Collaboration in research and practice between service organisations and the School result in service and practice improvements. An example of this is the Academic and Clinical Unit of Musculoskeletal Nursing (ACUMeN).
ACUMeN is an innovative collaboration between the School of Healthcare and the Academic Section of Musculoskeletal Disease in the Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine and the Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust. The primary aim of the unit is to generate, apply and disseminate knowledge for the improvement of nursing practice and outcomes, within the specific area of musculoskeletal nursing. The work of the Unit is patient centered and firmly rooted in practice. As a collaborative programme it has 3 integrated domains; education, practice and research, which work together to enchance practice and service improvement.
The education strand provides knowledge translation services by offering education and training relevant to those working with people with musculoskeletal nursing in areas such as Rheumatology: Diseases, Processes, Treatment and Care; Orthopaedic Nursing; Management of Pain; Pharmacology Applied to Nursing Practice. The research programmes overarching strategy focuses on Patient Outcomes from care in its broadest sense, and work is either underway or planned in a number of areas: Quality of Life Ethnicity and Cultural Diversity Sexuality and Body Image Patient Education Service Developments Patient Perceptions of Care The clinical practice strand of ACUMeN has been established as a Practice Development Unit (PDU) encompassing Wards 2 and 8 at Chapel Allerton Hospital the centre for musculoskeletal care in Leeds.
One of the key successes of the Rheumatology PDU has been to develop the work with Service Users and strengthen links with patient support groups such as Arthritis Care and the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society.
Members of Arthritis Care visit the rheumatology wards and talk with patients about service improvements, which in turn led to joint Service User/ University work to assess the patient experience of rheumatology services in Leeds. The PDU development is being supported by the School of Healthcare Enterprise and Knowledge Transfer Practice Development Programme and also forms part of the National PDU Network. To our knowledge ACUMeN is the only unit of its kind in the world providing a platform for researchers, clinicians and educationalist to work together for patient benefit not only in the local areas but also in the wider arena of national and international policy.