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Bridging the Gap Conference 2016


Welcome and Opening Remarks

Fionnuala McAndrew,  Director, Social Care and  Children, HSCB, expressed her confidence in the growing demand for opportunities for people to come together to discuss research and share learning that better supports continuous improvement.


Health and Social Care Research in Northern Ireland

Professor Ian Young, Director of HSC Research and Development Division, and Chief Scientific Adviser, Department of Health, reinforces the importance of partnership and collaborative working. He also stresses the need to benchmark against international standards and demonstrate meaningful impact.

Connected Health and  Social Care

Soo Hun, Programme Manager, Centre for Connected Health and Social Care, HSCB, highlights the wealth of opportunities available through Connected Health to support the social care and well-being needs of the population.

Engaging with families where there is family violence and abuse

Dr Ruth Carroll, Programme Manager, HSC Research and Development, shares key messages from a research study undertaken as her PhD thesis.

What’s on the Horizon (2020)?

Patricia McCrory, Research Development, Queen’s University Belfast, explains the aims of Horizon 2020, which are; to improve the health and well-being of the population, providing high quality, economically sustainable and innovation health and care systems, and opportunities for new jobs and growth.

Understanding and using research in social work

Professor Brian Taylor, Professor of Social Work, Ulster University, gives details of a Research Methods Programme at Ulster University. For further information email pqsocialwork@ulster.ac.uk or your employer’s social work training department.

Cochrane – Opportunities for Research

Joanne Wilson, Managing Editor, Cochrane Development Group, outlines her work with authors of systematic reviews of interventions, prognosis review and diagnostic accuracy reviews.

Four studies presented on a range of issues followed by an interactive group discussion

Chaired by: Dr Gavin Davidson, School of Social Policy and Social Work, Queen’s University Belfast, and Laura Collins, Social Work Citizens Forum, SW Research PPI Group, PIER (PHA R&D PPI Group).

  • Dr Bernie Kelly, Senior Lecturer, Social Work, QUB , Dr Karen Winter, Lecturer, Social Work and Social Policy, QUB. Missing Voices: the views and experiences of disabled children and young people in care.
  • Catherine Maguire, Area Manager, Probation Board NI. Resettlement outcomes for 18-21 year-old males in Northern Ireland.
  • Diane Boyle, Senior Social Work Practitioner, Northern Health and Social Care Trust. The Roles and Tasks of the Gerontological Social Worker
  • Dr Helga Sneddon, Director, Outcome Imps.  Changing practice at the front-line: Using action research to support social work teams to implement the Life start Growing Child evidence-based parenting programme

Four Studies presented on a range of issues followed by an interactive group discussion

Chaired by: Karen O’Brien, Assistant Director, Social Care and Governance, Western Health and Social Care Trust, and Dr May McCann PPI representative, chair, Bamford Monitoring Group.

  • Brenda Horgan, Professional Advisor, Northern Ireland Social Care Council. Post qualifying learning can improve a social worker’s critical thinking ability.
  • Denise Galbraith, Communities Connection Co-ordinator, Positive Futures. Community Connecting: From Presence to Contribution.
  • Maureen Devlin, Acting Head, Social Work and Fergal O’Brien, Promoting Wellbeing Manager, Southern Health and Social Care Trust. Establishing the demand for Community Development Programme in PiP for Social Work.
  • Dr Lynn McKerr, Researcher, Queen’s University Belfast Autism Awareness: Hitting the right targets.

Three studies are presented on a range of issues followed by a useful and interactive group discussion

Chaired by: Christine Smyth, Deputy Chief Social Work Officer, Department of Health and David McDonald, chair, The Omnibus Partnership.

  • Dr Aisling McElearney, NI Education Adviser, and Caroline Cunningham, Senior Policy Researcher, NSPCC. Effective safeguarding practice and improvement in multi-agency working: capturing the learning to inform system improvement in Northern Ireland.
  • Dermot Glackin, Health and Wellbeing Co-ordinator, West Belfast Partnership Board. TAKE 5 in the West; bridging strategic priority into neighbourhood activity.
  • Dr Martin Canavan, Training Manager, Praxis Care. Dual Diagnosis and ‘Therapeutic Commitment’: Messages from an Evaluation of a Basic Awareness Training Programme.

Panel Summary Close and Evaluation

Anne McGlade, Dr Gavin Davidson, Karen O’Brien, Christine Smyth, Laura Collins, Dr May McCann and David McDonald.

The Chairs of the group sessions provide a synopsis of each of the small group discussion with open dialogue from the floor.

Keep up to date on Twitter using #SWresearchci

Participants’ Feedback

Dermot Parsons, Managing Director, Positive Futures, and Jenny Rice, Residential Social Worker, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust.
Reflections on the day’s event and learnings to bring back to colleagues.