Health and social care

Health and social care

Health and social care

Introduction

Our Covid-19 Action Fund provides grants for Churchill Fellows to run projects combating the effects of Covid-19 in all areas of society. Hundreds of pandemic projects nationwide are being run or assisted by Churchill Fellows, using the international expertise they gained during their Fellowships overseas. Here are the Action Fund recipients working on health and social care issues.

December 2020 awards

Chloe Reeves: advocating for people with long-term health conditions in social care reform

Chloe Reeves (CF 2018), from St Leonards-on-Sea, is Director of London Road Policy and Projects, a health and social care consultancy, and an associate of National Voices, the coalition of charities that advocates for people having more control of their health and care. During the pandemic, she worked with National Voices to launch Our Covid Voices, an online platform inviting members of the public to share their stories and experiences of health and social care, which are brought together in the report What We Need Now.

She will use her grant to support National Voices to develop and implement an influencing plan, sharing these stories, requests and recurring themes with policymakers and healthcare providers so that the people most affected by health and care reform are at the heart of it.

Chloe's Fellowship to Sweden and the Netherlands in 2018 explored third sector contribution to the Buurtzorg model of care.

Dorothy Smith: supporting students in recovery from addiction

Dorothy Smith (CF 2017) from Sedgefield in Durham is the CEO of Recovery Connections, a charity supporting people with experience of addiction into recovery.

She will use her grant to develop and launch a website to connect and encourage peer support among students who are recovering from addiction. The website will provide a platform for students to get information, connect with others through a chatroom and be signposted to specialist advice and support services. In this way, they will not have to go through recovery alone. Dorothy hopes that this platform will raise awareness of the need to provide recovering students with increased and more visible support across UK campuses, in order to reduce stigma, meet the needs of this group and prevent relapse.

Dorothy's Fellowship to Czechia and the USA in 2017 explored collegiate recovery programmes.

Kerry Wykes: supporting the wellbeing of healthcare workers

Kerry Wykes (CF 2014), an emergency nurse by background, now works as Assistant Professor in Emergency Care for Coventry University. She will use her grant to launch a series of online workshops for healthcare workers to explore their experiences of Covid-19 through the arts, in conjunction with China Plate Theatre.

Each workshop will be open to ten participants to share their experiences with each other in order to encourage compassion and self-care, and will inspire an artistic output that will be exhibited online, to reach much larger numbers. Kerry has already run a pilot project which was very well-received and allowed a number of healthcare workers to feel that their voices were heard. She plans to publish the research from her project to promote understanding of healthcare worker experiences as well as to show the benefit of the arts, particularly at a time when arts organisations are under threat.

Kerry's Fellowship to Bangladesh in 2014 explored domestic abuse services and one of her findings was how the arts can be used to tackle sensitive subjects. It was supported by The Burdett Trust for Nursing.

Leah Macaden: providing specialised Covid-19 training for care-home workers

Leah Macaden (CF 2019) from Inverness in Scotland is Senior Lecturer in Nursing at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI). Leah has expertise in leading dementia nurse education initiatives for pre-registration nurse education and has developed Being Dementia Smart (2013) and Dementia Enhanced Education to Promote Excellence (DEEPE) (2017).

She will use her grant to develop a new project called Training of Trainers (TOT) Programme: Covid-19 Dementia Education for Care Homes (CODECH). Leah will work with another Churchill Fellow, Ruth Mantle, and colleagues in nurse education and educational technology at UHI to develop a tailored online dementia training programme for care-home workers in the context of the pandemic. The programme will include three web-based workbooks and virtual interactive sessions. CODECH will train 20 care-home workers working with a Care Home Group as trainers themselves, who will then cascade the training to the rest of their staff to provide dementia care tailored to the context of the Covid-19 crisis. The project hopes to boost morale amongst staff, who will be better trained and equipped for dealing with the changing demands of the pandemic.

Leah's Fellowship to the USA in 2019 explored models of dementia nurse education and training and was supported by The Burdett Trust for Nursing.

Nicholas Ambler: building resilience amongst intensive care staff

Nicholas Ambler (CF 1993) from Bristol is a clinical psychologist at North Bristol NHS Trust, which is home to one of the largest ICUs in the UK.

He will use his grant to launch a recuperation strategy for ICU staff based on the framework for resilience described by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. The strategy will be co-produced with ICU staff and will involve training a lead in each of the four ICU wards, as well as creating a feedback system for patient recovery stories, known to be cherished by the staff who had earlier looked after them. Nick hopes that the strategy will build staff resilience and prevent burnout. He will share the learning with frontline healthcare workers elsewhere to help them recuperate from this exceptionally intense period.

Nicholas's Churchill Fellowship to the USA in 1993 explored the care of complex pain and trauma.

June 2020 awards

Ceinwen Giles: supporting young adults with cancer

Ceinwen Giles (CF 2013) from south-east London is Co-Director of Shine Cancer Support, a patient-led UK charity that supports adults in their 20s, 30s and 40s who have experienced a cancer diagnosis. During the pandemic they have adapted some of their services online, setting up video groups and online workshops, despite experiencing a dramatic fall in income due to fundraising events being cancelled.

Ceinwen will use her grant to grow this online support and develop peer-to-peer services that support young adults with cancer through the pandemic and its aftermath. A recent survey by her charity revealed that 56% of cancer patients feel socially isolated from others, 36% have experienced symptoms of depression more frequently, and 60% are experiencing anxiety more often than before lockdown. Ceinwen will pilot the development of small online groups of up to eight young adults with cancer to meet on a regular basis and support each other. She aims to create a minimum of eight groups by November 2020, including specific groups for young adults who are newly diagnosed, those from minority backgrounds and those with incurable cancer. Further expansion is planned for next year. She will document the lessons learnt through these groups, to share them with the wider cancer community.

Ceinwen's Fellowship explored innovative support to young adult cancer survivors in the USA and Canada.

E.A. Draffan: enhancing communication between healthcare workers and their patients

E.A. Draffan (CF 1995) from Pulborough in West Sussex is a speech and language therapist. She will use her grant to enhance the development of an app she has helped to create, which enables health and social care workers to communicate with patients who have difficulty communicating.

The app, called Boardbuilder, involves the use of charts, symbols and pictographic images, which the patient can select in order to communicate with their carer. The app is freely available to be used by anyone across the UK, but it currently doesn't allow personalisation for specific users and it lacks appropriate healthcare vocabulary – including images relating to Covid-19, which need to be captured. E.A. and her colleagues will enhance and expand the app so that it can become personalised, allowing charts for specific users to be saved and exported. They will develop a simple symbol creation tool, to allow health and care workers to rapidly add and adapt suitable images or graphics to expand communication. And they will expand the symbols and images available to include Covid-19 health-related issues.

E.A.'s Fellowship to the USA in 1995 explored assistive technologies for training in literacy skills.

Sara Dunn: supporting unpaid carers during Covid-19

Digital inclusion consultant Sara Dunn (CF 2001) from Dorchester in Dorset is the founder of CuppaCare, a mobile app and micro-learning platform for care workers.

She will use her grant to develop the app so that it provides a Covid-19 survival pack, available free of charge for unpaid carers. The pack will provide free guidance designed specifically for carers and presented in an accessible format. Sara will develop the pack in consultation with carers' organisations and with her own professional networks, and will promote the app through social media.

Sara's Churchill Fellowship to Australia and New Zealand in 2001 explored best practice in providing mental health information.

Tim Robbins: treating high-risk Covid-19 patients with diabetes

Doctor Tim Robbins (CF 2016) from Weston under Wetherley in Warwickshire will use his grant to monitor the health and wellbeing of Covid-19 patients from deprived communities who have diabetes. Tim has led work to issue digital glucose sensors for in-patients with Covid-19 and diabetes within his NHS Trust, allowing much closer monitoring than the usual finger-prick tests, so that they can be treated with the right healthcare support.

So far, this work has only been possible in hospital settings but Tim will use the grant to expand it into hard-to-reach and deprived high-risk populations after hospital discharge. This is needed because the mental and physical impacts of Covid-19 will last longer in such populations and may widen already existing health inequalities. Tim will engage further with these communities, focusing not only on blood-sugar control but also on mental health needs. He will develop and demonstrate the effectiveness of such a model via his NHS Trust – University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust – with the aim that it could be rolled out more widely.

Tim’s Fellowship to the USA in 2016 explored patient-centred digital health and personalised care.

December 2020 awards

Chloe Reeves: advocating for people with long-term health conditions in social care reform

Chloe Reeves (CF 2018), from St Leonards-on-Sea, is Director of London Road Policy and Projects, a health and social care consultancy, and an associate of National Voices, the coalition of charities that advocates for people having more control of their health and care. During the pandemic, she worked with National Voices to launch Our Covid Voices, an online platform inviting members of the public to share their stories and experiences of health and social care, which are brought together in the report What We Need Now.

She will use her grant to support National Voices to develop and implement an influencing plan, sharing these stories, requests and recurring themes with policymakers and healthcare providers so that the people most affected by health and care reform are at the heart of it.

Chloe's Fellowship to Sweden and the Netherlands in 2018 explored third sector contribution to the Buurtzorg model of care.

Dorothy Smith: supporting students in recovery from addiction

Dorothy Smith (CF 2017) from Sedgefield in Durham is the CEO of Recovery Connections, a charity supporting people with experience of addiction into recovery.

She will use her grant to develop and launch a website to connect and encourage peer support among students who are recovering from addiction. The website will provide a platform for students to get information, connect with others through a chatroom and be signposted to specialist advice and support services. In this way, they will not have to go through recovery alone. Dorothy hopes that this platform will raise awareness of the need to provide recovering students with increased and more visible support across UK campuses, in order to reduce stigma, meet the needs of this group and prevent relapse.

Dorothy's Fellowship to Czechia and the USA in 2017 explored collegiate recovery programmes.

Kerry Wykes: supporting the wellbeing of healthcare workers

Kerry Wykes (CF 2014), an emergency nurse by background, now works as Assistant Professor in Emergency Care for Coventry University. She will use her grant to launch a series of online workshops for healthcare workers to explore their experiences of Covid-19 through the arts, in conjunction with China Plate Theatre.

Each workshop will be open to ten participants to share their experiences with each other in order to encourage compassion and self-care, and will inspire an artistic output that will be exhibited online, to reach much larger numbers. Kerry has already run a pilot project which was very well-received and allowed a number of healthcare workers to feel that their voices were heard. She plans to publish the research from her project to promote understanding of healthcare worker experiences as well as to show the benefit of the arts, particularly at a time when arts organisations are under threat.

Kerry's Fellowship to Bangladesh in 2014 explored domestic abuse services and one of her findings was how the arts can be used to tackle sensitive subjects. It was supported by The Burdett Trust for Nursing.

Leah Macaden: providing specialised Covid-19 training for care-home workers

Leah Macaden (CF 2019) from Inverness in Scotland is Senior Lecturer in Nursing at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI). Leah has expertise in leading dementia nurse education initiatives for pre-registration nurse education and has developed Being Dementia Smart (2013) and Dementia Enhanced Education to Promote Excellence (DEEPE) (2017).

She will use her grant to develop a new project called Training of Trainers (TOT) Programme: Covid-19 Dementia Education for Care Homes (CODECH). Leah will work with another Churchill Fellow, Ruth Mantle, and colleagues in nurse education and educational technology at UHI to develop a tailored online dementia training programme for care-home workers in the context of the pandemic. The programme will include three web-based workbooks and virtual interactive sessions. CODECH will train 20 care-home workers working with a Care Home Group as trainers themselves, who will then cascade the training to the rest of their staff to provide dementia care tailored to the context of the Covid-19 crisis. The project hopes to boost morale amongst staff, who will be better trained and equipped for dealing with the changing demands of the pandemic.

Leah's Fellowship to the USA in 2019 explored models of dementia nurse education and training and was supported by The Burdett Trust for Nursing.

Nicholas Ambler: building resilience amongst intensive care staff

Nicholas Ambler (CF 1993) from Bristol is a clinical psychologist at North Bristol NHS Trust, which is home to one of the largest ICUs in the UK.

He will use his grant to launch a recuperation strategy for ICU staff based on the framework for resilience described by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. The strategy will be co-produced with ICU staff and will involve training a lead in each of the four ICU wards, as well as creating a feedback system for patient recovery stories, known to be cherished by the staff who had earlier looked after them. Nick hopes that the strategy will build staff resilience and prevent burnout. He will share the learning with frontline healthcare workers elsewhere to help them recuperate from this exceptionally intense period.

Nicholas's Churchill Fellowship to the USA in 1993 explored the care of complex pain and trauma.

June 2020 awards

Ceinwen Giles: supporting young adults with cancer

Ceinwen Giles (CF 2013) from south-east London is Co-Director of Shine Cancer Support, a patient-led UK charity that supports adults in their 20s, 30s and 40s who have experienced a cancer diagnosis. During the pandemic they have adapted some of their services online, setting up video groups and online workshops, despite experiencing a dramatic fall in income due to fundraising events being cancelled.

Ceinwen will use her grant to grow this online support and develop peer-to-peer services that support young adults with cancer through the pandemic and its aftermath. A recent survey by her charity revealed that 56% of cancer patients feel socially isolated from others, 36% have experienced symptoms of depression more frequently, and 60% are experiencing anxiety more often than before lockdown. Ceinwen will pilot the development of small online groups of up to eight young adults with cancer to meet on a regular basis and support each other. She aims to create a minimum of eight groups by November 2020, including specific groups for young adults who are newly diagnosed, those from minority backgrounds and those with incurable cancer. Further expansion is planned for next year. She will document the lessons learnt through these groups, to share them with the wider cancer community.

Ceinwen's Fellowship explored innovative support to young adult cancer survivors in the USA and Canada.

E.A. Draffan: enhancing communication between healthcare workers and their patients

E.A. Draffan (CF 1995) from Pulborough in West Sussex is a speech and language therapist. She will use her grant to enhance the development of an app she has helped to create, which enables health and social care workers to communicate with patients who have difficulty communicating.

The app, called Boardbuilder, involves the use of charts, symbols and pictographic images, which the patient can select in order to communicate with their carer. The app is freely available to be used by anyone across the UK, but it currently doesn't allow personalisation for specific users and it lacks appropriate healthcare vocabulary – including images relating to Covid-19, which need to be captured. E.A. and her colleagues will enhance and expand the app so that it can become personalised, allowing charts for specific users to be saved and exported. They will develop a simple symbol creation tool, to allow health and care workers to rapidly add and adapt suitable images or graphics to expand communication. And they will expand the symbols and images available to include Covid-19 health-related issues.

E.A.'s Fellowship to the USA in 1995 explored assistive technologies for training in literacy skills.

Sara Dunn: supporting unpaid carers during Covid-19

Digital inclusion consultant Sara Dunn (CF 2001) from Dorchester in Dorset is the founder of CuppaCare, a mobile app and micro-learning platform for care workers.

She will use her grant to develop the app so that it provides a Covid-19 survival pack, available free of charge for unpaid carers. The pack will provide free guidance designed specifically for carers and presented in an accessible format. Sara will develop the pack in consultation with carers' organisations and with her own professional networks, and will promote the app through social media.

Sara's Churchill Fellowship to Australia and New Zealand in 2001 explored best practice in providing mental health information.

Tim Robbins: treating high-risk Covid-19 patients with diabetes

Doctor Tim Robbins (CF 2016) from Weston under Wetherley in Warwickshire will use his grant to monitor the health and wellbeing of Covid-19 patients from deprived communities who have diabetes. Tim has led work to issue digital glucose sensors for in-patients with Covid-19 and diabetes within his NHS Trust, allowing much closer monitoring than the usual finger-prick tests, so that they can be treated with the right healthcare support.

So far, this work has only been possible in hospital settings but Tim will use the grant to expand it into hard-to-reach and deprived high-risk populations after hospital discharge. This is needed because the mental and physical impacts of Covid-19 will last longer in such populations and may widen already existing health inequalities. Tim will engage further with these communities, focusing not only on blood-sugar control but also on mental health needs. He will develop and demonstrate the effectiveness of such a model via his NHS Trust – University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust – with the aim that it could be rolled out more widely.

Tim’s Fellowship to the USA in 2016 explored patient-centred digital health and personalised care.