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Supporting young people at risk of violent crime or criminal exploitation

Sally-Ann Ashton is a Lecturer in the Psychosocial Analysis of Offending Behaviour and is involved with a project regionally to identify and support young people who are involved with or at risk of violent crime or criminal exploitation.

Dr Sally-Ann Ashton

Sally-Ann was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Travel Fellowship to research US gang interventions in July and August 2019. She began her research in Houston with Harris County Constable Precinct 1. She attended Crisis Intervention Training for officers and observed procedures in the Mental Health Division and the associated court processes.

Sally-Ann then travelled to Chicago to learn about restorative interventions with the Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation; she was able to speak to staff and young people who have been affected by gang violence. In Chicago she attended the National Gang Crime Research Center Conference; presenting papers on her research and involvement in UK gang interventions, and learning from a diverse range of Law Enforcement, Juvenile Justice and other practitioners for three days. She then attended training sessions for youth workers at Kentucky’s Department of Juvenile Justice and spoke to managers and teachers at a KDJJ day school to understand how young people can be supported through education. Returning to Houston, Sally-Ann then met with the supervisors from Precinct 1’s Juvenile Division and was able to learn about educational programmes for young people under detention. The fellowship was invaluable and has enabled Sally-Ann to bring a wide rangeof approaches and knowledge back to her work in the UK.

Nutrition futures 2019

Congratulations to Edge Hill University Nutrition student, Lesley, who presented her preliminary findings from her nutrition society funded project at nutrition futures event earlier this month.

Lesley interviewed nine farmers in total; six in South West England and three from the Northwest to explore their farming practices (past, present and future plans) in relation to food sustainability.

Children Coming to Hospital – what children want health professionals to know about coming to hospital for a procedure

In hospital, children may feel small, scared, worried or overwhelmed. The way health professionals engage with them makes a massive difference.

We worked with children and young people to create the ‘Children Coming to Hospital’ resource which includes a short animation for health professionals with practical advice about how to communicate with children coming to hospital.

Children told us they can struggle to join in the conversations with health professionals, as people often use words which are strange and unfamiliar to them. Children want to know that it is okay to ask questions to find out what is going on. They told us that it can help to have choices about what happens to them. Simple things like choosing which music to listen to or who sits with them while they have something done can make a huge difference to their experience.

The Children Coming to Hospital resource includes information for children, parents and health professionals. It aims to help everyone work together to make a child’s hospital experience as good as possible.

Children Coming to Hospital – Resource for children
Children Coming to Hospital – Resource for healthcare professionals
Children Coming to Hospital – Resource for parents
Children Coming to Hospital – Resource for parents

The Collaboration

The Children Coming to Hospital resource was developed collaboratively with children, parents and health professionals and working with the wonderfully creative guys at MisterMunro.

Once the resources were designed and made, it was important for them to reach as many families as possible so that they could hopefully use them to have a better hospital experience. This is where it is vital to work in partnership with hospitals like Alder Hey Children’s Hospital to help spread the word.

Lucy Bray worked with Steph Sinha from the pain team at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital to help create the Children Coming to Hospital parent leaflet.

We created the top tips by using up to date research and spending time talking to groups of parents across Liverpool about the important things to include. The leaflet is a key part of the Children Coming to Hospital resource as parents have an important role in play in supporting their child through a procedure.

Children Coming to Hospital

It can be hard for children to know what to expect when they come to hospital for procedures such as an X-ray or blood test. Children tend to have a better experience if they know what will happen and have the chance to prepare themselves. The ‘Children Coming to Hospital’ resource was developed with children, young people and parents by Lucy Bray, Bernie Carter and Ed Horowicz from Edge Hill University.

This engaging resource is made up of a short animation and comic strip for children, a short animation for health professionals and a leaflet for ‘parent/carers’. We hope the resource can help make coming to hospital a bit less scary for children. It also provides top tips for parents and health professionals on how to prepare and help children during the experience.

‘Children Coming to Hospital’ is free to download and use. The resource was launched in February 2019 and was highly commended in the British Medical Association Patient Information Awards.

The Student Quality Ambassador Programme (SQA)

The Student Quality Ambassador programme is an NHS North West Initiative for healthcare students to promote best practice and quality initiatives within the workplace, challenging the current standards of care. The programme runs across the whole of the North West, providing students from a range of different universities with the opportunity to role model and positively affect the quality of healthcare.

Students who are involved with the Student Quality Ambassador programme share best practice between them, and contribute to innovation through regular meet ups, supporting their peers in presentations, conferences and events. The programme forms a region-wide collaboration of Higher Education Institutions (HEI’s) and Service Providers to work with students with a focus on promoting their projects with care and compassion in the health and social care sector.

So what exactly does a Student Quality Ambassador do?

Previous Student Quality Ambassadors have been involved with a variety of projects to improve patient care. For example, the ’15 Steps Toolkit’, Audits, Mock Inspections and becoming Dementia Friends. But it doesn’t stop there! As a Student Quality Ambassador, students are provided with the opportunity to develop their own ideas from what inspires them. An example of this includes the ‘Are You a Veteran?’ project from one of our very own Edge Hill SQA’s.

Student Name: Karen Vernon
Project Name: Are you a Veteran?

Are you a Veteran? Is a project developed on the SQA programme by Mental Health Student Nurses, Karen Vernon and Natalie Matthews. Running alongside the organisation Veterans in Sefton, Karen and Natalie started working to implement and create awareness around Mental Health support services available to Veterans and their families.

Now leading on the project, Karen Vernon aims to involve Healthcare Professionals and further support services to stop and ask the question, ‘Are you a Veteran?’ during routine and emergency medical appointments. She hopes to develop a greater understanding of Veterans within the Health and Social Care sector, so that signposting and delivering care can be provided as best as possible.

This was demonstrated at a recent World Mental Health Day conference hosted at Edge Hill University, whereby Karen presented her project and signposted to relevant support services. Karen also facilitated guest speakers from Veteran’s in Sefton to speak at the conference about Mental Health in the Forces.

Karen’s goal is to raise awareness for Veteran’s Mental Health and work with healthcare providers to provide tailored support.

Karen Vernon (Left) and Natalie Matthews (Right) with Veterans in Sefton.

As referenced on the Student Quality Ambassador website, members of the SQA programme regularly engage the following:

  • Undertake practice based learning and feel empowered to champion and highlight good practice
  • Challenge areas of practice requiring development
  • Show leadership and motivation for themselves and other students, including being test subjects for innovations such as trialling the use of Standardised Numeracy Assessment Project (SNAP), Values and Behaviours assessment tools and e-learning projects
  • Work alongside and liaise between Practice Areas, Practice Education Facilitators, Higher Education Institutions, Students, Service Users/Patients and Carers, and further Professionals

So, are you up for the challenge?

If you’re a current Edge Hill student studying Health, Social Care or Medicine and would like to get involved, please click here to download the Student Quality Ambassador programme brochure and apply online.

National Fitness Day 2019

When we talk about exercise we usually refer to the physical health benefits: increased levels of cardiovascular fitness, muscle gain, fat loss etc. but what we often overlook is the impact exercise can have on our Mental Health.

Today (Wednesday 25th September) is National Fitness Day, and we’re focusing on celebrating the benefits that exercise can have on our Mental Health and Wellbeing.

🌟 Exercise makes us feel happier

When we exercise our bodies release endorphins, which are chemicals produced naturally by the nervous system. Endorphins create feelings of happiness and euphoria, which can boost our mental wellbeing!

🚨 Exercise can help reduce stress levels

Did you know that exercise can help manage mental stress? Norepinephrine is a chemical within the body which moderates the brain’s response to stress, and exercising can increase it’s concentration. This means that working out can actually reduce stress levels and boost the body’s ability to deal with existing mental tension.

🌙 Exercise can help us catch more Zzz’s

Physical exercise is tiring! And when we feel more tired at the end of the day we sleep better, and often deeper. Sleeping helps us to recover from mental as well as physical exertion, so making sure we catch enough Zz’s is super important!

💥 Exercise can boost brainpower

Cardiovascular exercise (such as jogging/rowing/dancing etc.) can create new neurogenesis (brain cells) and this can improve overall brain performance. Did you know that a challenging workout can actually increase your levels of brain-derived protein? Known as BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor), this protein in the body is believed to help with decision making, thinking and learning.

So there you have it!

Exercising regularly can benefit our bodies in many ways – mentally and physically. So why not take today as an opportunity to head outside, enjoy the fresh air, and take part in #NationalFitnessDay 2019!

Helen Henderson | Head of Simulation and Skills Education

Helen Henderson is our new Head of Simulation and Skills Education here at Edge Hill University. We caught up with Helen to learn more about her role here at EHU, and discover what the future may hold for our university in terms of Healthcare Simulation.

Who am I?

I have been really fortunate to recently join Edge Hill University as Head of Simulation and Skills Education. I have over 20 years of simulation experience with the last 5 years spent working abroad in a large simulation centre.

Why Edge Hill University?

The Faculty of Health, Social Care & Medicine is involved in delivering a wide variety of programmes many of which have already incorporated simulation and skills into them. This can already be seen for example in the ODP, Midwifery, Nursing and Paramedic programmes. In addition, the University has significantly invested in the development of the new Clinical Skills and Simulation Centre which will be open very soon. This not only gives us the opportunity to have more simulation but will help in enabling more collaboration and interprofessional learning opportunities. It is a really exciting time being part of the Simulation and Skills Education team at EHU.

Why is Simulation-based education important?

It enables learners to practice (repeatedly) in a safe environment where they can make mistakes, reflect on what happened and learn, without causing any harm to patients. Ultimately it increases patient safety and helps learners to become more competent and confident in their knowledge, skills and attitudes.

Why do I like simulation?

If used correctly simulation is an effective teaching method with a growing body of research evidence support. It really does help to link the theory to practice and once learners get over the initial apprehension they can see the benefit and tend to want more. It is a challenging, but fun and engaging way to learn.

What’s next?

We move from our current skills facilities to the new building in the next week, so Beth and Hayley are busy packing up whilst classes are still ongoing. I don’t think they will ever want to move to a new house after this! Then it will be all the unpacking including all the new equipment. That will be fun and a bit like Christmas as we will get to play with all the new toys, sorry patient simulators and software, including the new management system.
After that we have the students in from the 30th September, tours, open days, a welcome evening in October and all the staff in the faculty have a staff study day in November which is focusing on skills and simulation this time. Once our team is fully on board we will start to offer faculty development sessions, but whatever we are doing (including Derek and his family) we will share through the simulation and skills community.

Emergency Simulation | Ashton-Under-Lyne Fire Station

Edge Hill University Simulation Technicians, Aggie and Hayley, recently joined a group of second year student Paramedics facing a series of emergency situations at Ashton-Under-Lyne Fire Station in a recent simulation collaboration.

The two-day event was structured into three scenarios, with students being asked to respond to a range of simulated emergencies.

As simulation support staff, Hayley and Aggie provided trauma make-up services to casualties, which made each scenario feel more realistic. Students were invited to try this too, enhancing their skillset and making the session even more engaging.

All scenarios involved Fire service and Paramedic students together as they were challenged to work as a team to provide the best care and treatment.

Lecturers from both Fire and Paramedic backgrounds were also present to observe the students on scene, and at the end of each scenario facilitated a debrief of what went well, what didn’t go well, and areas for improvement. All students were keen to be involved in this discussion, as it provided them with the opportunity to share their views and experience.

Simulation Leads: Vicky Perrin and Janet Burdon | Nursing

Vicky Perrin

Vicky, what types of skills do you practice in Clinical Skills and Simulation?

We practice all types of skills within the clinical skills and simulation centre, including practical skills such as the taking of blood pressures and injection techniques, to more complex scenarios around service user assessment and diagnosis, as well as communication skills and professionalism.

How beneficial is simulation in your programme?

Simulation is integral to all of the programmes within the Faculty of health, social care and medicine, particularly nursing. It allows students to apply theory to practice in a safe environment, supporting the development of safe and effective care and increasing the confidence, problem solving and critical thinking skills.

What’s your favourite session to run with your students in Clinical Skills and Simulation?

I particularly enjoy any sessions where the students have to think outside the box, to see them being pushed outside of their comfort zone, and grow as a clinician as a result is really rewarding for me, and empowering for the student. Simulation and skills acquisition provides that opportunity.

What is your favourite piece of kit and why?

As a mental health nurse originally, rather than a favourite piece of kit, I like settings that mimic real life, so service users homes for example. Within these settings the students can practice and develop their communication skills, explore diagnosis and treatment options as well as debate ethical issues and consider the implications for practice.

What ‘Top Tip’ would you give to our students attending a session in Clinical Skills and Simulation?

Always come prepared, in most cases, pre reading or signposting to additional information is provided prior to a session. I would always recommend participating in this before the start, that way you will get the most out of the session and really enjoy the whole experience.

Janet Burdon

Janet, what types of skills do you practice in Clinical Skills and Simulation?

We practice Basic life support, Venepuncture, Manual BP, NG feeds, IV fluids, Catheterisation, Airway management, Suction and Medicines management in the Clinical Skills and Simulation centre.

How beneficial is simulation in your programme?

Very beneficial! Simulation enables students to link theory to practice and to bring different concepts together.

What’s your favourite session to run with your students in Clinical Skills and Simulation?

The Clinical Reasoning session with service users session focuses on communication and medicines management – this is my favourite session.

What is your favourite piece of kit and why?

My favourite piece of kit is definitely the manikins! I like the way they can communicate with students.

What ‘Top Tip’ would you give to our students attending a session in Clinical Skills and Simulation?

Prepare!!! Review the theory which relates to your upcoming simulation session. This will help you get the most out of the session.

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