Funded Travelling Fellowships for people involved in Nursing and Allied Health Professions (AHPs)

Published: 12 May 2016

Funded Travelling Fellowships for people involved in Nursing and Allied Health Professions (AHPs)

In 2017, The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (WCMT) will be investing around £1.3 million in British citizens, by awarding up to 150 Travelling Fellowships.

This will directly support British citizens who want to travel overseas to gain knowledge, experience and best practice to benefit others in their UK professions and communities, and society as a whole.

Travelling Fellowships will be awarded in the Nursing and Allied Health Professions category, and the application process is now open.

With the NHS under increasing pressure to find savings without compromising on patient experience, there is a real need for fresh perspectives on existing problems.

WCMT are seeking applications for projects that develop the role and contribution of nurses and AHPs in the delivery and leadership of an effective healthcare system in the UK, that puts patients first and makes best use of available resources. Those involved with the integration of health and social care, including projects focused on health promotion and disease prevention in all settings, are also encouraged to apply.

The Nursing and Allied Health Professions Fellowships are running as part of the first year of a partnership with the Burdett Trust for Nursing, with support from the Royal College of Nursing  and the FoNS Centre for Nursing Innovation.

In 1989, Kate Whiting travelled to the USA and Canada to visit hospitals and rehabilitation centres and  investigate support services for children and their families following a burn injury. Impressed with what she witnessed, on her return Kate started the process of setting up a ‘Back to School’ programme, using puppets to help provide child-friendly information to the peers of children returning to school after a burn injury. The programme has been used as a model for the development of many other school re-integration programmes across the UK. Recognising the need to provide long term support to families, with the opportunity for children and parents to share their experiences, Kate helped to set up a support group, Enzo’s Friends. The group provides regular age appropriate events, some of which focus on specific anxiety provoking activities, such as cooking and swimming.  There are regular newsletters, competitions, links with national burn camps and a website. The group is also involved in promoting accident prevention. Over 25 years on from her Fellowship, Kate remains committed to the continued improvement of occupational therapy to children with burn injuries.

Among those travelling this year, in this category, is

  • Justine Sweet, from Tadworth, who is Head of Audiology, ENT and Oral Services with Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. She will be going to the USA to look into improving care for people with hearing loss, tinnitus and dementia.
  • Nicola Meredith, a specialist immunisation nurse from Cardiff, who will be travelling to New Zealand to look into ways of improving the flu vaccine uptake in healthcare workers.

Successful applicants must demonstrate the commitment, the character and the tenacity to travel globally in pursuit of new and better ways of tackling a wide range of current challenges facing the UK, and upon their return work to transform and improve aspects of today’s society.

A travelling sabbatical for people with the drive, determination and desire to help others, can further their leadership and role model abilities.

Employees who are awarded Fellowships bring great benefits to their employers, not only in terms of the positive impact on their personal development, but also with the advantage of their enhanced knowledge, new ideas and examples of best practice that they bring back to the organisation.

Applications are judged purely on project merit, and these opportunities are available to all UK residents over the age of 18, regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability.

Successful applicants will receive an average Fellowship grant of over £6,000, covering return airfare, daily living costs, insurance and travel within the countries being visited, for approximately six weeks overseas.

Notes to Editors

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust was established shortly after Sir Winston’s death in 1965, as his national memorial and living legacy. Since then it has awarded over 5,250 Travelling Fellowships.

The application process for travel in 2017 is now open, and there are 14 varied categories in which people can apply.

Churchill’s beliefs and passions are still living on through the Fellows – who are remarkable individuals, representing a wide range of backgrounds, qualifications, interests and professions, but sharing the desire to do something for the improvement of individuals and communities in the UK.

The deadline for the 2017 applications is 5pm on Tuesday 20th September 2016.

In total 150 Fellowships were awarded in the UK in 2016, an investment of over £1.4 million. The Fellows are currently travelling to 52 countries between them, across 6 continents, carrying out a wide range of projects.

To maximise the impact of the Fellowships partnerships have been developed with other organisations, focused on specific areas of concern and relevance for the UK today. Lessons learnt from overseas travel are effectively coordinated and disseminated, and incorporated into best practice in the UK for the benefit of others in similar communities and professions.

The aim of the partnership with the Burdett Trust for Nursing is to improve the health and well-being of patients, a key element of the Nursing and Allied Health Professions category. The Burdett Trust makes grants in support of nurse-led projects, using its funds to empower nurses and make significant improvements to the patient care environment.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) represents nurses and nursing, promotes excellence in practice and shapes health policies. Through the partnership, the RCN will help disseminate best nursing practice and lessons learnt from Fellowships in the Nursing and Allied Health Professions category.

FoNS Centre for Nursing Innovation has an excellent reputation at the forefront of nursing and operates UK wide and across all healthcare settings. FoNS is dedicated to working with nurses and healthcare teams to develop and share innovative ways of improving practice. The goal is to provide care that is high quality, evidence-based and meets the needs of patients. The partnership with FoNS will help ensure that Churchill Fellows' findings are disseminated and implemented appropriately.