A Commemorative Scholarship has been announced in recognition of those who were affected during the 2007 C.diff outbreak at the Vale of Leven Hospital.
The Vale of Levin Inspiring Care Scholarship provides £25,000 for nurses. This will fund up to a total of five Scholarship projects that will re-engage nurses who have existing research skills to conduct small-scale projects or research related tasks. Many of these will lead to the development of other research funding applications. Candidates must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Candidates should have previous research experience. This could be through a Masters in Research, PhD, Clinical Doctorate or through comparable research experience.
- Candidates should be currently employed within the NHS or within a HEI in Scotland, and should be living in Scotland. A supporting NHS or a HEI should be prepared to administer and account for received funding.
- Candidates should be able to demonstrate current availability of time for research and should undertake the required fellowship or scholarship within one year of receiving the award.
A commemorative scholarship has been announced by Health Secretary Shona Robison during the Stepping Into The Future Event, hosted by the Chief Nursing Officer. This scholarship is in remembrance of all those who died during the C. diff outbreak at the Vale of Leven Hospital. It is hoped that this will lead to meaningful improvements in patient care, as a fitting legacy to those affected by the tragedy.
Improvements have been made since the 2007 Vale of Leven hospital outbreak, particularly in the field of infection prevention and control measures. However, more can be done to bring about a world class Scottish healthcare system.
This scholarship programme is in line with the recommendations put forward by the Vale of Leven Inquiry and will give nurses focused opportunities to look at what the recommendations would mean for their practice.
The nursing profession has grown and developed throughout the years and it is important that nurses are confident in becoming "nurses of tomorrow". Through this programme, nurses will be equipped with the necessary research evidence and skills that they can bring into the wider workforce. This will help to continually improve safety within the healthcare environment.
There are three scholarships available under the scholarship scheme which are as follows:
- Part-Time Research Fellowship: This fellowship is intended to fund part-time research fellowships with the intention of completing small research study. This could be a systematic review, a research priority setting consensus exercise, intervention development or a small feasibility or pilot study. Available funding is worth up to the equivalent of NHS Band 6 0.5 WTE for four months.
- Education and Travel Scholarship. This scholarship will provide funding for travel outside Scotland where there are opportunities to learn from others in areas raised within the VOLH Inquiry Report. This could help to answer specific questions that are based upon findings from the report. Funding is available up to a total of £2,000 in order to cover travel, accommodation and subsistence.
- Implementation Science Scholarship. This scholarship will fund studies where there are evidence based patient care orientated improvements, implemented at-scale and monitored using implementation/improvement science methodologies. Funding for up to four months is available up to the equivalent of NHS Band 6 0.5 WTE.
Those who are successful are expected to share their findings, learning and best practice both with their peers and across Scotland. This will be seen as a vital part of the award process. A dissemination event will be held during early 2018 which successful applicants must attend.
Interested parties should contact the funding provider directly for information regarding any restrictions that may apply.
The Vale of Leven Inspiring Care Scholarship is intended for nurses from both the acute and community sectors. Applicants should be currently registered with the UK Nursing and Midwifery Council and should be employed within the NHS or a HEI in Scotland. They should also be living in Scotland. Registered nurses who are living in Scotland but are not currently being employed by the NHS or an HEI could be considered if the supporting framework has been put into place before the application has been submitted.
The assessment criteria for this award is as follows:
- Person. The candidate should be able to provide evidence of a track record in applied research. Individuals who have previously delivered high quality smaller studies rather than lower quality larger scale studies will be given preference. Those with research experience in areas that are relevant to the Vale of Leven Inquiry recommendations will be given preference as will those who aim to make a difference in regards to direct patient care. Candidates can work in either the HEI or the NHS however preferences will be given to candidates who have a clinical component to their contract.
- Environment. In order to deliver a successful project or proposal, a challenging and supportive environment is of great importance. The candidate should be able to show that they have high level, strategic commitment to the scholarship from their NHS employer, senior manager and HEI line manager.
- Clinical or care issue/question being researched. The problem being researched should be of substantial value to the NHS in that it maximises the likelihood of on-going NHS support or financial support from external bodies. The problem should also be relevant to the recommendations of the Vale of Leven Inquiry, aiming to make a difference to direct patient care. Patients and families affected by Clostridum difficile Infection (CDI) could be involved in the process of reviewing and selecting proposals.
Match funding is not applicable to this scheme.
The Vale of Leven Inspiring Care Scholarship provides funding for the purpose of completing research into improving patient care.
The closing date for applications will be 5 January 2017.
When completing the application and CV, candidates should give information regarding their personal characteristics, including personal details, relevant research and a personal statement. Contact details and current employer should be included as should an outline of any relevant research that the applicant has completed. The personal statement should be 500 words and should discuss the skills and attributes that the candidate could bring to the award.
Candidates should also give information in regards to environment. They should discuss where the prospective research or scholarship activity will be conducted. If appropriate, then potential mentors should be suggested. The candidate should provide a signature from an HEI or NHS manager confirming that the completed application has been read and that the candidate will be supported.
Candidates should discuss the clinical issue at hand and, if considered appropriate, they should give a broad potential title or a few lines. They should give a 700 word summary of research interest, outlining potential activity. Within this summary, applicants should explain the context of their research in relation to the Vale of Leven Hospital (VOLH) Inquiry and recommendations and should outline any aims or objectives.
If appropriate, project plan and methods should be detailed. Those applying for Travel Scholarships could outline the knowledge that they hope to gather. Applicants should discuss the potential significance and benefits of their research or scholarship activity to the NHS. They should also give a detailed breakdown of requested costs.
In addition to this information, candidates should also include an up to date curriculum vitae.