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University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust

BU-UHD partnership welcomes new Associate Professor of Nursing Practice

The Bournemouth University (BU) – University Hospitals Dorset (UHD) partnership has appointed its first Associate Professor of Nursing Practice, Dr Lindsay Welch, in a move that will strengthen the collaborative working.

Dr Welch started her new role in November and will be focusing on enabling clinicians to develop research through access to education, research awards and research infrastructure. She brings with her extensive research experience gained from working as a respiratory nurse in acute, primary and community lead settings and continues to be engaged in respiratory nursing and research.

Dr Welch joins the partnership from Health Innovation Wessex where she worked as a programme manager while also being a nurse lecturer and researcher at the University of Southampton.

Speaking about her new role, Dr Welch said: “I am passionate about developing nurses and allied healthcare professionals careers and maximising the research opportunities available through the BU-UHD partnership. To have a genuine clinical academic post within the NHS is unique and a rare opportunity. It really is a dream position to have a role that allows me to work with, support and develop colleagues and ultimately improve patient outcomes and experiences and I’m really excited to get started.”

Professor Anand Pandyan, Executive Dean for the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences at BU, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Dr Welch to our first clinical academic appointment. This appointment marks an important milestone for the BU-UHD partnership as we work improve the lives of people in Dorset and enhance the research and education provision in our organisations.”

Professor Paula Shobbrook, Chief Nursing Officer at University Hospitals Dorset said: “The expertise and underpinning knowledge Dr Welch brings will support our nursing staff to develop their clinical practice, focus on continuous improvement and excellent patient care.  We are ambitious in our BU-UHD partnership, and these posts help bring our joint vision to reality.”

Lindsay Welch

Celebrating three years of the BU-UHD partnership

The partnership between Bournemouth University and University Hospitals Dorset has reached another milestone and is benefiting staff, students, patients and the people of Dorset.

Over the last year, both organisations have worked together to host successful public health and research events, have led programmes to develop staff and enabled new research studies to be launched and published.  

The number of joint research studies continues to increase, each one bringing new insights into understanding our health and shedding new light on the effectiveness of different treatments. This included a study into how different parts of the brain interact with each other after a cold water dip, helping to explain why people often feel more upbeat and alert after swimming outside or taking cold baths. 

The sold out, public health talk with Professor Sir Jonathan Van Tam was a great success as was two joint research-focused events.  Planning has begun already for a further research conference in 2024 and an expanding series of joint health talks. 

Each year many of our staff both clinical and non clinical undertake further study at BU and many teams across the hospitals host BU students on placements. Some 1,796 BU students benefited from real life, hands-on experience in the workplace through placements over the last year, helping us deliver services in a range of departments including pathology, physiotherapy and communications. We are learning from BU students at UHD in long placements / internships and hope to roll out these internships to more departments next year.

Dr Ruth Williamson, consultant radiologist and visiting professor for Bournemouth University, said: "The vision for our partnership was to work together across all four faculties of the university. A huge thank you to everyone who has given their time energy and intellect to bring our two organisations closer together to benefit patients and residents in Dorset and beyond."

Professor Anand Pandyan, Executive Dean for the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences at BU, added: “As our partnership matures it has been uplifting see the impact of the work directly benefiting the people of Dorset and beyond and the workforce within the region. I would also like to personally thank the staff at UHD for enriching the training our students and for the contributing to research supervision.”

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Play specialists aiming to take the worry out of a hospital visit

Children attending Poole Hospital for an appointment or a visit are invited to bring along their teddy bear for a free health check-up next week

On Monday and Tuesday, hospital play specialists will be on hand to ensure their fuzzy friends are in tip top condition as part of activities to mark National Play in Hospital Week, starting on 9 October.

Play specialists are specially trained staff who help children to understand what can be a daunting and worrying experience, using play to take away the worry and fear.

img 20231005 120312“The play specialist role prepares children for what can be a scary or uncomfortable time – either just coming into hospital or a procedure or test,” explains play specialist Debbie Daniels, pictured on the right.

“We can even distract them while they’re having the procedure, using play as a tool.”

Any child can bring their favourite soft toy to the dome area of the hospital on Monday and Tuesday next week from 9am-4pm to meet members of the play specialist team. The team is particularly keen to meet any children who might be anxious about having to come to hospital as a patient.

Children will each be given a doctor’s bag to keep, which includes bandages, plasters, a face mask, surgical hat, staff ID badge, syringe, ‘medicine’ bottle, health chart and patient wristband.

Youngsters will also be able to try out one of the latest tools available to play specialists – virtual reality goggles. These goggles can transport children to beaches, pirate ships and dinosaur-filled lands as part of the distraction technique.

“We want to try to normalise the hospital experience so it’s less scary, by explaining in a child-friendly way what happens in a hospital, what is going to happen to them, the equipment involved and just talk through the whole journey,” continued Debbie.

“We have children that are crying when they come in and crying when they leave because they don’t want to go home!

“We use soft toys on the children’s unit to demonstrate things like dressings, casts and blood tests, and we’re looking forward to meeting many more teddies and other soft toys, together with their owners, on Monday and Tuesday next week.

“We want to show as many children as possible, particularly those who may be anxious about the idea of having to come into hospital as a patient, that it isn’t as scary as they may think.”

For more information on the play specialist service at University Hospitals Dorset click here.

Pictured: Allysha Pell, trainee play specialist (left) and Debbie Daniels, play specialist, with children's unit staff nurse Kev O'Brien, are keen to meet as many children as possible at the teddy bear clinics.

Trust AMM and health talk very well attended

Around 150 people joined University Hospitals Dorset’s Annual Members’ Meeting (AMM) in October.

The event, which was held at Bournemouth University and also live streamed, included presentations from chief executive, Siobhan Harrington, and chief finance officer, Pete Papworth, on the 2022/23 Annual Report and Accounts, and 2023/24 Forward Plan. Sharon Collett, lead governor, also gave a presentation on the Council of Governors and their work during 2022/23. 

Members of the public asked the presenters questions in person and were also encouraged to send questions in prior to the event. 

After the AMM, consultant surgeon Mr. Parkash Ramchandani gave a fascinating health talk on oral and maxillofacial/head and neck surgery. 

If you missed the event, you can watch it here and can see the trust’s trust’s Annual Report Summary is also available.

Join us for our Annual Members’ Meeting

Our next Annual Members’ Meeting (AMM) will be held at Bournemouth University, on Tuesday 17 October 2023 at 9.30am. 

The event, which will also be live streamed via Microsoft Teams, will include presentations from chief executive, Siobhan Harrington, and chief finance officer, Pete Papworth, on the 2022/23 Annual Report and Accounts, and 2023/24 Forward Plan. Sharon Collett, lead governor, will also give a presentation on the Council of Governors and their work during 2022/23.

The meeting will be held in Room K101, Kimmeridge House, Talbot campus, Bournemouth University, Fern Barrow, Poole, BH12 5BB.  Information stands will be available from 9.00am and light refreshments will also be provided. There will be free parking.

Booking is required to reserve your parking space. Any information regarding food allergies should be given when booking your place. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 0300 019 8723 with names and contact details of who would like to attend.

If you would like to submit a question at the AMM, please also send this to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 0300 019 8723 by Friday 13 October. Questions submitted in advance will be prioritised at the meeting.

We encourage you to stay for the understanding health talk on Oral and Maxillofacial/Head and Neck Surgery presented by Mr. Parkash Ramchandani, which will immediately follow the AMM.

To view the minutes of the Annual Members’ Meeting 2022 please click here

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