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Developing hospital staff

ACT supports initiatives to develop the skills and well-being of staff at Addenbrooke's and the Rosie, helping them further their knowledge and enabling them to provide even better care.

Here are a few examples of recently funded projects: 

Cambridge Clinical Research Fellowship Programme

Andrea EdwardsIn 2015, we were delighted to launch a new stream to our Cambridge Clinical Research Fellowship Programme – this time for nurses, midwives and associated health professionals (AHPs). The scheme provides fellows with short-term support, of one year or less, and access to experienced mentorship. The intention is that fellows use this opportunity as a springboard to secure  follow-on and more substantial funding from schemes of national importance. 

Andrea Edwards was one of the first recipients, and her study is featured below:

Noise and newborn brain development

Background: Babies who are born very early (<26 weeks) are at high risk of lifelong cognitive and neurological impairments. While survival rates have improved, the prevalence of disability remains unchanged.

Regular sleep-wake cycles are essential for brain development but the immature auditory system of these tiny babies cannot easily filter unwanted sounds, which might affect sleep. 

The application: Andrea Edwards, a neonatal neurosciences research nurse, is using her fellowship to study the role of noise and newborn brain development, examining how sound affects sleep-wake cycles in preterm infants in the Rosie’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The study is observing how babies react to everyday noises in NICU. Small non invasive sensors are placed on babies’ heads that measure changes in brain oxygen levels as well as monitor brain electrical activity. These are then correlated with noise levels inside the incubator and in NICU. 

A training package is being produced for NICU staff so they can help babies achieve a better quality sleep, which will ultimately improve their brain development.

Comment from the committee: “We hope that babies will achieve a better quality sleep which will ultimately improve their health and wellbeing.”

Grant applicant: Andrea Edwards

Amount awarded: £19,754 from ACT’s unrestricted funds

Addenbrooke’s Abroad

Addenbrooke's AbroadOur Addenbrooke’s Abroad programme inspires and supports staff and students from Addenbrooke’s, the Rosie and the surrounding health community to share their expertise abroad and benefit from reciprocal learning.

International volunteering provides extraordinary opportunities for professional development and this year we funded over 60 placements within our established health programmes in Botswana, El Salvador, Myanmar and elsewhere.

Addenbrooke’s Abroad volunteers make a huge difference in host countries. Highlights in 2015 in Botswana, for example, include establishing a service that has screened 3,363 people with diabetes for eye disease which, if left untreated, could cause permanent blindness. Our volunteers also supported the training of 516 health and education staff to assess children’s vision, as well as establishing a vision centre which has provided low-cost glasses to 525 people.

Staff accommodation and support

Staff accommodation and supportLike many hospitals in the South East, recruiting and retaining nursing staff is a huge challenge. Living in Cambridge is expensive and traffic problems can deter
travel into the city.

To help the hospitals solve this problem, in 2015 we invested in a new project manager who is helping staff find suitable housing, boosting morale and assisting those ‘returning to work’.