Cancer Patients Help Stirling Shape Future of Cancer Care in Scotland
Date released: Monday 1 October 2007
Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, Nicola Sturgeon MSP will listen to the views of patients and carers affected by cancer at a conference at the University of Stirling today (Monday 1 October), when she attends as a keynote speaker.
Ms Sturgeon said: “I am delighted to be attending this conference and have the opportunity to listen and learn from people affected by cancer. It is vital that we build cancer services, research and policy that are sensitive to patients' needs and those of their families and carers.
She added: “The Centre and the many patients and carers who contributed their time and experience to its important work have made a significant contribution to developing our vision of a patient centred health service fit for the 21st Century.”
The conference will look at how people across Scotland think about and experience cancer. For example, guest speaker Scottish Poet and Playwright Liz Lochhead will talk about the language surrounding cancer (cancer is often described as a ‘battle’ or as ‘the big C’).
The University’s Cancer Care Research Centre (CCRC) is the UK’s only cancer care research centre that places patients’ viewpoints at the heart of its work.
Director of CCRC, Professor Nora Kearney said: “Through bringing together patients, carers, health professionals and policy makers we provide an opportunity for everyone to better understand the importance of listening to and learning from people affected by cancer. Our research Cancer Care Research Centre aims to ensure that the experiences of people affected by cancer can and do drive improvements in cancer services across NHS Scotland.”
The conference will provide a platform for people affected by cancer and people working in cancer care to discuss the findings and implications of CCRC’s three year study of patient experiences of cancer care.
During the past three years, the Centre has conducted nine linked studies, funded as a Patient Experience Programme, into how people think about and experience cancer. Key findings include:
People still perceive cancer to be the most frightening illness and in the main associate cancer with death.
Children as young as eight-years-old have formed fatalistic views of cancer.
People in Scotland have limited awareness of the signs and symptoms associated with cancer and at times view cancer prevention information with suspicion.
CCRC has a unique way of working with people affected by cancer where they are not just the "subjects" of the research but are actively encouraged to guide what the Centre does, present findings at conferences and comment on its research findings. For example, the CCRC has set up 15 local advisory groups across Scotland to help it to develop its research plans. These groups advise the research team on what they should be researching and what needs to change in Scottish cancer care.
Breast cancer survivor Pauline Chan (41) from Fife has taken part in CCRC’s Patient Advisory Groups and regularly gives feedback on research. She said: “In the world of research, it is easy to become distant from the front line. That’s where the Cancer Care Research Centre is different. I first met Nora Kearney, the Centre’s Director, when I was receiving chemotherapy – she was my nurse. I was so impressed by their unique approach that I decided to get involved. Through giving my feedback on studies and taking part in the patient advisory groups, I do my bit to ensure the Centre’s research and the cancer policy it influences is informed by the views of real people who have experienced cancer like me.”
How it all began: the genesis of Stirling - Public Lecture Wednesday 10 October
Date released: Wednesday 10 October 2007
One of the University of Stirling’s founding fathers is to give a special public lecture to mark the University’s 40th anniversary entitled How it all began: the genesis of Stirling.
Sir Alan Peacock, who was a member of the original Academic Planning Committee set up to formulate proposals for the establishment of the University, will paint a picture of the University’s early beginnings up to the point where it first admitted students in 1967.
The committee, to which Sir Alan Peacock belonged, was charged with preparing the draft of the Royal Charter that would determine the University’s government and management structure; and appointing the first Principal and Vice Chancellor.
The post Second World War climate saw a rapid demand for university education and the Robbins Royal Commission on the future provision of Higher Education specifically recommended that at least one of the new universities should be in Scotland.
Sir Alan Peacock said: “Stirling was one of several new universities established in the UK in the 1950s and 1960s, but it is unique in Scotland in being established de novo – that is to say it did not represent the ‘upgrading’ of an existing institution of higher education.”
The free public lecture will take place on Wednesday 10 October at 4.30 - 5.30pm in the Logie Lecture Theatre, University of Stirling. To reserve a place, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 01786 467055.
Spare room in your barn?: Scottish farmers encouraged to grow their income through fish
Date released: Wednesday 10 October 2007
The University of Stirling has created a novel approach to food production which could boost the rural economy. Researchers have developed a small scale warm water system for growing fish that makes use of existing farm buildings and infrastructure as an income diversification strategy for Scottish farmers and rural entrepreneurs.
The prototype is the result of a collaborative project involving the University’s Institute of Aquaculture, Department of Marketing and Public Health Research Group.
Researcher, Kathleen Boyd said: “We are encouraging farmers to produce local food in an environmentally friendly manner using available and under-utilised farm buildings. Through exploring this additional income earning opportunity over a three year period, we hope to develop a better understanding of the challenges that face rural areas in the UK.”
The system is specifically designed for tilapia, a fast growing warm water fish. The species is ideal for low cost aquaculture as it can thrive on a herbivorous diet and with its white flesh and mild taste is a suitable substitute for over fished wild fish stocks such as cod.
Researcher, Will Leschen said: “Tilapia require a well insulated building with a temperature of around 270C to grow, and under optimum conditions can reach a market size of 500g in 6-8 months, compared to 18-24 months for rainbow trout and salmon currently grown in the UK. This can be successfully achieved by using small scale re-circulating tank or raceway systems, which simply maintain water quality and fish welfare through removal of wastes into separate filtration systems, with no discharge of “used water” into local water courses.”
The research project has involved extensive market surveys throughout the UK which have identified a number of niche markets for fresh tilapia: ethnic consumers, green consumers and the gastro-pubs. For example, farmers could sell their produce to the local community at farmers’ markets or to local restaurants.
The research team would be interested in hearing from UK farmers and entrepreneurs who are willing to dip their toe in this alternative approach by testing the system: Dr Francis Murray (email@example.com) or Will Leschen (firstname.lastname@example.org) on 01786 467878.
University Art Collection: The Beginning - Public Lecture Wednesday 17 October
Date released: Friday 12 October 2007
The University of Stirling’s 40th anniversary celebrations continue on Wednesday 17 October with a free public lecture on how the University’s art collection began by one of the University’s first employees.
Matilda Mitchell started as secretary to the first Principal of the University of Stirling, Professor Tom Cottrell, before becoming a University administrator. Her talk is entitled The Beginning of the University Collection of Works of Art.
Ms Mitchell will speak on the beginnings of the art collection and her work in helping it to develop.
She was the first curator of the University's art collection and helped it to grow and develop; partly thanks to the university's commitment to Percent to Art, a scheme whereby each time a new building was constructed, one percent of its building costs were dedicated to the purpose of art.
The University's current art collection includes significant works by contemporary artists, many of them Scottish. These include J.D. Fergusson, Joan Eardley, Barbara Hepworth, Patrick Heron and Willie Rodger. As part of the 40th Anniversary Celebrations, the university is currently showing an exhibition of works by Willie Rodger and his family in Pathfoot Building.
The lecture will take place on Wednesday 17 October, 1-2pm Pathfoot Lecture Theatre, University of Stirling. To reserve a place, please RSVP to: email@example.com
Olympics Minister Visits Scotland's Premier Sporting University
Date released: Monday 22 October 2007
Ministers Stewart Maxwell and Tessa Jowell with L-R Andrew Hunter (European and Commonwealth medallist), Stuart Houston (Commonwealth Medallist), Todd Cooper (European and Commonwealth medallist) and David O'Brien (University swimming coach and current Masters' student who competed in 2004 Olympics).
UK Olympics Minister, the Rt Hon Tessa Jowell MP will pay a special visit to Scotland’s premier university for sport on Monday 22 October, accompanied by Scottish Minister for Communities and Sport, Stewart Maxwell MSP.
Ms Jowell: "I am looking forward to seeing the world-class facilities on offer for sportsmen and women at the University of Stirling and meeting some of those training to be part of Team GB in 2012. Stirling is a great example of what is being done to make dreams come true in 2012. It is a real model – for investment, determination and a can-do attitude – that will help deliver the benefits of 2012 to every corner of the UK."
The visit comes as the University of Stirling, which is recognised as an international hub of sporting excellence, celebrates its 40th anniversary.
Minister for Communities and Sport, Stewart Maxwell, said: “The Scottish Government is extremely proud of the range of sports facilities on offer at the University of Stirling’s campus and that’s why, through sportscotland, we’ve committed significant funding in recent years to help the university develop its expertise.
“It’s our hope that Scottish athletes who train here will be able to take part in the London Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 and, if our bid is successful, the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014. The Scottish Government believes the participation of Scots at major sporting events such as these will help to inspire people young and old to become more active and live healthier lifestyles.
“We will be working hard over the coming years to make sure Scotland receives as much benefit as possible from hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the UK - encouraging international athletes to train here, maximising opportunities for Scottish businesses and being part of the artistic and cultural programme around the Games.”
The University of Stirling’s campus, based in the heart of Scotland, is home to an unrivalled number of national training centres and governing bodies including the Scottish National Centres for Swimming, Tennis and Triathlon as well as the Commonwealth Games Council for Scotland and Scottish Institute of Sport.
Principal and Vice Chancellor, Professor Christine Hallett said: “The University provides the best range of sports facilities and services on a single site in the country and our research is at the forefront of contemporary thinking on sports nutrition, management and culture – making it the first choice for students who wish to combine sport and study. Add to this the fact that we have helped to produce a US Amateur Golf champion (Richie Ramsay) and the only UK student to play at Wimbledon in recent years (Colin Fleming), and the University of Stirling is clearly the premier university centre for sporting excellence in Scotland. We are delighted that both Ministers recognise our reputation in visiting the University today.”
Media Relations Manager
University of Stirling
Public Health Minister Launches Dementia Bulletin
Date released: Tuesday 23 October 2007
Public Health Minister Shona Robison will launch the UK’s first free research digest dedicated to dementia at the University of Stirling’s Dementia Services Development Centre today (Tuesday 23 October) at 3pm.
Designed to be a practical information source for nurses, social workers, doctors and anyone who works in care for people with this serious condition, “Dementia Now” is a monthly bulletin which summarises research on dementia issues.
Shona Robison said: “I am delighted to be able to launch this bulletin. The Scottish Government is committed to making Dementia a national priority. One of the key factors in making this happen is through ensuring better and greater access to information. Providing information in this way direct to healthcare professionals across Scotland means that they will be even better equipped to care and treat for people who have dementia and their carers.”
The Centre has been able to make "Dementia Now" available free of charge on the web thanks to a generous grant from the Scottish Government.
Professor June Andrews, Director of the Dementia Services Development Centre said: "Research undertaken by the University of Stirling has indicated that front line staff do not get enough training on this subject, and this is a good way of making information available at their fingertips."
The focus of the first edition is "Dignity and Dementia".
Eileen Richardson, who is the librarian for what is effectively the national library for dementia care, said: "We provide a daily information service on the phone and by email, so we know from enquiries which topics are of concern and interest. This bulletin will reflect those concerns and will be very useful for us in helping staff to find information on specific topics more easily."