Say Hello to our New Staff

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A warm welcome to Dr. Rhoda MacCrae has been appointed as a Lecturer in Dementia within the Alzheimer Scotland Policy and Practice Centre. Her role will largely be related to developing the dementia related enterprise activities. This work will include developing a programme of CPD, working on the Dementia Champions programme, working with staff associated with the centre across the school on dementia related enterprise.  Rhoda will also continue to work on the European Dementia Palliare Erasmus+ project and develop her research interests around advanced dementia and bereavement.


Rhoda has over 13 years of post doctoral research and enterprise experience with a keen interest in knowledge exchange, use of evidence in practice, qualitative methodologies and evaluation. Before joining UWS, Rhoda worked at the University of Edinburgh on an ESRC funded knowledge exchange project. She was also Independent sector lead on the Reshaping Care for Older People Programme in North Lanarkshire.  Rhoda has been commissioned as an independent research and development consultant by a variety of health and social care organisations.  Prior to this she worked at the Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services (IRISS) for 2 years and the Social Work Research Centre, University of Stirling for 4 years.  She did both her PhD (Sociology) and MSc (Applied Social Science) at the University of Stirling. This was after being awarded a Research Training Fellowship by the Chief Scientist’s Office during which time she was seconded to the University of Glasgow from her practitioner role within the NHS.

Welcome also to Jade Birkin our new School Service Delivery Administrator (Research). In this role Jade will be supporting Laura MacFarlane for the Institute of Healthcare Policy and Practice. She will be the primary contact for all PhD students within the School.

Jade Birkin Profile

Previously she was ‘Postgraduate Administrator’ at The University of Edinburgh within The Graduate School Office of Social and Political Science. In this role, she gained extensive knowledge of the HE sector in Scotland and throughout the rest of the UK from working with External Examiners as well as administrating online distance learning programmes and joint blended learning courses with other universities. She also administered the organisation for several Post Graduate Programmes. Overseeing the learning and progression of a variety of  students and supporting academic staff. She also participated in event organisation and was the first point of contact for queries within their graduate school. As jade says she thrives in a busy and sociable environment and is am pleased to now be part of the Institute in her new role.


Finally welcome to David Innes who joined the School in September as Project Manager for ‘My Home Life Scotland’ – the Institute of Healthcare Policy and Practice’s highly successful enterprise project which aims to promote quality of life for those living, dying, visiting and working in care homes for older people through relationship-centred and evidence based practice.

David Innes Profile


His role includes being an ambassador for the My Home Life social movement, routine and special event administration, impact evaluation, management of contracts and finance, policy and procedure development, and developing a range of stakeholder communication strategies.

For more information about ‘My Home Life’ visit:

Previously he spent 7 years employed by the British Council working across a range of international education projects including the DFID funded ‘Connecting Classrooms’ programme which aims to help young people develop the knowledge, skills and values to work in a globalised economy.

He has a have a BA (Hons) in History and Politics from the University of Stirling and an MSc. in Nationalism Studies from Edinburgh University.


Lecturer to Chair Forensic Nurse’s Forum

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Helen Walker, from the Mental Health Subject Grouping, is presenting at the prestigious annual conference of the International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services (IAFMHS), which is being held in New York City, USA from 20-24 June 2016.
The 16th annual IAFMHS conference is entitled ‘Keeping abreast of Changing Times: Education, Training & Practice to Enhance Forensic Mental Health’.

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In addition to delivering an address entitled ‘Does clinical supervision prevent burnout in forensic nurses; a national review’, Helen has been invited to Chair the Forensic Nurses Forum which forms a key part of this prestigious global conference.Helen said: “I am delighted to be presenting at this important international conference. It is a huge honour to have been invited to Chair the Forensic Nurses Forum, not just this year but for the next three years.”

IAFMHS was established in 2000 as an international non-profit association, which aims to enhance the standards of forensic mental health services amongst the international community.

For more information about IAFMHS or its annual conference visit

Welcome Dr. Kirstin James

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We are delighted to welcome Dr Kirstin James to the Older People’s Health and Well-being team who joined us in December. Kirstin is an Occupational Therapist with a wealth of experience which is already having a positive impact on the way we deliver our programmes. We are looking forward to working with Kirstin particularly in further developing the BA (Hons) Integrated Health and Social Care programme.

Kirstin completed a Bachelor of Science degree at Warwick University in Biological Sciences, before completing post-graduate studies in Occupational Therapy at the London Hospital School of Medicine. She was one of the first occupational therapists to graduate from a medical college. Kirstin is a Health Professions Council registered occupational therapist with a special interest is in urgent and emergency care, specifically with regards to the challenges faced by older people. She is a member of both the British Association of Occupational Therapists and the World Federation of Occupational Therapists, and the Scottish Dementia Research Consortium.

Kirstin recently had an article published in the Emergency Medicine Journal which you can download from:

News from BA (Hons) Integrated Health and Social Care Programmes

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Careers and Employability, Engage Renfrewshire along with programme team arranged an information session for the BA Integrated Health and Social students. This provided students with information about the benefits of volunteering and the variety of volunteering opportunities that are available to them.

Work related learning is a key element of the BAIHSC programme with students being required to work or volunteer in a relevant area. This information session allowed students to hear about volunteering opportunities along with the employment opportunities that may be open to them on graduation.


UWS Employer Mentoring Scheme

Two of the second year students, Samantha McCluskey and Leanne Gillies, from the BA Integrated Health and Social Care programme, have been successfully chosen to take part in the Employer Mentoring Scheme. This is the first time students from the programme have been involved in this and the programme team are looking forward to hearing about and learning from their experiences.




Finally congratulations to Helen Rainey and Elaine Gifford who are both going to the 16th International Conference on Integrated Care (ICIC16) in Barcelona in May to present a Poster about the development of this innovative programme entitled “Working Together: Asset-based Communities of Learning in Higher Education.”

Building Momentum – An Event for Non Learning Disability Student Nurses

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A number of our students attended Wednesday’s ‘Building Momentum’ conference hosted by NHS Education for Scotland (NES) in Edinburgh. The conference was for 1st year student nurses from adult, mental health and child fields of practice and student midwives. The conference was organised by 3rd year students from across Scotland working with NHS Education for Scotland to design and deliver a student led event that aims to help first year nursing and midwifery students achieve their Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) learning outcomes for Alternative Fields of Practice.

Nursing student Emma Smyth said: “Had a very inspirational, emotional and educational day at the ‘Building Momentum’ conference – some of the stories and videos really captured everyone’s hearts.” Thanks to Emma for sharing her pic!

Four of the student organising committee were also from UWS too. Congratulations to them and all the other students from elsewhere, for  hosting a successful event.




New Institute of Healthcare Policy and Practice Launched

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The School officially launched its new Institute of Healthcare Policy & Practice (HPP) at an event held at Hamilton Campus on Thursday 21 January 2016.


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16012109 – 21/01/16 – UWS HAMILTON Launch of Institute of Healthcare Policy & Practice

The event, which was officially opened by Hugh Masters, Scottish Government Nursing Advisor (Mental Health Division), featured a programme of presentations and demonstrations, providing a valuable insight into current research projects and developments in healthcare across the Institute.

The event also provided an opportunity for those in attendance to explore the key aims of the Institute, to find out about its research and partnership work to help meet the challenges facing Scottish, UK and global healthcare.

The Institute encompasses three research groupings – the Deteriorating Patient; Maternal, Child and Family Health; and Later Life and Dementia. It aims to advance the evidence base for practice and learning within healthcare, social care, family caring and integrated services; address major public health challenges; improve the quality and safety within interdisciplinary practice, services, care facilities (including hospitals and nursing homes) and within the family home; and inform and strengthen leadership, workforce development and interprofessional learning for practice.

Professor Debbie Tolson, Interim Director on the Institute of Healthcare Policy & Practice, said: “We are delighted to have officially launched this new Institute which is a hugely important development not just for the University but also for the Scottish healthcare sector.

“The Institute enjoys close links with health boards, local authorities, third sector and independent care providers. We will continue to work closely with these partners to advance our interdisciplinary research agenda which is focussed on strengthening the evidence base for policy and practice to improve health care and optimise the health and well-being of individuals, families and communities.”

This event was followed by a UWS Public Lecture entitled, ‘Reframing dementia: raising awareness and challenging perceptions’ by Professor Anthea Innes.

In this public lecture, Professor Innes drew on examples from her dementia research over the last two decades to discuss the challenges associated with dementia and the importance of raising awareness as part of the public health campaign to achieve an outcome where people live well with dementia for longer.

Professor Innes, who recently joined UWS, was previously the inaugural Director and Head of the Bournemouth University Dementia Institute (BUDI). She has previously worked at the Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Stirling, and the Bradford Dementia Group.

information regarding the Institute is available at

Midwifery adventures in Uganda

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Hilary Patrick, Senior Lecturer and LME, has returned a few images from her experience supporting the RCM Momentum project in Uganda.  She reports the trip is going well, interrupted only with frequent mosquito bites and cold showers, and is providing the team with an invaluable insight into midwifery care in Uganda and the important role that a mentorship could provide in this country.

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We will keep you updated on her adventures!