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Transforming Care for People with Diabetes

Transforming Care for People with Diabetes


Outline, including interdisciplinary dimension

Diabetes is a common chronic condition. Approximately one person is diagnosed with diabetes every two minutes; there are 3.5 million people with diabetes in the UK and it is estimated that over 1 million people in the UK have not been diagnosed. It is accepted generally that health systems tend to be too acute-centric and that there is a need for system reorientation towards a chronic care model of provision and delivery. This orientation is recognised at policy, managerial, service and patient levels in Northern Ireland’s health and social care system. The proposed PhD will employ the emerging investigative domains and methods of improvement science and implementation science to evaluate local strategies, initiatives and efforts to achieve this reorientation and to enhance the quality of care for people with diabetes. Health systems and health services research is a necessarily interdisciplinary activity and the PhD student will benefit from the rich mix of interdisciplinary expertise that exists in the School of Medicine and School of Psychology at QUB.

Key words/descriptors

health services research, improvement and implementation science, chronic disease

First supervisor

Dr Noleen McCorry - School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences

Second and third supervisors from a complementary discipline

Dr Martin Dempster - School of Psychology

Professor Michael Donnelly - School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences

Supervisors’ track record of PhD completions, plus excellence and international standing in the project area

Collectively, Dr Noleen Mc Corry, Dr Martin Dempster and Professor Michael Donnelly have supervised successfully over 30 PhD students and published over 200 peer reviewed articles in the area of health services research and chronic care. Drs Mc Corry and Dempster are leading BPS Chartered Health Psychologists and researchers and Professor Donnelly is Head of the Health Services Research Group in the School of Medicine and Deputy Director of the UKCRC Centre of Excellence for Public Health Research (NI). The Centre of Excellence, one of five in the UK, is multidisciplinary and spans three Faculties in the University and a range of external stakeholders.

Intersectoral exposure and/or international mobility

(e.g. secondments to/collaboration with partner organizations)

The successful student will work with the external partners of the Centre of Excellence principally Diabetes UK and its international counterparts, the NI Department of Health, provider Trusts (eg the Western Health and Social Care Trust), the Public Health Agency and other key stakeholders in diabetes care from the community and voluntary sector. It is planned that the PhD student would have opportunities for short-term (eg three months) secondments with Diabetes UK and its international sister organisations in mainland Europe.

Describe briefly the international profile of the partner

Project partners are Diabetes UK and its sister organisation(s). The successful applicant will spend time on placement with one or more international organisations (e.g. International Diabetes Federation in Belgium) gaining comparative experiences of improving diabetes services and implementing evidence-based reorganised care delivery

Training that will be provided through the research project itself

The student will have guided and mentored opportunities to learn about qualitative methods, statistics, and mixed methods relating to health services research, improvement science and implementation science. Also, students may avail of selected relevant sessions offered as part of the Master in Public Health Degree Programme in CPH, School of Medicine.

Examples of additional training in non-research transferable skills

In addition to the specific research skills, examples of other training that will be undertaken will be project management and team working courses (to facilitate effective engagement with the stakeholders), public engagement training (offered through the UKCRC Centre of Excellence for Public Health) and courses on ethics and governance in research and writing for research and lay audiences.

Expected dissemination of results: peer-reviewed journals, seminars, workshop and conferences at European/international level

(e.g. public talks, visits to schools, open days, QUB impact showcase)

We would expect that this studentship would result directly in two to three publications targeted at 3* peer reviewed journals. Findings will also be disseminated via workshops in each of the partner countries and conference presentations.

Expected impact activities

(e.g. public talks, visits to schools, open days, QUB impact showcase)

The student would be expected to engage in a variety of impact activities including talks to partner organisations and relevant charitable organisations to discuss the research, create and disseminate lay summaries of research findings and participate in research showcase events such as the Northern Ireland Science Festival. These are standard impact activities for each research project in the CPH,  School of Medicine.