BU donates medical equipment to charity for use in South Sudan

Medical equipment previously used by staff and students at Bournemouth University has been donated to a local charity, to help healthcare professionals in South Sudan.

The resuscitation mannequins and baby-weighing scales have been given to Poole Africa Link – a charity which assists Southern Sudanese healthcare professionals in developing their skills and self-sufficiency.

South Sudan is one of the poorest countries in the world, with low access to healthcare provision and high rates of maternal and child mortality.

The medical equipment donated by BU’s School of Health and Social Care has been taken to Wau Hospital in South Sudan, where it will be used to assist with training and patient care.

Hilary Fenton-Harris, Poole Africa Link Coordinator, said: “Receiving good-quality needed kit is a great encouragement to the people in Wau who work under conditions that it’s difficult to comprehend for most of us used to UK health care.

“Practising resuscitation scenarios plays an important part of the training we give in Wau both at the hospital and the training schools.

“The resuscitation mannequins given by the university were well received by both schools of nursing in Wau by the students and the nuns who teach them.”

She added that the baby weighing scales donated by BU had also made a big difference to clinics and care in the region.

“The baby weighing scales were received with great excitement by the community midwives who had no means of weighing babies prior to this,” Hilary said.

“We also gave some to a local malnutrition clinic and the paediatric and labour wards at the hospital. They will make a real difference to the care they can give.”

Events Management students from BU are also planning to support the charity, by holding a black tie fundraiser. It will take place at the Haven Hotel in Sandbanks, on March 29.

Science presenter & chiropractic leader get BU Honorary Doctorates

Scientist and television presenter Professor Alice Roberts and international chiropractic leader Dr Kenneth Vall have received Honorary Doctorates from Bournemouth University.

They both received their awards at the graduation ceremony for students from the School and Health and Social Care.

Alice is anatomist, author and broadcaster, well known for presenting programmes including Coast and Digging for Britain – which have featured BU academics and research.

She said she was pleased to be back at BU and honoured to be receiving the honorary Doctor of Science award.

DSC_7408“It’s an absolute delight and an honour to be receiving an honorary doctorate, and I’m really pleased to be here at Bournemouth University,” she said.

“I’ve made friends with a lot of Bournemouth University academics over the years and I’ve interviewed them for all sorts of different programmes on the BBC, so it was really nice to come here and catch up with those colleagues today.”

She added: “I’m absolutely delighted to be graduating with a lot of students in health disciplines, who are already out there working and helping people and improving people’s lives.”

Also receiving an Honorary Doctorate at the School of Health and School graduation ceremony was Dr Kenneth Vall, an international leader in chiropractic.

Kenneth, who became an honorary Doctor of Education at the ceremony, was Principal of the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic (AECC) from 2004 to 2012 and helped consolidate its reputation as one of Europe’s foremost chiropractic educational institutions – as well as building strong links between the college and BU.

He said receiving the Honorary Doctorate was one of the proudest moments of his life.

“I’ve been involved in education and in caring for patients all my working life and this is the premiere accolade, so I’m delighted. It is one of the proudest moments in my life so far.

1312113730001“I would always advocate Bournemouth University to young people but I think that my institution, which I have now left, will seek a relationship which is long-lasting. There is good synergy, particularly with the School of Health and Social Care, and I think that relationship is extremely valuable.”

His advice to the graduates was to look after themselves, as well as their patients.

“They should obviously care for their patients, and I’m sure they will, but they should also care for themselves and look after their own health.

“Exercise, have a good diet and create good habits that you live through for the rest of your life and the work will be so much more rewarding, because you set an example to your patients.”

More than 5,000 graduates from across Bournemouth University were handed their degree certificates in six different ceremonies at the Bournemouth International Centre.

Professor John Vinney, vice-chancellor of Bournemouth University, said: “Bournemouth University takes great pride in our Honorary Graduates.

“We recognise people who have excelled in their chosen field who will act as inspirational role models, both for our graduates and their families at the awards ceremonies and for our whole student body in the coming years.”

MP who battled depression among speakers at BU mental health conference


An MP who was one of the first to speak publicly about his battle with mental health issues shared his thoughts and experiences during a conference at Bournemouth University.

Kevan Jones, MP for North Durham, raised the topic of his depression in the House of Commons in a bid to reduce the stigma around the subject.

He was one of the keynote speakers at the Engagement in Life: Promoting Wellbeing and Mental Health conference, which took place at Bournemouth University’s Talbot Campus on Friday September 6.

The day-long conference was organised by the University Department of Mental Health, a collaboration between BU’s School of Health and Social Care and Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust.

Kevan said: “I think academic research into mental illness is very important, but it shouldn’t stay in an ivory tower, and I think this is good example of the university looking outwards and actually engaging with its local community. I think that’s very important.”

During his keynote, Kevan spoke about his own personal battle with depression and the need to reduce the stigma around talking about mental health.

“We need to see mental illness as the same as a physical illness,” he said.

“We’ve got to get it into people’s heads that just like any other condition,” he said.

The conference was attended by more than 200 service users and health professionals from across the country and looked at innovative, recovery-focused service development, training and research in mental health care.

Other keynote speakers at the conference were Rachel Perkins OBE, chair of cross-government advisory committee Equality 2025, and Professor Geoff Shepherd, who leads a national programme for the Centre of Mental Health around supporting recovery journeys.

Professor Shepherd said: “It’s an important conference, bringing together a lot of people who are interested in a number of things but particularly these ideas which come now under the heading of recovery.

“Up to now, most people have thought that it’s the staff who are in charge, that they have all the knowledge, and expertise,” he added.

“But actually, the people who come to the service know a lot as well and know some rather different things.

“The way that services will be most helpful in the future is if we can combine these two elements.”

There was also a wide-ranging programme of sessions looking at recovery-focused topics including measuring recovery outcomes, personal stories of recovery and developing peer support workers.

Professor Sue Clarke, Director of the University Department of Mental Health, said: “Good mental healthcare depends critically on bringing service users and service providers together in a mutually respectful and compassionate way.”

Find out more about the University Department for Mental Health