for the subjects of accounting and finance.

The University of London has announced the appointment of Jackie Marfleet as Senate House librarian. She will take up the appointment on 1 August.

Luca Enriques, full professor of business law at LUISS Guido Carli University in Rome, has been appointed to the Allen and Overy professorship of corporate law at the University of Oxford. He will take up his post on 1 October.

Sir Richard Evans, president of Wolfson College at the University of Cambridge, is to become the new provost of Gresham College. Professor Evans succeeds Sir Roderick Floud, taking over at the beginning of August.

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