Something Old…Something New….

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Staff from the Undergraduate Programme Board attended the ‘Working Differently Across Boundaries: Transforming Health and Social Care’ NHS Scotland Event 2017 at the SECC in Glasgow, held between 20-21ST June 2017. The School hosted a stand, to promote the School’s portfolio of programmes at the event.

Elaine Gifford, Helen Rainey and Claire Chalmers met and spoke with a number of people interested in study at UWS, and it is hoped the contacts made will come back and speak to us any apply to join our new programmes in the forthcoming academic year.

For more details see our About US page

They also met with someone ‘old’ (as in…from our recent past….)… Professor John Rae former Head of School.

Jack @SECC


…And someone ‘new’ (…well by comparison new….)… Our new Honorary Professor Anne Hendry.

Ann and Team SECC

Overall, a very worthwhile event.


#IDM2017 @uwshealth Raises £630

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Our big-hearted midwifery students  have raised £630 for the charity Kicks Count, which aims to lower the UK’s stillbirth and neonatal death rate by raising awareness of baby’s movements in pregnancy.

Over 170 students participated in an International Day of the Midwife event at the University’s Paisley Campus on 5 May. At this event, which was a celebration of midwifery and saw a number of industry professionals participate in workshops, students sold knitted mini midwives to attendees to raise funds for Kicks Count.

Sheona Brown of the University’s School of Health, Nursing and Midwifery, who worked alongside a committee of student midwives to plan the activities for this event, said: “I am so proud of all the students and their hard work in raising these valuable funds for such an important and worthwhile cause.”

The University’s event was named as the best in Scotland by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM).

Sheona added: “We are delighted that our International Day of the Midwife event was named the best in Scotland. This is a great achievement and our event provided an excellent opportunity to bring together all of our current students with midwifery experts and representatives from third party sector to discuss key issues affecting midwifery in Scotland and to explore how new information can be taken forward in practice. The future looks very exciting for our students.”

Outstanding Team STARS Awards Went to Our Dumfries Team!

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The 7th UWS STARS (Staff Appreciation & Recognition Scheme Awards) took place at Lanarkshire Campus on Wednesday 7th June.

The award winners and highly commended staff members were presented with their awards by the Principal, Professor Craig Mahoney and Chief Operating Officer, Susan Mitchell while the event was hosted by Chair of Court Dr Waiyin Hatton.

Top of our achievements this year was the Outstanding Team award which went to Nursing Team at Dumfries Campus

The school also has the Winner of Outstanding Service to Students award who this year was Denise Atkinson one of our Skills Laboratory Facilitators

Highly commended for her Outstanding Service to Colleagues was Moira Bannigan one of the School’s Service Delivery Officers

You can view all the winners and highly commended recipients from the event here.

Eco-friendly Silver Award for Hamilton Campus

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Team eco-midwives aided and abetted by several others in the School’s Hamilton Campus were delighted to be awarded a Silver Award at the recent  NUS Green Impact Awards Ceremony. The team, led by Midwifery Lecturer Sheona Brown, worked hard on ensuring that we met all of the essential categories to receive this award, Categories included:-

  • A department walk-round to identify areas that are being heated unnecessarily. Some areas identified included unoccupied rooms and skills labs that had the heating turned up to full. An action plan was developed, including highlighting to all staff to turn radiators down to the frost setting when rooms are not in use.
  • A travel audit was completed via Survey Monkey, this audit demonstrated that our team travel to work in many ways – cycling, walking, car sharing, trains, buses and cars.
  • We explored the use of paper in meetings and encouraged all staff to consider the use of easily available projector equipment to read agendas, minutes and notes. The midwifery team meetings have fully embraced this approach, we have some teething problems but there has already been a reduction in the volume of paper used by the team.
  • The team even contributed a story to the Green Impact Newsletter which should be pop into staff inboxes any day now.

Moving forward the eco-midwives team are keen to engage in the developments for the new Lanarkshire Campus. This would ensure that all good practices begun within our current building are developed as the standard when we move into our new accommodation. Sheona is already thinking of Bee-friendly gardens, vegetable growing and tree hugging sessions (OK maybe she went too far with the last one).

The photos show Sheona receiving the award and the fantastic recycled bowl, made from an old Neil Diamond record, a great initiative for all of us with unused/ruined LP’s.

Please make sure you have the permission of the owner before you do this to other Vinyl Discs or you will not be very popular


The University Formalises its Support for Vulnerable Students

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UWS has brought together a number of initiatives and renewed commitments to support some of its more vulnerable students.
We have a proud track record of removing barriers to higher education, has combined sponsorship, training activities and pledges to demonstrate the University’s continued support for its students as well as to ensure that it is a model of good practice in this area.
UWS is just the third university in Scotland to formally commit to the Stand Alone Pledge, which supports estranged students. The University was recently a high-level sponsor and major supporter of Action Against Stalking’s first UK-wide conference, and has now made provision for staff training to support its role as a Corporate Parent.
The charity Stand Alone aims to aid people of all ages who become estranged or disowned from their family or key family member. Young people who are estranged from their families are likely to be under-represented within the student population, and those who do navigate the application process are more vulnerable to withdrawal from higher education than other groups of students.
UWS’ focus is on helping all its students to succeed and to thrive during their time at the University and it closely engages with all applicants from vulnerable groups, such as estranged students, and makes sure that it is able to support them all the way through their UWS journey. From student mentoring, formal student support services and informal peer support networks to senior staff training and awareness, support for a wide variety of students from a range of backgrounds is at the heart of the UWS experience.
The University currently has the largest number of care leavers in Scottish Higher Education and is widely recognised in the sector for the quality of high-level support and guidance it provides this group.
The University, which works in close partnership with local authorities, schools, colleges and other higher education institutions to increase the number of vulnerable groups progressing to university, is currently in the process of developing a detailed action plan to formalise the support it offers to estranged students.
Professor Craig Mahoney, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, said:
 “At UWS we are committed to providing higher education opportunities for everyone and we are delighted to be working with charities and other organisations to help remove barriers to higher education and academic success. All activities delivered by UWS are inclusive and our aim is to raise awareness of the opportunities available and the benefits of higher education. We realise that pupils from families that have no history of further or higher education face many additional barriers to learning and this includes estranged students who have no family contacts. At UWS we work very hard to ensure that we provide a range of information, advice and guidance before, during and after a student’s time at UWS to support them on their learning journey and beyond.”

Winners of the #IDM2017 Event for Scotland

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 The Royal College of Midwives announced yesterday that the WINNER of the best #IDM2017 event for Scotland was the  University of the West of Scotland.

The University of the West of Scotland held a celebratory conference on International Day of the Midwife. All students were invited to attend this event, providing an excellent opportunity to bring the two campuses where Midwifery is taught together and to provide networking opportunities for the different cohorts to get together.

Dr Mary Ross Davies, RCM Director (Scotland) hosted and kicked off the event which included sessions with world café workshops introducing different topics to all of the students. Honorary Professor Ann Holmes from the Scottish Government delivered a talk about the new Government policy, The Best Start. We also had representatives from the Scottish Government who were showcasing the baby boxes that all new parents will be gifted following birth. There is great excitement around this activity.

Linda Wylie, a former UWS midwifery lecturer, hosted the Virtual International Day of the Midwife from one of the classrooms on site, so attendees at the conference can link in with VIDM and learn more about the power of social media during the event.

Inspired by the RCM conference drive for knitted midwives. UWS students voted for and selected the charity Kicks Count. who also provided advertising for donations of knitted/crocheted or crafted midwives. The Midwifery Society raised more than £600 from running a number of stalls including the Knitted Midwives stall, the bottle stall, the SANDS stall and the RCM stall and a delicious sweetie cart.

One of the 1st year student midwives, Sarah Scarlett, has been awarded an Iolanthe grant to assist her in training in British Sign Language. Sarah provided an interactive session for all attendees to introduce them to a couple of signs that may be helpful when caring for women and families with hearing loss.

Sheona Brown, a Midwifery Lecturer at UWS who was key to organising the event, says,

” We had an amazing event, the sun even shone. The day was packed full of activities to learn and network, the University of the West of Scotland event also included a flashmob of an especially written IDM song. If you want to get in the mood we sang it was sang to the tune of I’d Like to Teach the World to sing. It appeared to be a rousing success.”


The RCM Regional Officer for University of the West of Scotland is Emma Currer. The team will receive a prize of £500. Congratulations!

British Transplant Games 2017; Can You Help?

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Transp[lant Games 2017

UWS is a sponsor of the British Transplant Games – everybody who participates has had a transplant and the Games are both a celebration of life (donor families are also invited to attend) and a vehicle to raise awareness of the Organ Donor Register. Information about the Register can be found here

The 2017 Games will be held in North Lanarkshire 27th July – 30th July and we would love as many of our staff and students to volunteer as is possible. Students, in particular, benefit from volunteering because it develops their employability skills, enhances their CV’s and demonstrates passion and effort, devoted to a particular cause, all of which are of interest to employers.

So far, over 100 students have signed-up.

If you’d be interested in hearing more about this, please leave your contact details on this link and you’ll be contacted about a short training session being held in Paisley on 22ndMay, from 12-2pm and at Hamilton on 25th May, from 10am – 12pm.

The team involved with the Games, at North Lanarkshire Council, have been working very hard on this and UWS hopes that the involvement of our staff and students will contribute to the overall success of this worthwhile event.  If you would like to know more about activities and events in the run-up to the games, all information is here.