School of Health & Social Care PhD researcher attends the European Healthcare Management Association conference

Elizabeth Roberts, a PhD student researcher with the School of Health & Social Care, was awarded support from the

All smiles as the conference progressed!

PGR Development Scheme to attend the 2013 European Healthcare Management Association conference in Milan 26-28th June to present the preliminary findings of her research into barriers, enablers and opportunities for new and different easy of working in dysphagia care.

Elizabeth said: “It was quite daunting to think about presenting my findings at first, because so many delegates at the conference were leading the way in thinking about health care policy in Europe, however, I really enjoyed networking with other research students, and talking about my research to people familiar with the challenges we face, but unfamiliar with the novel way I am approaching the issue. It really made me think hard about my key points and message!”

My research explores, using grounded theory methods, the barriers, enablers and opportunities for new and different ways of working in dysphagia care in stroke, with an emphasis on organisational and health policy factors. The core concept to emerge is the maintenance and/ or creation of explicit knowledge (that which can be codified and/ or taught to other staff groups) as tacit knowledge (expert skill/ expertise), in order to maintain control over the clinical area. The emerging model explores the factors causing this process, as well as the strategies employed and their consequences.

This award really helped me to fully appreciate the context within which my research can make an impact, as well as supercharged my motivation. The also ran a workshop on getting published in health policy research specifically for us PhD students, which was particularly timely.

The Abstract Book for the 2013 European Healthcare Management Association conference, along with Elizabeth’s abstract (page 149…!) is now available at: