The Vale of Leven Scholarship Scheme, launched in November 2016 by the Scottish Government’s Chief Nursing Office, was designed to specifically focus on improvements to patient care in line with the findings of the Vale of Leven Hospital (VOLH) Inquiry (The Vale of Leven Hospital Inquiry Report 2014, www.valeoflevenhospitalinquiry.org).
This report called for “a significantly improved focus on patient care, and in particular on the care of patients who contract a hospital infection such as CDI”. The report contains 75 recommendations covering areas of: national structures and systems; national policies and guidance; changes in services/service re-organisation; leadership and management; communication and record keeping; clinical governance; experiences of patients and relatives; fundamental nursing care and compassion; antibiotic prescribing; medical care; infection prevention and control; death certification; and experiences of C. difficile infection within and beyond Scotland.
The Scholarship Scheme
The Scholarship scheme is aimed at nurses with existing research skills (Masters in Research, PhD, Clinical Doctorate, OR similar substantial research experience) to undertake small-scale research projects or research related tasks, many of which may lead to the development of other research funding applications. The scheme will fund up to 5 Scholarship projects consisting of three types of award:
- Part-time Research Fellowship: this will fund part-time research fellowships with the aim of undertaking a small scale research study (such as a systematic review, research priority setting consensus exercise, intervention development, or small feasibility or pilot study). Funding is available up to the equivalent of NHS Band 6 0.5 WTE for 4 months.
- Education and Travel Scholarship: this will fund travel out-with Scotland where there are opportunities to learn from others in areas that were raised within the VOLH Inquiry Report; it could seek to answer a specific question based on a finding from the Report. Funding of up to £2000 is available to cover travel, accommodation and subsistence.
- Implementation Science Scholarship: this will fund studies where evidence based improvements in areas of patient care (that were identified in the VOLH Inquiry Report) are implemented at-scale and monitored using implementation/improvement science methodologies. Funding is available up to the equivalent of NHS Band 6 0.5 WTE for 4 months.
Successful applicants will be expected to share their findings, learning and best practice with their peers and across Scotland and this will be seen as an integral part of the award process. A national dissemination event will be held early 2018 which the successful applicant will be expected to attend.
Applicants must be currently registered with the UK Nursing and Midwifery Council and employed in the NHS or a HEI in Scotland, and living in Scotland.The Scholarships are expected to be completed within one year. A supporting NHS or HEI must be prepared to administer and account for the funding received.