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The University of Southampton
Health Sciences


Dear Colleagues,

As we move towards the end of the academic year, this newsletter is a good opportunity to reflect on the successes and good news stories of the Faculty both internally and externally. One of the pieces of feedback I have received is that you would like to hear more about our achievements so we have tried to re-orientate the Newsletter to provide this.  As ever we would be grateful for feedback on whether it is meeting your needs for more and better communication.

It has been an exceptionally full academic year.  This time last year we were busy working on the ‘big move' between building 67 and 45, when we established our two Academic Units and co-located everyone into what are now our Directorates.  It is hard to believe that a year on we are now so settled in our new configuration and mostly we would not turn the clock back.  I am looking forward to the upgrading work that we will be doing to the Centre for Innovation and Leadership over the summer - a new carpet, and other much needed improvement, is on its way you will be pleased to hear.

The Centre for Innovation and Leadership and our Professional Preparation Unit, have made huge strides forward, it has been very good to watch their developing identities and how they are becoming established within the University under the leadership of Steve Tee and Kathy Owens.  The next step is for each unit to have a fully developed plan for delivering the Faculty strategy.  I look forward to thinking about this more on our Staff Awayday on 25 July at the De Vere Grand Harbour Hotel.  I will be reviewing the progress we have made against our strategy and plan and inviting you to input on how we now build on the momentum of the last year.  It was really good to reflect on our progress recently, we have met most of the targets we set ourselves particularly around the shift in student profile we have set as our direction, beginning to diversify income streams, build ourselves as a Faculty of enterprise and push on with our plans for REF 2014 and growing our research.  Next year will be about accelerating our pace in all of this so your thoughts and input will be really valuable.  I look forward to seeing you at the De Vere and your help in thinking about how to build momentum in line with the University's ambition to be among the global top 50 universities.

As you are all aware this is Southampton's 60th Year and the 60@60 campaign celebrating our achievements is in full swing, full details can be found by clicking on the link.  Health Sciences is well represented among these as you know. In addition the University is celebrating 20 years since introducing the first educational training programme for Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioners (ANNPs) in the UK led by Susan Smith and we will be marking 30 years of the Bachelor of Nursing Programme at Southampton in the Spring.  Further details will follow on this.

I was delighted to hear that Teresa Job and Corinne Hutt-Greenyer have been awarded a Vice Chancellor's Teaching Award for the Occupational Therapy Community Engagement Project and Maria Stokes has been awarded the Post Graduate Research Supervision Award, we look forward to seeing Teresa, Corrine and Maria receive their awards at graduation on Friday.  Also that Vice Chancellor's awards for exceptional contribution and effort have been awarded to Martin Warner and Diane Medforth (Individual Awards) and the Faculty of Health Sciences Team: Julie Cullen; Mary Foss and Mary Gobbi (Team Award).  

Congratulations to them all.

We have been interviewing for new Academic Staff of the Faculty and conditional offers have been made in the following areas:

Mental Health

Health Care Scientists


Neonatal Nursing

Lead for BSc Systems Policy & Analysis

Doing Away with doctors?

Peter Griffiths' presented a superb Inaugural Lecture on 29 June entitled ‘Doing away with Doctors?', Peter used his lecture as an opportunity for him to draw on his research into the healthcare workforce and explore the future for the nursing profession in a changing health system. The title, based on a headline from a report in the Guardian Newspaper in 1995, is an extreme articulation of a widely held belief that nurses can replace doctors in many areas of practice.  Peter, being the true scientist that he is, led us through where there is evidence to support such an assumption, but also where the evidence doesn't support claims of this kind.  He ended the lecture with the thought provoking challenge that workforce changes particularly in areas where there has been substitution of professionals with little or no training for nurses, as in the case of introducing health care support workers, are dangerous experiments where there is evidence to suggest that there could be mortality outcomes that would be deemed completely unacceptable if it involved the introduction of a new drug treatment without evidence from carefully conducted clinical trials. Yet, in the case of workforce, such changes are introduced because they seem on the surface to be a good thing.  Wise words indeed as we anticipate the publication of the Francis Inquiry into Mid Staffordshire NHS trust in the autumn. The lecture was attended by many colleagues from all over the country including Sally Brearley Chair of the Nursing and Care quality Forum. Well done to Peter on such a successful and engaging event.

Nursing and Care Quality Forum

You may or may not be aware that I have been working as a member of the Prime Minister's nursing and Care quality Forum as an newly appointed independent body we met with David Cameron at 10 downing Street in April where we were asked to offer some initial recommendations on how to address the issues of quality in nursing and care within 5 weeks, ahead of a longer period of more detailed work. The Forum focused around key themes - leadership; culture and values; involvement and responding to feedback; and time to care. Across all of these themes we considered education, training, knowledge and skills needs of staff, and also considered care across all care settings.  The work of the Forum can be seen on here.

We will now continue our work to identify and share best practice in these and related areas, and will continue to look at recommendations for improvement. We want to involve a wide range of people in this on-going work to help shape our advice and to share best practice. Over the summer examples of best practice are being sought, with a view to looking at the case for introducing the best of these rapidly across the health system.   I have arranged a meeting for Staff and Students on Friday 27 July at 9.30am to be held in Room 1003, Building 67, to talk about the work of the forum and hear your ideas so that I can feed these in, I hope to see you all there.

Staff Development week

A range of activities have been scheduled for Staff Development week and I look forward to seeing at them, more details can be found by clicking on the link.

If you haven't already done so please sign up to attend the All staff Away day at the DeVere - it will be a great opportunity to network with each other, update yourself on Faculties activities through the market place and contribute to our planning for next year.

Finally and most importantly I would like to thank you for all your hard work and effort over the year; I hope you have opportunity to enjoy a well-deserved rest over the summer.


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