Wired reality: living in a networked world

English: The new Checkland Building on the Fal...

 

This is the inaugural lecture given by Professor Gillian Youngs, Brighton university. No flashing gadgetry, just a thoughtful analysis of how digitalisation has shifted us towards horizontal modes of communication and away from top down vertical ones. What this means for the ways organisations have traditionally worked – Gillian talks about universities but we are, in the UK, currently confronted by some critical issues in our health service – is a change of focus that allows for more collaborative cross-border working. For an industrial and commercial ethos that favours boundaried, competitive, intellectual silos, this is likely to be difficult. For those that need to share and open up to their consumer communities, it may be their salvation.

And as for us, the individual users of networked worlds? We need to think beyond the screen about our data, who has it, what we want them to have, and how to manage it. Our world is massively digital and connected, and it’s just the beginning of the Internet of Everything.

http://www.brighton.ac.uk/eventsonline/wired_reality.php?PageId=802

 

 

 

 

 

Spirit of Enquiry Conference, Dec 5th 2011

Spirit of Enquiry flyer imageSussex Partnership Research & Development directorate is holding its third Spirit of enquiry conference on December 5th this year.  Designed to complement our major showcase event in the Summer, this conference invites submissions from new researchers who are Trust staff and partners, Trust staff and partners supported by us to complete research towards Masters or Doctoral degrees, and Trust staff and partners who have conducted research-relevant audit.

Our keynote speakers this year are Professor Val Hall (University of Brighton) on the Research Design Service, Stephanie Goubet (University of Brighton) on statistical methodologies, and Dr Nicky Petty (University of Brighton) on Professional Doctorates. Following the success of last year’s Ethics panel and discussion, there will be a similar opportunity to talk with our panel, about methodology in research.  Natalie Lambert, a senior research fellow at University of Brighton, will be joining us for that session.

The flyer is out now, the submission guidelines for papers and posters will be out very soon, and the draft programme will be available from early November. So, are you coaxing an MA or MSc to completion? Got a Doctorate by the tail and reeling it in? Pinned down some elusive service data that raise interesting questions about practice? We want to know about it!

Keep an eye on @SussResCon,  filter #SoE11, for updates.

Sussex Partnership ‘Spirit of Enquiry’ conference

A&R welcome screenThe Sussex Partnership ‘Spirit of enquiry’ Audit & Research conference is a Trust-wide, multi-disciplinary event. Its primary aims are to show continuities between audit and research, to give new researchers an early experience of presentation, to expose delegates to information and opportunities for A&R development, and to encourage creative and innovative thinking across applied disciplines.

We were very pleased to have two keynote speakers representing different aspects of research and innovation. Dr Bob Brecher, Professor of Moral Philosophy at the university of Brighton and member of the South East Research Committee and the university’s ethics panel, gave a challenging talk about the workings of an ethics committee and then took part in a lively ethics panel. Rob Berry, Head of Innovation and Research at the South East Regional Health Authority, gave a presentation that put in context the research and audit activities of clinicians and delivered a clear message linking best practice to best research. We were also delighted to welcome two expert speakers, Ruth Chandler and Alice Fox. Ruth is coordinator of public involvement and chairs the lived experience advisory forum (LEAF) with Sussex Partnership. She encouraged us to think about the value of bringing in public and lived experience perspectives while acknowledging the difficulties this can present, particularly where there is cognitive impairment or substantial ill health. Alice presented a radically different perspective on research, coming from an arts background but working primarily with adults with learning disabilities alongside post graduate students. She showed us not only how this very different environment could offer opportunities for evaluative and collaborative research, but brought out the value of self generated theories and the opportunities involvement offers for the capacity to form something out of basic elements.

A&R exit image

Four local projects were presented by Renee Harvey (consultant psychologist), David Beattie and Natasha Thorburn (assistant psychologists),  reporting on the STEPPS & STAIRWAYS programmes,  Charlotte Wilcox  (STR worker, Assertive Outreach) on an evaluation of two early intervention studies in Australia and Sussex Partnership (with Dr Rick Fraser and Dr Kathy Greenwood),  Barbara Vincent  (Professional Lead in Nursing for OPMH) and Jane Shepherd (consultant psychologist) on an audit of the management of violence and aggression in people with dementia, and Tony Levitan and Dulcie McCormack (psychology doctoral trainees) on an audit of psycho-educational workshops held for low intensity IAPT workers in Brighton and Hove. You can download a copy of the programme, including posters, here.

The conference was supported by internal communications promotion and also via twitter using the channel #ARconf on our @SussResCon account.

A version of this report may also be found in an edition of the CLRN newsletter.

Sussex Partnership research conference

This was the Trust’s third R&D conference, a reflection of the key role research now plays in NHS activity and how recent this incorporation has been. Clinicians have always undertaken research and development, whether in response to highly focused problem solving for a specific issue or as a more speculative process out of which something entirely original was born. The difference now is that, rather than working alone with no formal structures by which to network for new skills and ideas, we are increasingly able to access the vast resources of university colleagues and they, in turn, are able to bring their theoretical understanding into clinical application.

Yesterday we heard from a speaker whose years of research into anxiety had nowhere to go because he was unable to access a clinical population. Links with our Trust have led to the formation of a highly productive group of clinicians and academics with an interest in the causes, mechanisms, and management of  the anxiety disorders that debilitate so many people.

There are now several groups like this and, with two universities on our doorstep ( facing each other across the A27 as it happens!), there is no shortage of intellectual and applied clinical thinking that can be brought to bear on psychological and bio-social problems. Dementia for instance. One of the Trust’s research themes is tackling aging and dementia but, until yesterday, people with learning disabilities had not been part of this. Once raised, lights went on around the room and the talk turned to assisted living, healthy aging, and technological support for anyone with dependency problems. Through this, we unearthed interest groups on each side of the road that had been unaware of each other and a productive liason seems likely.

Individuals too became innervated by the day’s focus and new ideas were tentatively put forward as possible projects. Some of those have very definite legs and will be followed up so watch this space! It seems that putting people in an enviroment where ideas and speculation are at the core of everyone’s thinking provides not just the inspiration to think creatively oneself but has the emergent effect of triggering that thinking without explicit reference.

And yes, I gave my presentation too. Not, as I’d thought, just before the main act but at the end when people are dazed and wondering how much more they can take in. Luckily, my talk was light on cogitation and heavy on entertainment, and the picture of the plate of raw liver seemed to engage the attention of anyone who’d drifted off!

So that’s that for another year. Next week it’s the staff awards when it appears that all the members of the research team have pretty much nominated each other! Well, we’re getting fed and given license to boogie so that will do me nicely. Dub, anyone?

Positive psychology, learning disabilities, and digital imaging

Developing a bid with a colleague centred on transforming behaviour management for people with challenging behaviour into rewarding and affirming strategies. Positive psychology shifts the focus from what’s wrong to what’s good and helps people to get more of that. Digital imaging is a tool for both recording progress and also delivering the positive feedback. Now all we need is the funding!

Outing SL researchers

Second Health by ICL A&EVery interesting meeting at Sussex uni this afternoon with academics and clinicians from Imperial College, Brighton uni, Sussex uni, Brighton & Sussex medical school and Sussex Partnership looking at using SL as a training platform for medical students. So many SL afficionados, so much other research going on, so few spring chickens doing it! Contrary to possible expectations, these SL researchers seemed to be the antithesis of the stereotypical young male gamer and came in at the older, female, rather sensible but highly creative end of the spectrum. Eat your heart out, WoW! Second Health by ICL HDU

Ah, now what…

I was just about to post about an upcoming meeting with the innovator behind a telehealth service for people with dementia when I realised that Dem Tigerpaw will not be a part of this research if it comes off. She won’t have a lot to do with another project bubbling under either, involving digital cameras and positive psychology. There are more potential SL related projects in the pipeline so she’s hardly going to become redundant but should she be compartmentalised I wonder.  I’m for giving Dem the role of mediator or ‘front woman’  for all the tech-based research I would like to report on. Let’s hope she doesn’t want a pay rise!