Trust signs up for research partnership with University of Huddersfield | Latest news

Trust signs up for research partnership with University of Huddersfield

Medical and health care staff across the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust will be undertaking more research to improve patient care thanks to a new partnership with the University of Huddersfield.

The University, through its Institute of Skin Integrity and Infection Prevention, already undertakes world-leading research in a number of medical and health care issues. Some of this research is already undertaken with both staff and patients of the Trust in areas such as diabetes and skin integrity.

Now, under this new agreement, both parties will be working together on research which can help improve the care and outcomes of patients at the Trust’s three hospitals – Pinderfields, Dewsbury and Pontefract.

Trust Chairman Jules Preston MBE said: “The signing of this agreement is a really exciting development for the Trust.  For some time we have wanted to extend our ambitions in undertaking research and this partnership will enable us to do this.

“This new approach means we will be able to concentrate our efforts in those areas where we can improve the care of patients, based on feedback from our staff on what issues they are facing on a daily basis.

“It will also mean we will be able to attract staff and retain staff who perhaps want to develop their research capabilities or who want to have a role which is a mix of providing clinical care and academic development, thereby being at the forefront of developments in patient care.”

Professor Philip Keeley, Head of Department of Health Sciences at the University of Huddersfield said: “Working together, the two organisations will be stronger and more productive in conducting research for patient benefit. There is also a wonderful opportunity to develop the next generation of health care researchers who will lead clinically relevant research in the future.”

One area where the two organisations have already worked successfully together is developing an innovative award-winning course to enable healthcare professionals in the UK and around the world to acquire added expertise and qualifications via internet study.   

Professor Karen Ousey and Lecturer-Practitioner Leanne Atkin of the University’s School of Human and Health Sciences, who are experts in wound treatment and care, devised two Masters-level online modules – Tissue viability and wound management and Management of leg ulceration.   These courses won an award for Contribution to Education in Wound Care at the 5th Congress of World Union of Wound Healing Societies, held in Florence, Italy.

Leanne Atkin, who divides her working week between the University and the Trust, said: “About five years ago we changed to an online provision of education for nursing, podiatry and allied health professionals, because we saw that clinicians were experiencing more and more difficulty getting out of the workplace at specific times to attend the classroom.”

“It was a completely different way of teaching and you lose that classroom interaction.  But the modules have gone from strength to strength and numbers have increased every year because we are able to cast our net far and wide.”

The agreement sets out where both parties will work and collaborate together which includes providing health services, research, education and teaching.