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Mental health nurse consultant wins prestigious scholarship
30/11/2012

​A mental health nurse consultant from Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust has won a travel scholarship from a charity, the Florence Nightingale Foundation Fellowship.

The Foundation promotes the special contribution of nursing to society and the health of people. It encourages international understanding and learning between nurses.

Scholarships are designed to promote innovation, advance knowledge, skills and encourage international learning and understanding.

Norwich-based Bev Hallpike has been awarded a £5,000 travel scholarship which will enable her to study nutrition and staff engagement in meaningful daily life activities for patients with dementia in the UK, China and Australia.

She will be spending a month early in 2013 carrying out her observation and research and is currently busy planning her itinerary. The grant covers air fares, travel and accommodation but does not cover administrative support or equipment such as cameras. She has approached another potential sponsor for further funding to cover all of her additional costs.

In China, Bev will be visiting five sites including a forensic hospital, medical quarters and a barefoot doctor who is also a GP and health visitor who works in villages with mothers, babies and the elderly.

In Australia she will be visiting award-winning units and seeking to understand how care is organised where there is no NHS equivalent and all treatment is private. She will examine the extra activities laid on for patients such as collecting eggs from chickens, looking after pets and tending raised gardens out of doors. She will be looking at practice approaches and tools which can be imported to the UK to improve dementia care. She will finish her studies in Bradford to gain a UK comparison.

After the trip, Bev will write an interim 5,000 word report and a further 8,000 word report by the end of the year which will form the basis of papers published in nursing journals and presentations at conferences and seminars.

Bev said: “The scholarship means an exceptional opportunity to explore dementia care in other cultures, to learn and share best practice. I hope it will initiate a legacy of twinning arrangements of visits to the UK by practitioners from abroad such as China and Australia and visa versa. Nurses from Sweden have already been showing interest in dementia care practice and systems in Norfolk. The project will also raise the profile of our Trust. It shows that the Trust supports staff in innovation & exploration that is both interesting and exciting.”

The Florence Nightingale Foundation is looking for new applications for scholarships in the New Year for 2013 – 14.

For further information about the different categories and how to apply, visit www.florence-nightingale-foundation.org.uk