On 8th July a group of 33 first year undergraduate nursing students attended a dementia themed workshop, led by Dr Michelle Heward from the Ageing and Dementia Research Centre (ADRC), to gain insight into the lived experience of dementia. The day included an Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friends session and simulation activities from the Dementia Education And Learning Through Simulation 2 (DEALTS2) programme, including the A Walk Through Dementia virtual reality app.
DEALTS2 uses an experiential learning approach to put trainees into the ‘shoes of a person with dementia’ to gain an insight into how the condition impacts on the person. In 2017, Health Education England commissioned the ADRC team to replace their original DEALTS programme with a new and improved version aligned to the learning outcomes of the national Dementia Training Standards Framework. Our research demonstrates that the training programme is being used nationally in acute care settings and has effectively increased trainer knowledge of dementia and confidence to utilise innovative training approaches (Heward et al., 2021). On the day it was great to see the students engaging positively with the innovative training approaches to gain a unique understanding of the lived experience of dementia.
The dementia day is part of a simulation programme being delivered by the Clinical Skills Nursing team at Bournemouth University. The simulation programme has been designed and created in response to a current shortage of nursing placements due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The placement has allowed the students access to varying specialist nurses and healthcare providers, from Nutrition Nurse specialists to Advanced Clinical Practitioner nurses working within the Air ambulance service, giving the students access that they may not have encountered within their practice.
VOICE is an exciting new digital platform for coordinating and supporting public involvement in research. BU has been awarded a licence of one year to trial and develop content on the platform.
We have used this opportunity to bring together the different teams working in BU to coordinate public involvement in research under the banner of VOICE@BU
- Mel Hughes, Pete Atkins and Angela Warren from the BU PIER Partnership
- Helen Allen and Louise Ward from BUCRU and the NIHR Research Design Service South West (RDS SW)
- Colleagues from the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences based research centres e.g. ADRC
- Colleagues from BU Research Development & Support (RDS) Team (for coordinating public engagement)
On 11th and 18th May we ran two information events to explain VOICE@BU in more detail and provided a demonstration. One event for researchers, you can view the recording here and one event for members of the public and community organisations. Both events were well attended and both researchers and public contributors were keen to be involved.
Evidence shows that involving the public in the development of research at all stages of the research cycle ensures that research is relevant, participant friendly, ethically sound and improves outcomes for patients and service users. We are committed to increasing the range of voices that help shape and inform health and social care research at BU.
To summarise, researchers can:
- Easily and quickly register for VOICE
- Submit an opportunity request to involve members of the public in their research
- Use the digital tools the platform offers to involve members of the public in research
- Promote workshops/focus groups
- Facilitate online discussions
- Promote opportunities for the public to join steering groups
- Online surveys & polls
- Set timed challenges and encourage ideas from the community
- Set up a closed group to communicate, share documents and support an established public involvement group
- Communicate with VOICE members regarding specific opportunities
- Access and share support and learning resources (From June) to help patient and public involvement and engagement activities
Please do register with VOICE and explore what is available and email us: firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how we can help get the public involved in your research and/or promote an event/opportunity to VOICE members.