Two prestigious RCBC awards for Bangor’s Institute for Health and Medical Research

BIHMR is delighted that Robert Goldsmith, NHS Physiotherapist based in Cardiff, and Patricia Masterson-Algar, a rehabilitation postgraduate researcher in Bangor University’s School of Healthcare Sciences, have both been successful in attracting Welsh Government RCBC Wales funding aimed at increasing collaboration and research capacity in nursing, midwifery and the allied health professions across Wales.

Robert was successful under the “First into Research” stream aimed at new comers to research or those who want to update their skills. Robert is keen to try and get a better understanding of how patients are make sense of their condition and is focusing on Sciatica. Robert comments that “I am curious about what people with sciatica believe is wrong with them, and how this affects their preferences of one type of treatment over another. If we can understand this from a patients’ perspective we might be able to offer better explanations. This is likely to help improve how effective exercise treatments are for patients across the UK.”

This award will enable Robert to complete a research project whilst continuing to treat patients within his NHS clinical role. Bringing research into the day-to-day realities of clinical practice is essential if we are to answer questions that are important and meaningful for patients. Robert is looking forward to starting the project and said “I chose to apply with Bangor University because it has an outstanding record of high quality healthcare research. Dr Nefyn Williams is an experienced researcher in the field of musculoskeletal conditions and I am also very grateful to Dr Fiona Wood from the PRIME centre for her support.”

Patricia was successful under the “Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship” stream. Her project, based in North Wales, will investigate peer support programmes (PSP) for young adults in families affected by a neurological condition. PSPs are those that use a peer setting where individuals learn by interacting with, observing and listening to peers in similar circumstances. At present, it is estimated more than 500,000 people in Wales are affected by a neurological condition. The Welsh Government is pushing towards a family-centred approach where the needs of everyone in these families are taken into account.

Describing the importance of the funding Patricia said “I am very happy about getting the fellowship because it will be a great way to continue my career as a rehabilitation researcher and be able to develop a new line of work within the Bangor Institute for Health and Medical Research (BIHMR) looking at peer support from an occupational therapy lens. I am aiming to use this research to produce evidence based recommendations that will improve the planning and delivery of PSPs.”  

Publication date: 14 June 2017