The Faculty of Health and Social Care has a long history at University of Chester, being established in the early 1990s as the School of Nursing and Midwifery. A wide variety of programmes are delivered by the Faculty including foundation degrees, undergraduate degrees and postgraduate degrees. All branches (adult, mental health, learning disability and child) of pre-registration nursing can be undertaken, as well as pre-qualification courses in Midwifery and Social Work. Social Work programmes are available at both undergraduate and masters levels. The Faculty also offers a wide ranging and exciting portfolio of post-qualifying programmes with an inter-professional focus. Within the Faculty, research is viewed as integral to the working life of staff, in partnership with local and regional providers of care. The Faculty has a research office which coordinates the activity of the Faculty. The strategic focus is on further development in community/primary care, users and carers support and inter-professional learning. There are opportunities to register for a PhD, with supervision from recognised experts in their field. Individual Professors, Readers and Teaching Fellows lead their own research developments in subjects closely related to practice-based care. These include clinical interventions in eating disorders, supporting individuals with learning disabilities in the penal system, interventions in forensic mental health, supporting carers and users of services, safety factors for single practitioners in the community and pedagogical research.

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Recent Submissions

  • Neurodiverse inclusive social work education considered through a student partnership

    Salisbury, Yasmine; Foster, Richard; Hill, Siobhan; Buck, Gillian; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2024-07-16)
    To improve inclusion in one social work teaching department, a ‘Students-as-Partners’ project employed four social work students with lived experience of neurodiversity to work in partnership with staff on pedagogical design. The student partners’ role was to evaluate teaching and learning through neurodivergent lenses and co-design strategies to enhance provision. Higher education can often adopt an individualised, adaptive approach to difference (Clouder et al., 2020), rather than a social approach to inclusion where whole courses and environments are designed with neurotypical and neurodivergent learners in mind. ‘Neurodiversity’ offers social work education a constructive new paradigm for understanding learning experiences and for considering individuals’ strengths alongside challenges (Long, 2023). Using a reflective, critical storytelling approach (Beresford, 2016), this article weaves published research findings with the experiences of three student partners and one staff partner, to reflect on and analyse a Students-as-Partners neurodiversity pilot. We conclude that educational designs which actively include the perspectives and ideas of neurodivergent students can deepen understanding of individual challenges and strengths and facilitate the co-creation of more inclusive teaching and assessment strategies.
  • Sexual Safety in English mental health in-patient beds: has nothing been learned?

    Brooker, Charlie; Tocque, Karen; University of London; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2024-06-15)
    All mental health Trusts in England were surveyed, using freedom of Information Requests, as part of an enquiry into sexual safety incidents. A response rate of 72 % was obtained. Results revealed that sexual safety incidents and mixed-sex ward breaches are both increasing. Very few Trusts are adhering to the national guidance on sexual safety standards. Only one audit of safety standards was provided with full data. The Minister of Health has ordered an enquiry by the Health Services Safety Investigation Board with findings to be reported in 12 months' time. We argue more urgent action is needed now. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2024 Elsevier Ltd and Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine. All rights reserved.]
  • Time to consider social care nursing as the fifth field of practice

    McRae, Sarah; Whittaker, Margot; Howarth, Michelle; Kershaw, Shaun; Knight, Kate; Lord, Helen; Roberts, Debbie; University of Chester; University of Bolton; Edge Hill University (MA Healthcare, 2024-06-20)
    The social care workforce is struggling, with an estimated 44% turnover rate across the UK and numbers entering into social care are continually dwindling. According to The State of the Adult Social Care Sector and Workforce in England report (Skills for Care, 2023) there are currently 152 000 unfilled workforce posts in social care.
  • Editorial: The Case for More Action and More Research into Health Care Provision and Health Inequalities for People with Intellectual Disabilities

    Chapman, Hazel M.; McMahon, Martin; Kaley, Alexandra; Mafuba, Kay; Donovan, Mary-Ann; University of Chester; Trinity College Dublin; University of Essex; University of West London; University of Sydney (Wiley, 2024-06-24)
    When we accepted the role of guest editors for this special edition on health inequalities, we did not foresee the range and variance of submissions that reflected the lived experience of the health inequalities in people with intellectual disabilities. This is reflected in the diverse and rich mix of studies covering a broad range of topics and methodologies included in this special edition. The pursuit of equity of access to health care is a central objective of many health care systems. These papers collectively illustrate the urgent need to recognise the intersecting influences of gender, disability and other social determinants of health in shaping individuals’ experiences and access to healthcare services. Moreover, these findings highlight the critical importance of incorporating the lived experiences and perspectives of people with intellectual disabilities into research, policy and practice. Looking ahead, it is essential to adopt an intersectional approach that acknowledges diverse and intersecting identities of people with intellectual disabilities, particularly women, in designing and implementing interventions designed to address health inequalities. This requires, not only addressing systemic barriers within healthcare systems, but also challenging societal attitudes and prejudices that perpetuate discrimination and marginalisation.
  • Food bank perceptions and food insecurity of older people: findings from an empirical study and how health and social care professionals might offer more support

    Ellahi, Basma; Carey, Malcolm; Chapman, Hazel M.; University of Chester; Liverpool Hope University (Policy Press, 2024-06-21)
    Food insecurity continues to increase in the UK, and includes a lack of adequate resources to shop, cook, and eat. Among social groups most likely to experience poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition, relatively few older adults have traditionally accessed food banks. This is despite malnutrition representing a common cause of functional decline and mortality amongst older people. This article draws from interviews in Cambridge with older adults, volunteers and others working with older people. It details why some older people who experience hunger or malnutrition may not access the services of a food bank. Among other findings, we highlight the impact of stigma and pride upon many older adult’s viewpoints, as well as the possible negative effects of chronic illness, isolation, reductions in social care funding and policy-based reforms. The potential of social and health care services to better support older people experiencing food insecurity and malnutrition is highlighted.
  • The COVID-19 Pandemic as a Public Health Teacher—the Lessons We Must Learn

    Lombatti, Sofia; Magid, Avi; Davidovitch, Nadav; Middleton, John; Sheek-Hussein, Mohamud; Lopes, Henrique; Skhvitaridze, Natia; Agha, Hazem; Lopez-Acuña, Daniel; Martínez Olmos, José; et al. (Frontiers Media, 2024-05-07)
    Statement of the Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER)
  • Building the Future One Health Workforce

    Codd, Mary; Valiotis, George; Davidovitch, Nadav; Kostoulas, Polychronis; Razum, Oliver; Mabhala, Mzwandile A.; Leighton, Lore; Otok, Robert; Signorelli, Carlo; University College Dublin; European Health Management Association, Brussels; Ben Gurion University of the Negev; University of Thessaly; Bielefeld University; University of Chester; ASPHER Secretariat, Brussels; University Vita-Salute San Raffaele (European Observatory on Health Care Systems, 2023-11-07)
    A ‘new normal’ in public health and healthcare has arisen with socioeconomic shifts, technological developments, political strife, climate change, environmental degradation, and COVID-19. Challenges cannot be solved by one discipline or profession alone, but requires multiple sectors coming together, combining knowledge, expertise and methods. One Health is an integrated epidemiological and economic approach aiming to sustainably optimise the health of people, animals and ecosystem. This article reflects on the roles of Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER) and European Health Management Association (EHMA) and the concrete steps needed to address skills for One Health.
  • Economic and Humanistic Burden of Moderate and Severe Hemophilia A and B in Spain: Real-World Evidence Insights from the CHESS II Study

    Peral, Carmen; De Lossada Juste, Alfonso; Lwoff, Nadia; Espinoza-Cámac, Nataly; Casado, Miguel Ángel; Burke, Tom; Alvir, José; Thakkar, Sheena; Ferri Grazzi, Enrico (Scholastica, 2024-05-06)
    Background: Hemophilia is a congenital disorder characterized by deficiency or absence of clotting factor VIII in hemophilia A (HA) or clotting factor IX in hemophilia B (HB), resulting in frequent, repeated, and prolonged spontaneous or traumatic bleeding into joints or soft tissue. Severity is classified by the patient’s baseline level of clotting factor activity as mild (>5%-40%), moderate (1%-5%), or severe (<1%). In Spain, there is limited information on the societal economic burden of disease. Objective: To estimate the economic and humanistic burden of disease in adult patients with non-inhibitor moderate and severe HA and HB in Spain. Methods: Spanish data from the CHESS II study (2018-2020) on patients’ clinical characteristics, health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and hemophilia-related healthcare resource utilization were analyzed. Economic burden was determined by estimating condition-related annual per-patient direct (medical and nonmedical) and indirect costs, stratified according to hemophilia type and severity and presented as 2022 Euros. HRQoL was assessed via the EQ-5D-5L. Results: Of 341 patients in the Spanish CHESS II cohort, 288 patients met the inclusion criteria: 181 had HA (37% [n = 66] moderate and 63% [n=115] severe) and 107 had HB (26% [n = 28] moderate and 74% [n = 79] severe). Mean annual direct cost was higher in HB than in HA, and higher in severe than in moderate patients, resulting in an annual cost/patient of €17 251 (moderate HA), €17 796 (moderate HB), €116 767 (severe HA) and €206 996 (severe HB). The main direct cost component in all groups except moderate HA was factor replacement therapy. Mean per-patient indirect cost was €4089 (moderate HA), €797 (moderate HB), €8633 (severe HA) and €8049 (severe HB). Finally, the mean total cost (direct and indirect) for moderate and severe patients were €91 017 (HA) and €163 924 (HB). EQ-5D-5L [SD] scores were lower in patients with severe HA (0.77 [0.18]) and severe HB (0.70 [0.22]) compared with patients with moderate HA (0.81 [0.15]) and moderate HB (0.86 [0.17]). Conclusions: Independently of the type of hemophilia, greater condition severity was associated with increased costs and a decrease in HRQoL.
  • Interplay between leadership and patient safety in dentistry: a dental hospital-based cross-sectional study

    Saeed, Muhammad Humza Bin; Raja, Ulfat Bashir; Khan, Yawar; Gidman, Janice; Niazi, Manahil; Riphah International University; NHS North Bristol Trust; University of Chester (BMJ Publishing Group, 2024-05-07)
    Objectives: The study aimed to study the association of leadership practices and patient safety culture in a dental hospital. Design: Hospital-based, cross-sectional study Setting: Riphah Dental Hospital (RDH), Islamabad, Pakistan. Participants: All dentists working at RDH were invited to participate. Main outcome measures: A questionnaire comprised of the Transformational Leadership Scale (TLS) and the Dental adapted version of the Medical Office Survey of Patient Safety Culture (DMOSOPS) was distributed among the participants. The response rates for each dimension were calculated. The positive responses were added to calculate scores for each of the patient safety and leadership dimensions and the Total Leadership Score (TLS) and total patient safety score (TPSS). Correlational analysis is performed to assess any associations. Results: A total of 104 dentists participated in the study. A high positive response was observed on three of the leadership dimensions: inspirational communication (85.25%), intellectual stimulation (86%), and supportive leadership (75.17%). A low positive response was found on the following items: ‘acknowledges improvement in my quality of work’ (19%) and ‘has a clear sense of where he/she wants our unit to be in 5 years’ (35.64%). The reported positive responses in the patient safety dimensions were high on three of the patient safety dimensions: organisational learning (78.41%), teamwork (82.91%), and patient care tracking/follow-up (77.05%); and low on work pressure and pace (32.02%). A moderately positive correlation was found between TLS and TPSS (r=0.455, p<0.001). Conclusions: Leadership was found to be associated with patient safety culture in a dental hospital. Leadership training programmes should be incorporated during dental training to prepare future leaders who can inspire a positive patient safety culture.
  • The psychosocial considerations for behaviour change, mental health and work-related satisfaction in pre-registration nurses, during coronavirus pandemic

    Mitchell, Andrew E. P.; University of Chester (Wiley, 2024-05-17)
    The mental health of healthcare workers was affected by physical and psychological challenges during the pandemic. The aim was to study how psychosocial considerations can help manage behaviour change, mental health, and work satisfaction of nurse trainees in the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021. This cross-sectional study involved ninety-nine students. Participants’ anxiety, fear of the coronavirus, and perceived work satisfaction were measured by GAD-7, FCV19S and COM-B scales and assessed using descriptive, correlational and linear regression analysis. The significant zero-order correlations between job satisfaction and fear, anxiety and psychosocial considerations were significant. They indicated moderate strength that allowed for further inferential development to find the best predictors of job satisfaction. The findings suggested that 50% of trainees showed anxiety above the suggested ≥ 8 cut-off on GAD-7, and 48% scored high for fear on FCV19S. There was a significant effect between year groups F (2, 99) = 4.25, p = .02, η 2 = .081, with a Tukey post hoc test showing a significant difference between training years 1 and 2 with a p = .015. A significant linear regression found that psychosocial variables in behaviour change p = <.001 and anxiety p = .011 were significant factors in job satisfaction, explaining 53.4% of the variance. Conclusion: Satisfaction was associated with higher levels of psychosocial considerations and low levels of anxiety and fear, which adds to previous literature on job satisfaction in nurse education. Future implications must examine ways to alleviate mental health effects and to support policy and curricula to address this need.
  • Co-creating prisons knowledge inspired by collective autoethnography

    Buck, Gillian; Rebecca, Page; Harriott, Paula; Tomczak, Philippa; University of Chester; Prison Reform Trust; University of Nottingham (HM Prison Service of England and Wales, 2024-05-01)
    This is a story, a kind of map, about a study we co-produced on prison peer support work. The social science community call these mapping stories methodology papers. We have tried to write this one in an informal (less academic) style to appeal to a broad audience – including people who live or have lived in prisons and who may not have had access to further education. ‘We’, the authors, are four people interested in prisons. Two of us became interested having lived parts of our lives in prison, two of us became interested by studying prisons at university. We met as part of a co-authorship project, which was originally made up of five former prisoner researchers and three academic researchers. Having published our original study in 2023, we decided to write about our pioneering work together. (All eight original co-authors were invited to co-write this methodology paper and four of the team decided to do so). We hope the method we introduce will be useful to those interested in capturing (often traumatic) lived experiences in a way that values and centres those most impacted, and that we address the concern that people with lived experience often only emerge in research as subjects, rather than authors.
  • Mobilizing Metaphors in Criminological Analysis: A Case Study of Emotions in the Penal Voluntary Sector

    Quinn, Kaitlyn; Buck, Gillian; Tomczak, Philippa; University of Missouri; University of Chester; University of Nottingham (Oxford University Press, 2024-05-04)
    Metaphors pervade media and political constructions of crime and justice, provoking responses and shaping actions. Scholarship in adjacent disciplines illustrates that emotion-metaphors offer unique insight into emotional and interpretive processes, valuably illuminating sense-making, problem solving and action. Yet, metaphors are rarely analysed within criminology, leaving an important opportunity for theorizing emotions and their implications largely unrealized. We explore the analytical and theoretical potential of emotion-metaphors for criminology, using empirical research conducted in the penal voluntary sectors of England and Scotland. Drawing on focus groups with volunteers and paid staff, we analyse the metaphors that non-profit practitioners mobilized to convey how their work felt: (1) absurd and unstable, (2) vulnerable and constrained, (3) devalued and discarded and (4) risky and all-consuming.
  • Photovoice with care: A creative and accessible method for representing lived experiences

    Ryan, Natasha; Ryan, Kemi; Buck, Gillian; Reformed development CIC; University of Chester (HM Prison Service of England and Wales, 2024-05-03)
    Photovoice is a research method with great promise as a tool for people looking to tell stories about their lives and work toward change, it also has much to offer criminology, creating insightful material from the perspectives of those most intimately connected to the research topic. This article reflects on photovoice as a resource for lived experience practitioners, activists, and leaders. The work we reflect upon is a co-designed, participatory study of a community-led crime prevention organisation: ‘Reformed’. We (Natasha and Kemi) founded Reformed after being released from prison to multiple barriers and low expectations from criminal justice professionals.
  • Disease Burden, Clinical Outcomes, and Quality of Life in People with Hemophilia A without Inhibitors in Europe: Analyses from CHESS II/CHESS PAEDs

    Chowdary, Pratima; Ofori-Asenso, Richard; Nissen, Francis; Ferri Grazzi, Enrico; Aizenas, Martynas; Moreno, Katya; Burke, Tom; Nolan, Beatrice; O'Hara, Jamie; Khair, Kate; et al. (Thieme, 2024-04-15)
    Introduction: Limited data relating to treatment burden, quality of life, and mental health burden of hemophilia A (HA) are currently available. Aim: To provide a comprehensive overview of unmet needs in people with HA (PwHA) using data generated from the Cost of Haemophilia in Europe: a Socioeconomic Survey-II (CHESS II) and CHESS in the pediatric population (CHESS PAEDs) studies. Methods: CHESS II and CHESS PAEDs are cross-sectional surveys of European males with HA or hemophilia B (HB) aged ≥18 and ≤17 years, respectively. Participants with FVIII inhibitors, mild HA, or HB were excluded from this analysis, plus those aged 18 to 19 years. Annualized bleeding rates (ABRs), target joints, and other patient-reported outcomes were evaluated. Results: Overall, 468 and 691 PwHA with available data for the outcomes of interest were stratified by hemophilia severity and treatment regimen in CHESS II and CHESS PAEDs, respectively. In these studies, 173 (37.0%) and 468 (67.7%) participants received FVIII prophylaxis, respectively; no participants received the FVIII mimetic emicizumab or gene therapy. ABRs of 2.38 to 4.88 were reported across disease severity and treatment subgroups in both studies. Target joints were present in 35.7 and 16.6% of participants in CHESS II and CHESS PAEDS; 43.8 and 23.0% had problem joints. Chronic pain was reported by a large proportion of PwHA (73.9% in CHESS II; 58.8% in CHESS PAEDs). Participants also reported low EQ-5D scores (compared with people without HA), anxiety, depression, and negative impacts on their lifestyles due to HA. Conclusions: These analyses suggest significant physical, social, and mental burdens of HA, irrespective of disease severity. Optimization of prophylactic treatment could help reduce the burden of HA on patients.
  • Real-world clinical and psychosocial outcomes among people with mild or moderate haemophilia A treated on-demand in the Italian CHESS II cohort: a real-world data analysis

    Castaman, Giancarlo; Mancuso, Maria Elisa; Di Minno, Matteo Nicola Dario; Sannino, Luigi; Tempre, Rosaria; Bendinelli, Sara; Blenkiron, Thomas; Burke, Tom; Ferri Grazzi, Enrico (Sciendo, 2024-04-22)
    Background: The burden of severe haemophilia A (HA) has been studied extensively owing to the higher bleeding frequency and associated treatment requirements, leaving a clear unmet need for research focused on the burden of mild and moderate HA. Aims: This study sought to characterise the clinical and psychosocial burden of mild and moderate HA in the Italian cohort of the CHESS II study. Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of clinical and psychosocial outcomes in a cohort of male adults (≥18 years old) with mild or moderate HA who participated in the cross-sectional CHESS II study (October 2019-November 2020). Treatment patterns, acute and chronic clinical outcomes and mental health indicators were collected via physician-completed forms. Psychosocial outcomes related to impact of HA on social activities, exercise, opportunities, and lifestyle were collected via a participant self-complete questionnaire. All results were reported descriptively. Results: A total of 113 people with haemophilia A (PwHA) were included, 79 (70%) with moderate HA and 34 (30%) with mild HA, with mean age of 41.4 and 36.6 years, respectively. No one in the sample was receiving a prophylaxis at the time of data capture, with factor VIII use in the 12 months prior reported in 30% and 29% of moderate and mild PwHA, respectively. Ninety-one PwHA (81%) experienced ≥1 bleeding event in the preceding 12 months. People with moderate HA had higher mean annual bleed rate (2.9 vs. 1.1, respectively) and higher prevalence of chronic pain (74% vs. 35%), anxiety (20% vs. 12%), and/or depression (15% vs. 3%). Target joints were reported in 22% and 12% of moderate and mild PwHA, and problem joints in 51% and 12%, respectively. Of 113 participants, 44 (39%) completed the self-complete form (moderate HA, 57%; mild HA, 43%). Overall, 40% vs. 10% of those with moderate vs mild HA reported reducing or giving up social activities, 44% vs. 21% reducing or giving up exercise, 36% vs. 26% missing out on opportunities, and 48% vs. 26% reported HA impacted their lifestyle. Conclusion: Moderate PwHA from the Italian CHESS II cohort appeared to have greater clinical morbidity and lifestyle impact than mild PwHA. Psychosocial outcomes were also worse among moderate PwHA, but significant burden was also observed among mild PwHA. These findings, and the absence of prophylactic treatment in the sample examined, highlight that improving management for potentially undertreated mild/moderate PwHA may aid the avoidance long-term clinical morbidity and negative psychosocial impact.
  • Anxiety and depression among adults with haemophilia A: Patient and physician reported symptoms from the real‐world European CHESS II study

    Ferri Grazzi, Enrico; Blenkiron, Thomas; Hawes, Charles; Camp, Charlotte; O'Hara, Jamie; Burke, Tom; O'Brien, Gráinne; HCD Economics, Knutsford; BioMarin Europe; University of Chester; Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh (Wiley, 2024-03-20)
    Introduction: The physical pain and disability affecting many people with haemophilia A (PwHA) are known detractors from psychological wellbeing. While psychosocial support is considered a core tenet of the haemophilia comprehensive care structure, the extent to which mental health challenges are detected and monitored by the individuals treating haematologist remains relatively unexplored. Aim: To describe prevalence of anxiety and depression in a real‐world cohort of adult PwHA and evaluate the congruence in reporting of anxiety or depression (A/D) between PwHA and their treating physicians. Methods: Data for PwHA without inhibitors was drawn from the European ‘Cost of Haemophilia: A Socioeconomic Survey II’ (CHESS II) study. Haematologist‐indicated comorbidities of anxiety and depression were unified into a single A/D indicator. The EQ‐5D‐5L health status measure was used to characterise self‐reported A/D, with individuals stratified into two non‐mutually exclusive subgroups based on level of A/D reported (Subgroup A: ‘some’ or above; Subgroup B: ‘moderate’ or above). Result: Of 381 PwHA with evaluable EQ‐5D‐5L responses, 54% (n = 206) self‐reported at least some A/D (Subgroup A) and 17% (n = 66) reported at least moderate A/D (Subgroup B). Patient‐physician congruence in A/D reporting was 53% and 76% for Subgroups A and B, respectively. Descriptive analysis suggested that individuals with physician‐ and/or self‐reported A/D experienced worse clinical outcomes (bleeding events, joint disease, chronic pain). Conclusion: While adverse clinical outcomes appear to correlate with A/D, self‐reports of moderate–severe symptoms occasionally lacked formal recognition from treating physicians. Cross‐disciplinary surveillance of mental health issues could improve both psychological and clinical outcomes among PwHA.
  • Designing an accessible and equitable conference and the evaluation of the barriers to research inclusion for rare disease communities

    Mitchell, Andrew E. P.; Butterworth, Sondra; University of Chester; RareQol Ltd, Wrexham (Salud, Ciencia y Tecnología, 2024-03-01)
    Introduction: The United Kingdom Rare Diseases Framework, published in 2021, addresses the lack of diversity in rare disease research, particularly in clinical trials, due to intersecting issues related to rare disease symptoms and health inequalities. The framework outlines the government's commitment to improving the lives of the 3.5 million people living with rare conditions in the United Kingdom. Objective: The primary objective is to advance equality, diversity, and inclusion in research by developing innovative methods to engage with communities, establish trust, and enhance the participation and voices of underrepresented and underserved communities. Methods: The conference was held in May 2023, bringing together voices with lived experiences from rare and diverse communities to meet and discuss with established researchers, policy influencers and advocates. The evaluation design was developed using the Program Logic Model and utilised a conference evaluation form on barriers to inclusion. Results: The Rare Disease Community identifies disability as the primary obstacle to inclusion. Social Care and Public Health Communities and Clinical Research Communities identified a need for more cultural competency. The Diverse Community selected psychosocial issues, and the Academic Community identified funding as the most significant barrier. Conclusions: The Community of Practice workshops showed the variety of lived experiences and potential barriers people confront for inclusion in research. Listening to individual viewpoints was crucial to creating or repairing community trust. The Academic Community felt that research funders and ethics review boards must adapt their institutional practices to include financial resources for outreach and participation in research design.
  • ‘One Is Too Many’ preventing self-harm and suicide in military veterans: a quantitative evaluation

    Finnegan, Alan; Salem, Kate; Ainsworth-Moore, Lottie; University of Chester (BMJ Publishing Group, 2024-03-05)
    Introduction: In 2021, the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust allocated over £2 million to programmes designed to have a clear and demonstrable impact on suicide prevention. Four grant holders delivered a combination of psychotherapeutic interventions, group activities, social prescribing, peer support mentoring, life skills coaching, educational courses and practical help with housing and employment. The evaluation was completed between August 2021 and July 2023. Methods: A survey was completed by 503 participants at entry and 423 at exit. It captured data regarding demographic and military-specific details, health status, situational stressors, predisposing symptoms, help-seeking behaviour, social engagement, housing, living arrangements and employment status. The questionnaire included a number of validated psychometric questionnaires. Results: This evaluation revealed reductions in situational stressors, symptoms and mental health illnesses. Seventy-six per cent of participants had completed an Operational Tour, and 77% were exposed to a traumatic event during service. It was the negative impact of unresolved traumatic effects that influenced service-users to require support. Forty-nine per cent delayed seeking help, and 36% self-referred to the One Is Too Many programme which demonstrates the importance of this option. There were improvements in the participants’ social networking, social activities, club membership and having people to rely on. Only 4% of participants were women which reinforces the requirement to explore initiatives to engage with female veterans. Conclusions: Timely therapeutic and social prescribing interventions in a safe environment lowered depression, anxiety and the associated situational stressors leading to self-harming and may have reduced suicide. It presented another option to veterans and their families regarding where they can obtain support, care and therapeutic interventions. The programme provided a strong foundation for delivery organisations to forge lasting collaborative partnerships that can be extended to working with other authorities and institutes. The results highlight pathways for prevention and intervention strategies to inform policymakers, healthcare professionals and third-sector organisations.
  • Mental Health and Well-being amongst Healthcare Professionals in Clinical Training

    Mitchell, Andrew E. P.; University of Chester
    Healthcare workers in clinical training are at a high risk of stress and burnout due to their dual clinical practice and academic components. The psychosocial clinical environment and personality traits contribute to healthcare workers' increased risk of psychological distress. The two-dimensional circumplex proposed by the complete state model of mental health suggests that people with mental illness symptoms can have mental well-being and are seen as traversing the circumplex from floundering to flourishing. Poverty is a significant predictor of mental illness, and COVID-19 has been linked to poorer mental health. The WHO's Global Mental Health Report identifies three paradigm-shifting strategies for enhancing mental health, including elevating those who are impacted and reshaping social and living conditions. The United Nation's action plan is to achieve sustainable health goals for 2030. The aim is to improve leadership and governance, responsive and integrated care, strategies for promotion and prevention, and the use of evidence and research to improve mental health.
  • A creative health placement: challenging student nurses to learn creatively

    Ridgway, Victoria; Henshaw, Russell; Davies, Cherelle; Faulkner, Gary; Marsh, Victoria; Stonley, Lou; University of Chester (EMAP, 2024-03-11)
    There is a drive to promote population health as a preventative measure. The use of creative health has been advocated to relieve pressures on healthcare services, but this can only be achieved by greater awareness of and immersion in such practices. The creative health placement at the University of Chester responded to this need, offering 60 nursing students the experience of an arts-based practice learning placement and the chance to explore their personal wellbeing. Such learning presented a challenge for students, requiring them to reflect on their expectations of nursing placements and respond creatively to the healthcare issues facing our profession.

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