One of the ways we achieve this is having ‘joint appointments’. These are part-time appointments to our staff of leading nurse and midwifery consultants in Northern Ireland. Dr Carmel Kelly is a nurse consultant in sexual health and Ms Shona Hamilton is a midwifery consultant. Both Carmel and Shona are leading clinicians in their fields and are leading out new innovations of care.
For example, Carmel undertook her PhD study at our School which, in a very innovative way, combined midwifery research with sexual health research. Carmel’s thesis investigated the pregnancy care needs and experiences of women and men in HIV affected relationships who were either having, or intending to have, a baby. After publishing her research in world leading nursing, midwifery and HIV care academic journals, Carmel then turned her hand to leading out a very exciting Knowledge Translation Project. Carmel used arts-based approaches (audio-visual films) to transform these patient stories into an online interactive e-learning module for health professionals so that they could gain the requisite knowledge and skills to ‘prepare to care’ for HIV affected men and women in terms of planning their fertility, and caring for couples during and after pregnancy. This e-module can be seen here and is currently being viewed across the globe.
Carmel’s next project is now to lead out – as part of an interdisciplinary team -- a pioneering project for Northern Ireland on testing for STI infections in primary care services. Carmel’s team’s work is making sexual health part of our day to day healthcare which will ultimately reduce the burden of ill-health caused by STI infections.
Carmel also leads out our commissioned educational programmes on sexual health for nurses and allied health professionals who are currently out in practice, ensuring that we generate even more innovation in practice through research-clinical links.
And as has been said….. Carmel does all that in one day a week with us!