Attending the launch of Allied Health and Living Showcase in UL recently were Dr Carmel Mullaney,, Specialist in Public Health Medicine, HSE, Katie Robinson, School of Allied Health, UL, Prof Sue Franklin, School of Allied Health, UL, Norelee Kennedy, School of Allied Health, UL, Fiona Steed, Group Lead for Allied Health UL Hospitals and Prof Susan Coote, Associate Professor of Physiotherapy, Dept. Of Clinical Therapies, UL.
Photograph Liam Burke Press 22
School of Allied Health Launch with Research Showcase
To reflect the growth of the Allied Health Professions at the University of Limerick, the School of Allied Health was launched recently. Formerly known as the Department of Clinical Therapies, the School of Allied Health comprises the disciplines of Dietetics, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Speech and Language Therapy. In launching the School of Allied Health, Dr Norelee Kennedy, Head of School described the new school as an exciting new chapter for health professions at UL. Staff in the School are looking forward to continuing to build on the excellent reputation firmly established by these professions at the University of Limerick.
Each discipline will have a discipline lead to guide the continued development of their profession in the coming years. Discipline leads will also serve on a newly established School Executive Committee to support the Head of School in the effective management of the school’s many activities.
The School of Allied Health offers pre-registration programmes for qualifying occupational therapists, physiotherapists and speech and language therapists. These programmes are delivered in partnership with HSE and other health and social care partners. In September 2018, a new graduate-entry masters in nutrition and dietetics will be offered in partnership with the Department of Biological Sciences and HSE partners.
The School of Allied Health showcased on Thursday, January 11, the various and high-quality research activities in the School of Allied Health as well as offering presentations from invited speakers. The focus of this year’s event is on Aligning Research, Policy and Practice to Optimise Outcomes.
Parallel Poster Sessions also took place, showcasing current research which included a recently funded academic and clinical collaboration to explore the impact of early assessment and intervention by allied health professionals in the emergency department. Dr Rose Galvin, principal investigator for the project commented ‘This project is timely given the increasing numbers of older adults in ED awaiting admission. Immediate assessment and intervention as appropriate by a multidisciplinary team of allied health professions has the potential to enhance the quality, safety and cost-effectiveness of patient care.’
Keynote national and international speakers at the event focused on innovations in clinical research, collaborative patient involvement in healthcare, policy and practice and recent advances in health services delivery. A panel discussion including researchers and academics discussed the collaborative links established by the staff at the school to build capacity and advance healthcare research in Ireland and internationally.
The day featured several invited speakers. Invited speaker Dr Cristina McKean, Senior Lecturer, Speech and Language Therapy, Newcastle University, described how collaborations, using various research methodologies, can change people, policy and practice. Dr Carmel Mullaney, Specialist in Public Health Medicine, HSE, discussed how research evidence has informed the national framework for self-management in chronic conditions. Jackie Reed, National Lead, National Health & Social Care Professions Office, discussed the future of the allied health professions in the Irish health and social care context.
Dr Norelee Kennedy, Head of School commented that ‘Our interdisciplinary collaborative programme of research is already having a significant impact on patient outcomes and healthcare delivery across transitions of care in Ireland. To date, we have developed and tested interventions to optimise health and promote physical activity and behaviour change for a range of patient populations in Ireland. We have developed an inclusive research network to empower people with disabilities to become actively involved in research. We are also to the fore in the development of innovative models of professional practice and education’. The professions include Nutrition and Dietetics, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Speech and Language Therapy.
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