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Cabinet Secretary sees how QMU is supporting health and social care recovery post-COVID 

Posted: 8th August 2023

Michael Matheson, the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health and Social Care returned to his alma mater, Queen Margaret University (QMU), to hear how it is supporting health and social care recovery post-COVID.

The Cabinet Secretary learned about research done jointly between QMU and St Columba’s Hospice Care to allow care closer to home, focusing on a Hospice at Home research project. Mr Matheson also saw how the University is innovating in the way it educates the healthcare workforce of the future, through simulation, and how it is using portable ultrasound technology to allow earlier diagnosis and improved quality of patient care.

St Columba’s Hospice Care’s Hospice at Home research project, delivered in partnership with the University, has revealed ways in which people could be enabled to have hospice type care at home.  The research has shown routes to providing responsive and relationship-based end of life care which enables more people being cared for at home, and dying at home.

Focusing on early diagnosis and treatment, speech researchers at QMU are developing the use of ultrasound technology to help improve early detection of swallowing issues associated with conditions like stroke, Motor Neurone Disease (MND), Parkinson’s, and head and neck cancers. This could allow earlier medical interventions closer to home and improved quality of patient care.  This work draws on the University’s already world-leading research in speech science.

Sir Paul Grice, QMU’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor said: “Mr Matheson has kept in touch with QMU, his alma mater, throughout his career. It was a pleasure to be able to demonstrate to him how the University is shaping solutions to the challenges affecting health and social care in Scotland, drawing on our expertise in person-centred care and our world-leading research.

“As a university that leads the way in nursing and allied health provision, we are in a strong position to contribute to the development of health and social care so that it is fit for the future. We have always set out to produce the healthcare leaders of the future, and we have graduates of real influence making a difference right across the sector.”

Mr Matheson said: “I was delighted to have the opportunity to return to QMU today to hear about how they are supporting health and social care recovery following the pandemic, as well as educating and training the future health and care workforce of Scotland.

“I was really impressed to see the ambitious partnership work being undertaken to enable care closer to home and by the exciting solutions and innovative research they are developing in speech science.”

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