Thursday, 20 December 2012

Youth Violence Declining in UK

Youth violence is a major concern in most countries but physical violence among young people is on the decline overall in nearly thirty countries including the UK, according to an international study involving researchers from the University.

The study which involved Professor Fiona Brooks from the University’s Centre for Research in Primary and Community Care (CRIPACC) and other international researchers, shows that investment in violence prevention programmes and other support networks do make a difference to the world’s youth.

Over the last decade in the UK, a wide range of programmes have been made available to healthcare workers and educators to reduce violence and associated triggers. These programmes have proven effective and have helped to lower the rates of violence in the UK. Such programmes include developing life skills in children and young people, working with young people who are potentially violent, as well as reducing the availability and misuse of alcohol. Also, many schools across the UK have now signed up to the UNICEF UK’s Rights Respecting Schools Award.  This is a UK-wide initiative which helps schools to use the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child at the heart of a school’s values.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

New Neighbours? Closest Single Star Like Our Sun May Have HabitablePlanet

As you stare into a star-studded sky, have you ever thought that one of those stars that you can see may host a planet which might be able to support life on it?  Well, Tau Ceti, one of our closest cosmic neighbours may now host five planets – one of which may well be in its habitable zone.

Artist’s impression of the Tau Ceti system  Picture credit: J. Pinfield for the RoPACS network at the University of Hertfordshire, 2012.
At a distance of twelve light years and visible with the naked eye in the evening sky, Tau Ceti is the nearest single star with same classification as our Sun. Originally thought to be a lone star, new research now suggests that Tau Ceti hosts a rich planetary system.

The international team of astronomers led by Mikko Tuomi and Hugh Jones, from the University’s Centre for Astrophysics Research, developed a new method to detect signals half the size previously thought possible – improving the sensitivity of searches for small planets.

The five planets around Tau Ceti are estimated to have minimum masses between two and six times that of the Earth. The planet of great interest is the one which may lie in the habitable zone of the star and has a mass around five times that of Earth.

Planets in orbit around the nearest Sun-like stars are particularly valuable.  With Tau Ceti being so bright and so close to Earth, we may be able to study the atmospheres of these planets in the not too distant future!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Sense of Security Most important for Older People Receiving Care at Home

England’s population is both growing and ageing as people live longer. Latest figures show that by mid-2011 England’s population was at its highest level, at an estimated 53.1 million, of which 8.7 million people were aged 65 or over and 1.2 million were 85 or over. With these figures come challenges, where the NHS tackles how best to address the care and treatment needs of older people. Those living at home with complex health problems and disabilities are at high risk of unplanned hospital admission. They often rely on good inter-professional working – a combination of support from doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and social workers, as well as care workers.

A new study led by Professor Claire Goodman from the University’s Centre for Research in Primary and Community Care (CRIPACC) has found that older people living at home believe they get more effective healthcare services when they have a sense of security and continuity of care through a key or specific professional.

The three year study, in collaboration with St. George’s University of London, Kingston University, University College London, King’s College London and University of Surrey, was funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Services and Delivery Research (NIHR HS&DR) Programme and published by the NIHR.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Hertfordshire Agricultural Student Selected for Special Bursary Award

Georgia Mitrousia, a postgraduate agricultural student, is one of only five students to have been chosen to receive the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust’s ‘Centenary Award’ this year, with applications for the award received from across the UK.

Winners of the award are not only excellent academic performers, they also need to show commitment to the future of agriculture.  Georgia’s PhD research into the prevention of disease in oilseed rape will help to ensure higher quality growth of crops in the future – helping to secure our future food security.

The award scheme was launched by the UK’s leading rural insurer NFU Mutual to celebrate its 100th birthday in 2010 and gives annual bursaries to selected post graduate students in agriculture. Their objective is to select potential rural leaders of the future, so that the bursary payments will not only help the individual students, but also benefit the agricultural industry at large.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Healthcare Simulation in Chile

Guillaume Alinier, Professor of Simulation in Healthcare Education from the School of Health and Social Work, continues to be in great demand to share his knowledge in healthcare simulation.

He was the international guest of honour at the official opening of a new clinical simulation centre at University Mayor in Santiago, Chile, which is equipped with all the latest technology.  Guillaume gave a plenary lecture at the opening event on his experiences in designing and implementing different simulation projects around the world.

During his visit to Chile, Guillaume gave another lecture at Mayor University’s Temuco campus, some 500 miles south of Santiago.  This event was combined with an award ceremony for a nursing technician in recognition of her contribution to advancing patient safety through the use of clinical simulation.

Guillaume played a significant role in designing and running the University's large multi-professional Clinical Simulation Centre.  Over the years, he has held national and international roles in the simulation community – during this year alone, he has co-chaired the largest simulation event of the year in San Diego in the US, provided masterclasses and keynote lectures at international conferences held in Mexico, Turkey, and the UK.