Funded Travelling Fellowships Seek Medical, Health and Care Workers

Published: 11 Jun 2015

Funded Travelling Fellowships Seek Medical, Health and Care Workers

In 2016, The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust will be investing over £1.34 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.

As part of our Medicine, Health and Patient care category, we are looking to fund nurses, care staff, therapists and others involved in this area, to travel overseas to look at best practice and innovative programmes. Upon return to the UK, the new ideas would be disseminated for the improvement of their hospital, organisation or community.

This is the third year of a joint three year partnerships with the Burdett Trust for Nursing to fund 10 Travelling Fellowships a year (2014-2016). We are also working with the Royal College of Nursing, and FoNS - Centre for Nursing Innovation to effectively coordinate and disseminate the key findings of these important Fellowship projects.

We are particularly interested in hearing from those involved with nursing and social care to improve care and respect for the dignity of the patient. This may include palliative care, leadership and team working projects to improve patient care, and covers hospitals, care homes, general practice and home care.

This category was introduced in response to the findings of the Care Quality Commission and Francis reports, and concerns raised by the public, healthcare professionals and politicians.

Joanne McPeake, a Staff Nurse in critical care in Glasgow, and Lecturer Practitioner at the University of Glasgow, travelled to the United States of America in 2011, where she visited various Intensive Care Units, exploring the best use of techniques to improve short and long-term outcomes for patients in the UK recovering from a period of critical illness. Major topic areas explored included: the role of the social worker in critical care; the role of early mobilisation in the critical care setting; approaches to sedation and delirium management; the role of cognition training in critically ill patients, and the use of family and patient councils within the acute care setting. 

Since her Fellowship Joanne has started a PhD in Nursing and Critical Care, which was directly influenced by her travelling Fellowship.  The study, supported by the Florence Nightingale Foundation, analyses alcohol related admissions to critical care. Joanne continues to work clinically in critical care in Glasgow, as well as being an honorary lecturer at the University of Glasgow.  Her Fellowship has impacted on her practice hugely, especially with regards to early mobilisation of patients and delirium management. Joanne applied for funding to set up a family and patient council for critical care in Glasgow as a direct result of her Fellowship learnings, having visited a similar group in Boston.

Amongst those travelling this year in this category is Ruth Mantle, a dementia nurse consultant from Avoch. She will be travelling to the USA and Australia to explore innovative ways for staff to connect with people with dementia in their everyday interactions.

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 beneficial impact of their personal development, but also with the advantage of their enhanced knowledge, new ideas and examples of best practise that they bring back to the organisation.

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

Successful applicants will receive an average Fellowship grant of over £6000, covering return airfare, daily living costs, insurance and travel within the countries being visited, for approximately 6 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 5100 Travelling Fellowships.

The application process for travel in 2016 is now open, and there are 11 varied categories in which people can apply.

Churchill’s beliefs and passions are still living on through our Fellows – who are remarkable yet ordinary individuals, representing a wide range of backgrounds, qualifications, interests and professions, but sharing the desire to do something for the improvement of British life and their fellow man.

The deadline for the 2016 applications is 5pm on 22nd September 2015.

In total 150 Fellowships were awarded in the UK in 2015, an investment of over £1.34 million. The Fellows are currently travelling to 58 countries between them, across 6 continents, carrying out a wide range of projects.

To maximise the impact of our Fellowships we have developed partnerships 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 Burdett Trust for Nursing makes grants in support of nurse led projects, using its funds to empower nurses and make significant improvements to the patient care environment.

Royal College of Nursing is the voice of nursing across the UK and is the largest professional union of nursing staff in the world. The RCN promotes the interest of nursing staff and patients on a wide range of issues and helps shape healthcare policy by working closely with the UK Government and other national and international institutions, trade unions, professional bodies and voluntary organisations.

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.