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Posted on Jan 28 2022 by Fiona Bailey

Two psychologists who have just started a research secondment have spoken of their delight at being able to dedicate two days a week in the research department.

Based within the Research and Innovation (R&I) Centre, Consultant Clinical Psychologists and Clinical Research Fellows, Dr Inga Stewart and Dr Charlotte Staniforth, are now dedicating two days a week to their own research projects. The rest of their week is spent doing their day job, which Inga has said has given her working week real variety.

She said: “Being able to combine research with a job I already loved doing has injected new interest into what I do. The research secondments were open to all clinicians and applying was one of the best things I could have done.”

Charlotte, who is using her research hours to work on developing a trauma informed sexual health tool, said: “Being able to break up my week and combining my day job with my research work has completely rejuvenated me.

“I am incredibly passionate about the tool I’m working hard on, and I’m hopeful that once it’s completed it will help to identify appropriate preventative and treatment interventions to reduce poor sexual health outcomes and vulnerability to sexual exploitation for adolescent inpatients.

 “The support I am receiving from the R&I team has been incredible and the secondment is a powerful tool as it’s providing me with tacit knowledge and experience which will also benefit my practical work.”

Inga is also working on a toolkit, but the aim of her project is to help care staff become better at involving people with dementia in writing their own care plans.

Inga said: “People living with dementia and their carers can often find themselves side-lined. Being in hospital can also mean that a person can become isolated from their support networks.  Needing a period of care in hospital when also living with dementia can make a person even more vulnerable to not being heard.

“Co-production has become an important part of people’s care and even government guidelines recommend that people are involved in their own care. However, there is little help available on how to do this well. Therefore, co-producing care plans can feel tricky, particularly when working with people living with dementia.

“I’m hopeful that my toolkit will help give a voice to people with dementia and their carers who can act as partners in care, and will make sure this research programme really makes a difference for people affected by dementia who need a period of hospital care.”