VCHA at the Partners Research and Innovation Conference 

Senior physiotherapist Maisy Provan presented a ‘poster presentation’ at the Partners Research and Innovation Conference held at The National Army Museum in London on 18 March 2022.

The one-day conference, held by 256 (City of London) Field Hospital, in partnership with UCL Partners, explored research and innovation in civilian and military medicine.  The audience was drawn from diverse medical backgrounds. Poster presentations are events where speakers present to individuals, or small groups, in front of their printed material that is displayed throughout the duration of the conference. Visitors have time to digest the subject and to ask questions directly to the contributor.

The Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA) was represented by the Rehabilitation clinician, who is also an Army Reservist Captain with 256 City of London Field Hospital.  Her poster presentation focused on veterans’ rehabilitation, the project she led to review what is currently available, and the clinical recommendations on improving patient care, that are to be published later in the Spring.

Presentations were given by a senior group of clinicians, including the Surgeon General, Tim Hodgetts; Brigadier Toby Rowland, Head of the Defence Medical Academy; as well as civilian partners including Professor Karim Brohi, Professor of Trauma Sciences and Clinical Director for Major Trauma in London; medical innovation scientist Dr Hannah Sophia, who talked about “The 2050 Warrior – The Bionic Soldier, six million dollar man and RoboCop”.

Speaking after the event, Maisy said: ” It was interesting to hear an overview of defence medical research and innovation. The Surgeon General talked about where we were, the present day, and how to make change.  Dr Hannah Sophia outlined her view on how far will things go with human augmentation.

“Proof that the military want to invest in research projects was led by Brigadier (Rtd) RG Simpson, who is also the lead for veteran friendly GP accreditation. Group Capt Di Lamb, Defence Professor of Nursing, took us through an interesting journey and the use of High Fidelity Simulation environments and virtual 3D to help improve the skills of Army Medical Services personnel. 

“Advances in Trauma Science from the London trauma network, and what’s been learnt from Afghanistan was also compelling.  There is finally some very interesting work being undertaken on women in the military, and the impacts on physiological function.  I found the Women in Ground Close Combat presentation particularly compelling.”

The conference was held in the Chelsea museum, with each speaker having a large poster with an overview of their subject. These were displayed all day giving people the opportunity to read the information and to understand more.  At lunchtime, presenters gave informal poster presentations, taking time to talk through their individual areas in depth and answering individual questions.

After lunch, breakout sessions continued the day’s theme:  Nightingale 2 – the NHS and military process of working together; Human Factors looking at improving outcomes, safety, and experience through innovative, fast-paced learning roles; recent advances in defence innovation; and collaborative working between the NHS and the military.

Images copyright of VCHA

“It was a positive experience and I’m glad I got a chance to hear more about the links between us (the NHS) and the military – especially as I have a foot in both camps,” the rehabilitation physiotherapist concluded.

Find out more about UCL Partners by clicking here and further information on 256 (City of London) Field Hospital here.  Maisy Provan’s report and recommendations are to be published in the Spring.  Keep up-to-date with her Rehabilitation work by visiting our website and clicking on the Veterans Rehabilitation Project section. 

The Veteran Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA) is committed to improving Armed Forces and Veteran care whilst raising standards for all. 107 NHS providers in England are now Veteran Aware accredited, two are re-accredited, and the VCHA aims to have all Trusts in England accredited by March 2023 at the latest. Find out more about our work and about the forthcoming Rehabilitation Report by clicking here.


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