A prestigious grant has been awarded to a Banbury nurse to undertake cutting-edge research around the world.
Elaine Strachan-Hall will travel to Australia, Finland, Japan, Macau and New Zealand to investigate digital technology in nursing thanks to the Churchill Fellowship.
She will use her findings to inform debates around the use of robots and artificial intelligence in UK health care.
“This project provides an opportunity to make a difference to both nursing in the future and the patients we as nurses, serve,” she said.
"I have always been a strong advocate of the importance of the fundamentals of care for both patients and nursing.
"Exploring a topic of relevance for the future is important to me because I want to make a tangible difference in healthcare for the benefit of patients.
"This project is topical given the global nursing shortage and the fellowship will enable me to explore possibilities with international leaders in countries that have made strides towards considering this issue."
Elaine and another Oxfordshire woman will receive grants totalling over £12,000 having been chosen from almost 1,800 applicants.
Julia Weston, chief executive of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust which hands out the grants, said: “Churchill Fellows are inspiring individuals who scour the world for fresh approaches to today’s crucial issues.”
Elaine is an experienced chief nurse who is undertaking a professional doctorate in nursing and this fellowship enables her to gain and share insights on how robots could be used in nursing.
"I am looking forward to visiting Japan because robotics in healthcare has advanced quickly and specific applications in nursing are being progressed at pace," she said.
"I hope that I will be able to explore the future capability of robots and artificial intelligence, and how these might come together in healthcare robots of the future.
"I want to also gain insight into the perspectives of front line care staff in considering this future, identifying what might be the barriers and enablers of robot adoption and the impact on nursing care."
The next chance to apply opens on May 16 and includes new categories: ‘palliative and end of life care’ and ‘physical activity: making moves for healthier lives’.
Application details are online at wcmt.org.uk.