BU research into respite care raised in Prime Minister’s Questions


BU research into the impact that respite care at children’s hospices has on parental relationships was raised during Prime Minister’s Questions.

The research is being done by BU PhD student Ashley Mitchell in conjunction with Dorset-based children’s hospice Julia’s House and looks at how different types of respite care – and how regularly and frequently they are accessed –  impact on the relationship of the parents.

The work was raised by Mid-Dorset and North Poole MP Annette Brooke during Prime Minister’s Questions, while asking about funding into short breaks for carers.

She said: “Julia’s House, a wonderful children’s hospice in my constituency, is currently carrying out research with Bournemouth University into the impact of short breaks on family relationships.

“Will the Prime Minister give higher priority to the funding of short breaks as an invest to save measure?”

Prime Minister David Cameron, whose severely disabled son Ivan had hospice care prior to his death in 2009, responded: “I absolutely agree with my honorable friend about the issue.

“Anyone bringing up a severely disabled child knows that when you find one of those hospices – and I’ll never forget finding Helen House in Oxford, which was actually the first children’s hospice anywhere in the country – it is a complete lifesaver for families and carries out brilliant, brilliant work.

“That’s why we have committed over £800 million for local authorities to invest in short breaks for disabled children and I’m sure that this research from Bournemouth University will help to inform our work in the future.”

This is the second time in three months that the work being done at BU has been raised in Prime Minister’s Questions.

Following the success of blockbuster Gravity at the 2014 Oscars, the work of more than 50 BU graduates on the film was highlighted by Bournemouth East MP Tobias Ellwood and praised by the Prime Minister.

Watch the Prime Minister’s Questions for 25 June (BU’s hospices research is raised at 30 minutes and 41 seconds)

Prime Minister highlights success of Bournemouth University graduates


Bournemouth East MP Tobias Ellwood took the opportunity to promote the work of Bournemouth University graduates during Prime Minister’s Questions.

Over 50 Bournemouth University graduates worked on the visual effects for the film Gravity, which picked up the Achievement in Visual Effects Oscar at the 86th Academy Awards on Sunday night.

During the session at the House of Commons, Mr Ellwood said, “In recognising British success at the Oscars, would the Prime Minister join me in congratulating Bournemouth University and the Arts University Bournemouth, as over 50 of their graduates helped with the design effects for that amazing British film, “Gravity”?”

The Conservative MP continued, “Does that not prove that Bournemouth leads the way in digital media, is a great tourism destination, and does amazing party conferences as well?”

Prime Minister David Cameron responded by saying, “As ever, my honourable friend is right about all those things. Bournemouth University has excellent courses that have helped to build up the British post-production and facilities industries, which are busy helping to create blockbuster films. It is very good news not only that are we winning Oscars for British films but that British studios are full to bursting point making movies.”

The conversation concluded with the Prime Minister saying, “The facilities and post-production industries are leading the world. We need to go on backing that industry, which is why my right hon. Friend the Chancellor has taken steps with things like helping the computer games industry, helping high-end television, and continuing to back the very important film tax credits that have worked so well.”

Gravity was not the only Oscar-winning film to have involvement from a Bournemouth University graduate as Vanessa Salas Castillo was part of the Disney team that worked on the film Frozen, which picked up the Best Animation award.

At least one BU graduate is also currently working on visual effects for The Hobbit trilogy – which was nominated alongside Gravity in the visual effects category at this year’s Oscars.

You can listen to the Prime Minister’s Questions session for 5 March 2014 again on the BBC website or watch the clip as it happened.