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Seminar to explore challenges facing the health sector

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Professor William Lauder
Professor William Lauder, head of Stirling’s School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, is confident the University of Stirling and University of the West of Scotland will play a major role in education and research following publication of the Francis report.

A ONE-day seminar is set to explore the challenges facing the health sector facing the recent publication of the Francis Report (the final report of the public inquiry into Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.)

The event is being hosted by the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) in collaboration with the University of Stirling - following the establishment of a formal partnership agreement in the field of health between both universities earlier this year.

The seminar – “Challenges in a post-Francis Era” - is taking place at UWS’s Hamilton Campus on Wednesday 1 May 2013, from 9.30 a.m. to 2.00 pm. It will see academics and health professionals from across Scotland in attendance.

The recently published Francis Report provided analysis of what contributed to the failings in care at the NHS Trust involved, examined the warning signs that existed; governance and culture; and the roles of different organisations and agencies. This one-day seminar will provide a forum for discussion on the challenges that the Francis Report has raised for the health sector.

The seminar will see presentations by Professor Paul Martin, UWS Interim Depute Principal, who will provide an overview of the Francis Inquiry; and Professor Robert Masterton and Fiona McQueen of NHS Ayrshire and Arran who will present on the "Challenges from an NHS Board Perspective".

This seminar will see professional regulation, the potential future of professions, and the current culture of healthcare being debated. Management responsibilities and the values that produce person centred care will also be addressed at this event. Delegates will explore the educational preparation critical to professional practice that demonstrates development of the core values inherent in care and compassion.

Professor Paul Martin said: “This seminar comes at a hugely important time for the health sector and will provide an important opportunity for health professionals and academics to come together to discuss the current challenges facing the health sector.

“The Francis Report highlights the need to ensure patient care is at the centre of everything that the health professional does and we hope this event will provide an important forum to discuss the issues that the report has raised.”

Professor William Lauder, head of Stirling’s School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, said: “The University of Stirling and University of the West of Scotland are academic leaders in quality improvement science. I’m confident both institutions will play a major role in education and research, with the ultimate aim of improving the experience of patients in healthcare settings, following publication of the Francis report.

“I hope this seminar will be well received by the health sector. I’m particularly pleased that one of Stirling’s lecturers, John Paley, who has done extensive research in the field of professional ethics, is one of the presenters.”

Anyone wanting more information regarding the event should visit

  • UWS established a formal agreement in health with University of Stirling earlier in the year. This ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ sees both universities working on international projects including the delivery of training and academic and research programmes in nursing and health. The partnership between UWS and Stirling is the strongest of its kind in this subject area in the Scottish university sector and cements both universities’ positions as leading international providers of health, nursing and midwifery education and research.
  • Part of the legacy of the Francis report, is that "people must come before numbers and it is the individual experiences that lie behind the statistics, benchmarks and action plans that really matter". The University’s Institute of Care & Practice Improvement, led by Professor Kevin Rooney and Professor Belinda Dewar is committed to playing a key role in the post-Francis era.  The Institute provides cutting edge and real world research, education and practice development focusing on care and practice improvement, thereby helping to ensure that patients receive healthcare in environments that are safe, effective, compassionate and person centred.
  • The publication of the Francis Report in February 2013 follows the public inquiry, chaired by Robert Francis QC, into the failings at Stafford Hospital. This public inquiry, which sat for more than a year between 2010 and 2011, taking evidence from more than 160 witnesses, was established after one of the biggest scandals in the history of the NHS. The report identified that there was a culture that put cost-cutting and target-chasing ahead of the quality of care. Examples included patients being so thirsty that they had to drink water from vases and receptionists left to decide which patients to treat in A&E. Nurses were not trained properly to use vital equipment, while inexperienced doctors were put in charge of critically ill patients. Data shows there were between 400 and 1,200 more deaths than would have been expected. The failings have led to scores of legal challenges from the families of patients. 

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