Jenny’s Diary: A Unique Dementia Learning Resource to Support Conversations about Dementia

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Staff here at the School of Health Nursing and Midwifery at UWS have officially launched a new resource which will provide an invaluable tool for families and practitioners to help people with a learning disability understand their diagnosis of dementia.

 The resource, ‘Jenny’s Diary’, is a booklet and a set of postcards aimed at supporting conversations about dementia with people who have an intellectual disability.

This resource which is available free was funded by a dissemination grant from the Alzheimer’s Society and developed in close partnership with Hansel, a leading social care provider based in the West of Scotland. An international advisory panel of people with a learning disability, families, academics and practitioners provided invaluable input during its development.

Colin Capper, Head of Research Development and Evaluation at the Alzheimer’s Society, said:

“Coming to terms with a diagnosis of dementia is a significant challenge for many people and their families. However, it can be even more difficult for people with learning disabilities who might need extra support to understand what is happening to them. Although people with learning disabilities, in particular Down’s syndrome, are at an increased risk of developing dementia, there is not enough research to understand the specific challenges that this group face. Everyone with dementia has a right to know about and understand their condition and we’re delighted that our funding has produced such a useful resource.”

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Lead academic on this project, Dr Karen Watchman developed this important resource in collaboration with Irene Tuffrey-Wijne of St Georges, University of London & Kingston University and Sam Quinn also of University of the West of Scotland.

The resource utilised actors, who are customers and staff at Hansel, to tell the fictional story of ‘Jenny’, who has a learning disability and is diagnosed with dementia. Jenny’s Diary takes a three-step approach, initially opening up with dialogue about why Jenny may be experiencing changes, and how she can be supported to live as well as possible with dementia; secondly suggesting how to have a conversation with Jenny about her diagnosis of dementia; and lastly guidance on how to talk about dementia with Jenny’s partner, George.

Dr Watchman, Alzheimer Scotland Senior Lecturer in Dementia and Depute Director of the Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice at Hamilton Campus, said:

“We are delighted to launch Jenny’s Diary and are extremely grateful for all the support we received to enable its development. Currently there is limited guidance on how to talk about dementia with an individual who has a learning disability, or to their friends of partner. Additionally, we have focused on supporting the individual who has a learning disability to maintain relationships that are important to them as dementia progresses.”

For more information and to download an electronic copy of Jenny’s Diary visit http://www.uws.ac.uk/jennysdiary/

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Vascular Health Research Seminar from Leading Australian Researcher

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The Institute for Clinical Exercise and Health Science/Institute of Biomedical and Environmental Health Research are hosting a Research Seminar on Thursday 22nd October, 2015 at 11 am – 12pm.

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The seminar entitled “Vascular Health, Physical Function and Peripheral Arterial Disease: N-O* options but to exercise?” will be delivered by Professor Jason Allen (above), who is the Research Leader for the Clinical Exercise Science Programme at the Institute, of Sport, Exercise, and Active Living (ISEAL) at Victoria University in Melbourne. His research combines clinical, physiological, and biochemical techniques to investigate cardiovascular health and the atherosclerotic process with a focus on peripheral blood flow, endothelial function, and nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability.

The seminar will take place in the Almada Lecture Theatre 2, Almada Building, UWS Hamilton Campus, ML3 0JB

If you want to go along please contact Dr Chris Easton: chris.easton@uws.ac.uk  or Tel: 01698 283 100

UWS Professor named on the Nursing Times Leader List for 2015

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Congratulations to UWS Professor Belinda Dewar, Professor of Practice Improvement at the Institute for Care and Practice Improvement, has been named in the Nursing Times Leaders list for 2015.

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The Nursing Times (NT) announced its list of the country’s most inspirational nursing leaders in 2015 at a reception in London. The 48 individuals come from all aspects of the nursing profession including frontline patient care, management, research and academia, national organisations and charities.Many of the leaders were nominated by NT readers, and the list was selected by a panel of expert judges that included the Chief Nursing Officer for Northern Ireland, and has been endorsed by the CNO’s of all four UK.


The Nursing Times Leaders recognises and celebrates nurses and midwives who are pioneers, entrepreneurs and inspirational role models in their profession. This list comprises nurses who have changed practice for the better, shown visionary thinking, had a major positive impact and role modelled exceptional behaviours for others to imitate, as well as those whose influence spreads beyond nursing to benefit of the wider healthcare arena.

Professor Dewar, who has extensive experience in the field of research, as a nurse and educator, said: “I am delighted to be named in the Nursing Times Leaders list. This is a huge honour and I am extremely proud, and flattered, to be recognised in this way.”

UWS Health, Nursing & Midwifery MacMillan Coffee Morning

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Thank you to all who contributed to and attended the Macmillan Coffee morning last Friday (24th September) in the new High Street entrance. It was great to see everybody getting together and for such a good cause. We raised £331.50 which is a great effort.

Special thanks to all who contributed baking, and homemade chocolates (Helen), helped on the day, and also a big thanks to catering services who donated free tea and coffee.

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Pre-Registration Midwifery News

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In collaboration with all our NHS Partners, Tom McEwan is taking forward plans to introduce ‘Examination of the Newborn’ into the Pre-registration Midwifery curriculum. UWS will be the only University in Scotland offering this skill set. The project is in response to clinical demand to increase employability for students.

Sheona Brown, our new lecturer has commenced the UWS Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning.

Welcome to also to our 70 new Midwifery students for this academic year 53 have joined the BSc Programme and a further 17 have joined the MSc Programme. In addition, there is 1 International student from Canada – this will be the 3rd Canadian student we have had on the programme with all of them returning to Canada to take midwifery practice forward, particularly in relation to supporting normality.

Lastly, the Lead Midwife for Education –  Hilary Patrick – has been asked to join a Scottish Government ‘Transitioning Supervision of Midwives Taskforce’ to develop a model for Scotland. This short life task force will work on the new supervision model for approximately one year.

Compassionate Connections

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Members of the UWS Midwifery Team Susanne Morrison, Liz Miller, Kathryn Mooney (student) and Hilary Patrick delivered a very successful interactive workshop at the NHS Education for Scotland Compassionate Connections Conference held at Napier University on 3rd September 2015. The UWS Midwifery Team have been involved with the project since its inception in 2012 and are proud to be able to participate in its dissemination phase within NHS Scotland. This innovative learning and teaching resource demonstrates compassionate care in action using personal story worlds and is appropriate for all health care workers.

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“Inspiring Women” Lecture

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The School and the rest of the University are delighted to welcome Emeritus Professor Barbara Ann Parfitt CBE as our keynote speaker at the next Inspiring Women event being held on Tuesday 20th October
12-2pm at Almada Hall, Hamilton Campus.

Barbara Ann Parfitt qualified as a nurse and then a midwife in the 1960’s. In the 1970’s she worked in the rural mountains of Afghanistan and Bhutan as a community nurse midwife. In the 1980’s she taught as a lecturer at Manchester University and undertook her Phd. In 1991 she was appointed as Head of Department of Advanced Nursing at the North East Wales Institute. In 1995 she moved to Glasgow Caledonian University as Professor and Dean of the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Community Health.  She was also the Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing and Midwifery and Secretary General of the Global Network of Collaborating Centres for Nursing and Midwifery. Her interests focus on international PHC development and she has completed projects in the Middle East, South Africa and Central Asia. She stepped down as Dean of Nursing in 2008  to take up the role of Director of Global Health development and is currently the founding Principal of the Grameen Caledonian College of Nursing in Bangladesh. She was recently awarded a CBE for her work in international health and nursing. Quite a lady and an inspiration to many.

If you want to hear Barbara’s talk, the event is available to all students and staff. To book please contact uwsevents@uws.ac.uk