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Develop and test the feasibility of an intervention to improve the care of patients with mental health problems in acute care settings

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  • Full or part time
    Prof Alan Simpson
    Dr L Reynolds
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Barts NHS Health Trust commissioned the Centre for Mental Health Research to undertake a scoping exercise to inform future interventions designed to improve the care of patients with mental health problems in acute care settings.

The challenges of providing medical and nursing care in acute medical settings have changed as the patient population includes more people presenting with complex needs including mental health problems and, at times, challenging behaviour. Yet, in many ways, the challenges reflect those identified by Felicity Stockwell in her seminal work on ‘The Unpopular Patient’ (1972).

The aim of the scoping exercise is to explore with service managers, clinical staff and patients the nature and complexity of the challenges being faced; to analyse and describe in detail the issues that require intervention and, at the end of the study, propose interventions/initiatives aimed at improving patient care and staff wellbeing.

The scoping study final report and recommendations for interventions will be published in February 2019. Initial themes identified suggest a focus on staff attitudes, staff support and wellbeing, and, on an organisational level, incorporating mental health nurses within nursing teams.

Guided by the Medical Research Council (MRC) recommendations for developing complex interventions, the aim of this PhD Scholarship is to build on the results of the scoping exercise, systematically review the relevant literature, and create and test the feasibility of a theoretical- and evidence-based intervention, to improve the care of patients with mental health problems in acute care settings.

If you would like to have an informal discussion please contact [Email Address Removed]

School of Health Sciences

The School of Health Sciences is offering up to five full/part-time Doctoral Studentships to outstanding candidates. We are a leading provider of applied healthcare research and we offer PhD candidates an outstanding research environment: in REF 2014, 100% of our research environment was judged as world leading or internationally excellent and 100% of research impact was judged as world leading or internationally excellent. In the recent Postgraduate Research Experience Survey, 96% of PhD students responding rated the expertise and responsiveness of their supervisors as excellent. Successful applicants would join around 70 current PhD students in the School, providing a supportive environment of peers.


The studentships will be awarded on the basis of outstanding academic achievement and the potential to produce cutting edge-research.
• Applicants must hold at least a 2.1 honours degree or merit level Masters degree in a relevant subject (or international equivalent)
• Applicants whose first language is not English must have achieved at least 7.0 in IELTS or a recognised equivalent
• Applicants must not be currently registered as a doctoral student at City, University of London or any other academic institution

How to Apply

To apply for studentship funding:
• Complete an application form for a place on the PhD programme by clicking here where you will be asked to register before you can complete your application
• Upload your research proposal (four sides of A4 maximum including references) on one of the specific projects listed by supervisors or in any of the areas covered by the research centres following discussion and agreement with a potential supervisor.
Research centres:

• Suggested structure of proposal:
1. Project description; Topic, motivation from the literature, Methods and potential impact
2. How does this fit with the work carried out in the School of Health Sciences?
3. Potential for this research lead to an important question or methodological innovation that might lead to 4* output

• Upload a short cover letter with your application requesting that your application be considered for studentship funding
• Submit your online application form and supporting documents by 30 November 2018. If you have any queries, please the doctoral degrees support officer, Tracy Rowson ([Email Address Removed]).

Funding Notes

• An annual bursary (£16,000 in 2018/19)
• All fees for PhD student registration paid for UK and EU students. Applications are welcome from overseas applicants but the applicant must make appropriate arrangements to cover the difference between the overseas and UK tuition fee
• Research costs up to £1000 over the three years

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