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Met

Manchester Metropolitan University values its relationships with alumni, companies and organisations, and is keen to make new connections. To find out more about any of the schemes or stories in this issue, please contact us.

Magazine

Autumn/Winter 2017

Met Magazine

sowing the seeds

OF HOPE

THE STEM CELL RESEARCH MAKING HISTORY IN PERSONALISED MEDICINE

THE WORLD

in his hands Autumn/Winter 2017

Met Magazine Email: metmagazine@mmu.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0)161 247 3405 mmu.ac.uk/metmagazine

THE PHYSIO LOOKING AFTER THE STARS OF SPORT

THIS IS MANCHESTER’S

moment

ANDY BURNHAM TALKS ABOUT LIFE AS MAYOR

Manchester Metropolitan University Met Magazine Bellhouse Lower Ormond Street Manchester M15 6BX United Kingdom

This publication is available in alternative formats. Please telephone +44 (0)161 247 3405

is back on track

Issue 4

mmu.ac.uk

GOLDEN GIRL KADEENA MEDAL-WINNER SHARES HER AMAZING STORY

The magazine of Manchester Metropolitan University


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There is a huge range of events taking place around the University and beyond this autumn and winter. Check out our picks of the best events below.

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University Events

Lucienne Day – Living Design

Met Magazine

Met Magazine Autumn/Winter 2017 Met Magazine is published by Manchester Metropolitan University

Vice-Chancellor Professor Malcolm Press

Foreword 3 Vice-Chancellor’s message

News 4 Landmark building gets planning permission 5 University wins silver status in Teaching Excellence Framework 6 Honorary graduates for 2017 7 Inaugural Research in Arts and Humanities (RAH!) public programme revealed 8 Record number of student athletes receive sport scholarships

Features 12 A year on from her four-medal blitz at the 2016 Paralympics, Kadeena Cox MBE is back studying at the University 16 This is Manchester’s moment: Andy Burnham, the first elected Metro Mayor of Greater Manchester, talks about his first months in the job 20 As health and social care devolution becomes a £6 billion reality, Manchester Metropolitan’s vital role is becoming clear 24 Practice makes perfect: Training the next generation of nurses by bringing clinical settings to life 28 From celebrity footballers to NHS patients, clinical physiotherapist Professor Michael Callaghan has the world in his hands 32 Introducing the First Generation: Manchester Metropolitan’s £1 million campaign welcomes its first cohort of sixth-form students 36 Sowing seeds of hope: The laboratory where history is being made in personalised medicine 38 Facing up to the facts: How facial ageing software is helping to tackle unhealthy habits 40 Winning arts and minds: Celebrating 30 years of the Arts for Health research unit

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Editorial team

Ian Christon Chris Morris Ian Proctor Maryam Ahmed Dominic Smith Michael Taylor Simon Donohue (Intelligent Conversation)

Design – Steve Kelly Illustrations Clair Read

Photography Ade Hunter Paul Heyes

Contact us metmagazine@mmu.ac.uk

44 Influencing policy: How the University’s MetroPolis think tank is helping to answer society’s big problems 46 With social care in crisis, Manchester Metropolitan is leading the way with initiatives to retain and train staff 48 Commons people like you: Met Magazine meets three alumni newly elected to Parliament 56 Social creatures: Academics trace the route from cradle to grave on social media 60 Spice wars: Researchers are playing a leading role in the battle against synthetic cannabis 64 With comic effect: How comic books are being used to convey important health messages

Views 9 Students’ Union President Hussain El-Amin discusses what represents a valuable student experience 52 Manchester City Council Chief Executive Joanne Roney outlines plans to make Manchester a world-leading city 53 Chief Social Worker Lyn Romeo explains how social workers are part of the solution to the health and social care challenges of the 21st century 54 Manchester Metropolitan’s Professor Alison Chambers discusses the key partnership work which is supporting health and social care graduates 55 Jon Rouse, Chief Officer of the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, on the role universities have to play in improving health

People 10 Shaped by the city: Alumni achieving success around the world 66 A week in the life of Professor Rebecca Lawthom

Regulars 63 What’s on your bookshelf? 67 What’s on listings Cover image: Neurons generated from Batten disease induced pluripotent stem cells. See page 36.

As part of Design Manchester 2017, Manchester School of Art is delighted to welcome Lucienne Day – Living Design to our Vertical Gallery. This exhibition celebrates the life and work of one of most influential designers of the postwar generation. art.mmu.ac.uk/events/2017/ lucienne-day-living-design/ Until 20 November 2017

Picnic

Manchester School of Theatre production of William Inge’s Picnic, at HOME. theatre.mmu.ac.uk/2017/picnic/ Thursday, 16 November – Saturday, 18 November 2017

The Gentle Weapon: Social Ostracism, Gender and Massive Resistance in Montgomery, Alabama Public lecture by Professor Helen Laville, ProVice-Chancellor for Education (Manchester Metropolitan University) exploring the pressures facing white women who attempted to advocate a moderate position on racial integration, focusing on efforts by women to form an interracial prayer group in Montgomery, Alabama. mmu.ac.uk/news-and-events/events/ Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Business Masterclass: The Five Steps to a Winning Mindset Manchester Metropolitan University Faculty of Business and Law, in partnership with the Chartered Management Institute and Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, presents a Business Masterclass Event by Professor Damian Hughes, Founder, LiquidThinker. mmu.ac.uk/news-and-events/events/ Thursday, 23 November 2017

Manchester Writing Competition: Poetry & Fiction Prize Gala 2017

For more information, visit www.mmu.ac.uk/news/events

Conferences at Manchester Conferences Business Tech Live 2017 Manchester Metropolitan Smarter Business Technology Expo for SMEs. Encountering Corpses III Conference This two-day conference will include an exciting mix of presentations from postgraduates, leading academics in the field and featured keynote speakers.

Convened by Craig Young, Professor of Human Geography at Manchester Metropolitan, the conference will be accompanied by a series of free creative cultural experiences and performances, including a poetry reading from Michael Symmons Roberts, music and an exhibition. encounteringcorpses.wordpress.com mmu.ac.uk/artshumanities/rah/ Friday, 8 December – Saturday, 9 December 2017

Textile and Place

The conference, hosted by Manchester School of Art and the Whitworth, draws upon Manchester’s history and contemporary associations, with textile linked to place. textileandplace.co.uk • Thursday, 12 April 2018

Manchester Events

Manchester Christmas Markets Manchester’s annual festive markets. manchester.gov.uk/christmasmarkets Until Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Manchester Beer and Cider Festival

The festival returns to Manchester Central. mancbeerfest.uk/ Thursday, 25 January – Saturday, 27 January 2018

Chinese New Year celebrations Manchester

Street food and shopping, music and fireworks. Friday, 16 February – Saturday, 18 February 2018

Manchester Film Festival An independent film festival. maniff.com/ • 1 March 2018

Wednesday, 15 November – Thursday, 16 November 2017

Public Sector Show

The UK’s largest gathering of senior professionals from local and central government. Tuesday, 21 November 2017

UCAS Create Your Future

Find out about universities, colleges, apprenticeships and school leaver programmes. Tuesday, 21 November – Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Developing Excellence in Medical Education Conference

Leading organisations in medical education and training come together. Monday, 27 November – Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Children’s Global Media Summit

Bringing together the most influential people from across the media and digital sectors. Monday, 4 December – Thursday, 7 December 2017

UK Northern Powerhouse Conference and Exhibition Convening the thinkers of the North to discuss and debate the solutions to productivity. northern-powerhouse-conference.com/ event/annual-conference-exhibition-2018manchester/ Tuesday, 13 February – Wednesday, 14 February 2018

UCAS Manchester Higher Education Exhibition

Join UCAS experts and hundreds of university representatives, employers, and gap year specialists. Tuesday, 13 March – Wednesday, 14 March 2018 For more conference information, visit manchestercentral.co.uk/events

The atmospheric Baronial Hall at Manchester’s medieval Chetham’s Library is the venue for the announcement of the UK’s biggest literary awards for unpublished work, awarded by the University’s Manchester Writing School. manchesterwritingcompetition.co.uk Friday, 1 December 2017

Connect Enjoy Inspire

For more University events log on to our website mmu.ac.uk

Benzie for networking, dining and exhibiting

mmu.ac.uk/venues venues@mmu.ac.uk 0161 247 1565

Autumn/Winter 2017

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FOREWORD

A message from the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Malcolm Press

U

niversities are among the most resilient institutions in the world, with at least 40 of them claiming a heritage that goes back over 500 years. At Manchester Metropolitan we can trace our roots back to 1824. Despite everything that’s changed over the centuries, the education and research functions of universities have remained relevant. Indeed, they have often been key drivers of advancement and enlightenment. Universities are amazing institutions: thriving communities of thinkers, inventors and creators, but above all, educators. Universities transform lives, from welcoming the individual school leaver embarking on a degree programme, to addressing the great challenges of our age, such as climate change and antibiotic resistance. We generate the knowledge and provide the evidence that underpins policy development and shapes the future. We are proud of our record in ensuring that this stimulating and transformative environment is available to people, irrespective of their background. Forty per cent of our undergraduates come from low-income families and many are first generation students. Maximising participation in higher education is important, not just because of the moral ascendancy of equality of opportunity, but also because there is a powerful economic case. We should seek talent exhaustively to find the very best minds, so that we can all benefit from their contribution. It is also incumbent on us to ensure that the wider public knows what we are doing and is able to sense the value of

our activities, not only directly from the education and skills training that we deliver or the research that we undertake, but also from the jobs that we create, the businesses that we grow and support, and our contribution to the culture and vibrancy of towns and cities. It is important to ensure that the value that we add, the opportunities that we offer, and the benefits that we bring to individuals and society, are first and foremost in people’s minds when they think of our sector. And that’s what I find so powerful about Met Magazine. It’s a terrific platform for us to showcase our strengths, the difference that we make to our students and the lives of the people around us. Each issue of the magazine seeks to shine a light on a different element of our activities. In this fourth issue we focus on innovation in health and wellbeing, a topic of fundamental importance both locally and globally, and one that has the eyes of the world fixed on Manchester. Along with partner organisations, Manchester Metropolitan is involved in a unique initiative that is taking place here: the devolution of Greater Manchester’s £6 billion annual health and social care budget. Devolution transfers the power to take charge of health and social care to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, directly affecting around 2.8 million people. Our expertise in diverse disciplines, from digital technology to sport and engineering, will contribute towards the innovation needed to improve wellbeing. Our Faculty of Health, Psychology and Social Care

makes an important contribution to the health and social services not only through innovation, but also through workforce training and development. We are playing our part in the development of the skills needed to support integrated health and social care, upskilling today’s workforce and training the world-class professionals of tomorrow. The wellbeing side of the health agenda is sometimes neglected in the political narrative, so it was significant that a report entitled Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing was launched here at the University in July. Our Arts for Health Unit is now celebrating its 30th year, and the report reaffirms the importance of the arts to the improvement of health and wellbeing. The collaboration of academics in health and social care with colleagues in arts and humanities means that many of the best brains in the country are working together to develop and evaluate similarly innovative approaches that will make a real difference. As institutions of inquiry, populated with thinkers and analysts, innovators and inventors, our sector has a long tradition of leading change. We are proud of our expertise; now we must focus on communicating our distinctive strengths and the impact these have on society. Every issue of Met Magazine features examples of the ways Manchester Metropolitan University is a force for good. We will continue to communicate how we are shaping the world and changing people’s lives for the better. I hope you agree that our story is both important and inspiring, and worth sharing.

Universities are amazing institutions: thriving communities of thinkers, inventors and creators, but above all, educators

Autumn/Winter 2017

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METNEWS

Recognition for University’s strength as a diversity champion Vice-Chancellor Professor Malcolm Press has been named on the OUTstanding Leading LGBT+ Public Sector Executives List. Professor Press is one of 20 top global public sector executives recognised in the list, which is produced in conjunction with the Financial Times. The awards panel recognised Professor Press as providing leadership and oversight of Manchester Metropolitan’s equality and diversity agenda, as well as endeavouring to be a positive role model. OUTstanding was founded to prove LGBT+ executives could be visible, safe and successful in business. Professor Press joins other notable LGBT executives such as Mary Portas, David Furnish and alumnus Jonathan Mildenhall in being recognised in the annual list. The recognition follows significant progress made by the University around equality and diversity. Earlier this year the University was named as one of the best employers for lesbian, gay,

bi and trans staff in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index. The University was ranked 41st in the UK as part of Stonewall’s Top 100 employers rankings, a climb of 125 places from 2016, and 4th among Education institutions. Professor Press said: “I am

delighted to have been named in the OUTstanding Leading LGBT+ Public Sector Executives List. We have made significant progress at the University to ensure we have an inclusive, supportive and celebratory environment where everyone is treated with fairness, dignity and respect.”

Landmark building gets planning permission

Plans for Manchester Metropolitan University’s new flagship Arts and Media building have been given the green light by Manchester City Council. The council’s Planning Committee approved plans for the landmark eight-storey development on the University’s All Saints Campus. The project is part of a £400m Estates Investment Programme to

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be rolled out over the next five to six years to ensure the University’s estate remains fit for purpose and to enhance its world-class campus in the heart of Manchester. Built on the site of the old Mabel Tylecote Building, the 12,500 sq m Arts and Media building will house a new Poetry Library alongside the prestigious Manchester Writing School; a 180-seat auditorium for Manchester School of Theatre productions; an exciting new Multimedia Journalism programme with in-house TV and radio studios; and the University Language Centre. The building will be connected to the Grade-II listed Grosvenor Building, which hosts the Holden Gallery, and will provide space to exhibit items from the University’s vast Special Collections. The listed portico to Grosvenor Building will be incorporated into the new building as a striking entrance design feature, and there will be a café, restaurant and bar

and foyer for public exhibitions. Professor Malcolm Press, Manchester Metropolitan University Vice-Chancellor, said: “Our new Arts and Media building will provide outstanding state-of-the-art facilities including theatre space, a Poetry Library and a new University Language Centre and be home to a forwardlooking and diverse mix of arts and humanities courses. In the future the building will also form part of a dynamic cultural quarter alongside our existing arts and humanities buildings and the new Screen School. “The co-location of these disciplines will offer exceptional opportunities for collaboration in teaching and research, particularly in relation to script writing for stage and the performance of new work in the theatre. The design of the new building as a space of encounter on the Manchester knowledge corridor will enhance the city’s cultural offer and build the University’s connections with the wider community.”


NEWS

Smoking research shows age risk

Silver rating in TEF awards Manchester Metropolitan has received Silver status in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). The Teaching Excellence Framework was introduced by the Government to recognise and reward high-quality teaching in higher education. It aims to give students clear information about where teaching quality is the best and where students have achieved the best outcomes. Through the TEF, the quality of teaching is assessed and rated, encouraging a stronger focus on this area. Manchester Metropolitan

prides itself on high quality teaching across our courses and a Silver award from TEF has reinforced this. Vice-Chancellor Professor Malcolm Press said: “Our Silver award recognises the innovation and dedication of members of the University – a collective determination to inspire and support students. The rating reflects the improvements that we have made over recent years, and I am confident that the work that we have in train will propel us towards Gold.”

I am confident that the work that we have in train will propel us towards Gold

Giving private and NHS patients access to weight-bearing MRI scanner Patients can take advantage of one of only a handful of open coil Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanners in Greater Manchester now that Manchester Metropolitan University is opening its facility to the public. The University has decided to widen access to the technology by making it available to both private and NHS patients under the Scanning For Health brand. Lying within the University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering, it is one of only a few centres in the UK to offer this kind of specialist equipment outside a private hospital setting.

Unlike the more common tunnel-style machine where patients must lie flat in an enclosed scanner, the University’s scanner is open-sided and the imaging equipment moves around the subject, allowing body parts to be imaged in either a horizontal or vertical position that can more naturally replicate the kind of everyday activities causing discomfort. This is especially useful for those with musculoskeletal injuries or problems. For more information and to book an appointment, visit scanningforhealth.co.uk

The risk of developing serious disease from smoking increases with age, new research confirms. The study found that the longer people smoked – and the more they smoked over that period – the more they risked developing high blood pressure, respiratory disease or heart disease. Data analysis found that the scale of smoking’s harmful effects initially might be small on younger smokers. However, it lays a damaging foundation – as smokers age, the more likely they are to suffer from smoking-related diseases. The findings can support smoking cessation practitioners and their efforts to help people quit as soon as possible by demonstrating the link with continued smoking. Dr Xin Shi, Reader in Applied Statistics at Manchester Metropolitan, one of the study authors, said: “The harmful effects of smoking and its cumulative effects are well documented. “Our research has reinforced the link between continued smoking consumption and its harmful effects, with the analysis showing an increased risk with age. “The findings highlight that it is essential to advise smokers that they should quit smoking as soon as possible. The longer they continue to smoke, the greater risk they face.”

‘FootSnap’ app helps in fight against diabetic foot ulcers University researchers have developed an app to help medical professionals capture consistent photographs of the underside of diabetics’ feet in order to better detect foot ulcers and monitor treatment. The Manchester Metropolitan University academics – Dr Moi Hoon Yap, a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science, and Professor Neil Reeves, Professor of Musculoskeletal Biomechanics – created FootSnap to run on an iPad tablet device. Podiatry is vitally important for people with diabetes because they are more prone to the emergence of foot problems due to the damage that raised blood sugars can cause to sensation and blood circulation. The development of foot ulcers and the loss of sensation in the lower extremities can create a cycle of tissue damage and other foot complications and so careful routine observation and examination is vital. Professor Reeves said: “A diabetic foot ulcer is an open wound on the foot and represents a major problem for people with diabetes, being very difficult to heal and in some cases leading on to amputation. The app that we have developed at the moment standardises foot photographs. This will be a very useful clinical tool for healthcare professionals to monitor ulcer healing, and is a major advantage over the current approach, which is mainly based on subjective judgement.” The app should be available to download in the near future and the developers envisage further evolution of the programme will enable it to be used on smartphones and other devices and by less well-trained operators.

NEWS

Visit mmu.ac.uk/metmagazine to read more news about Manchester Metropolitan

Autumn/Winter 2017

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Giving small businesses HR help will boost productivity, report shows A pilot project giving free tailored support to small businesses to overcome HR problems should be introduced nationwide to improve productivity, experts from Manchester Metropolitan University say. Firms with a headcount of 50 or fewer were able to take advantage of targeted face-to-face advice, a telephone helpline, online information, template documentation and group training to solve personnel issues. The package of measures, called People Skills, was trialled in three areas – Hackney, Glasgow and Stoke-on-Trent – with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) using funding from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation to engage local delivery partners. Professor Carol Atkinson, Professor of Human Resource Management, and Associate Dean for Research in the Faculty of Business and Law, and Professor Ben Lupton, Professor of Employment and Director of the Centre for People and Performance, led a team who evaluated the effectiveness of the pilot for the CIPD, and the final report and its recommendations were launched at Parliament. In their report, Professor Atkinson and Professor Lupton recommended the People Skills model should be adopted across the country, albeit with tweaks to make it more efficient. Professor Atkinson said: “Our finding was that the model was seen to be really effective and it was free. “A lot of business support is traditionally provided by one or two people employed on a fulltime business whereas this more flexible model employed freelance consultants and could therefore draw on a wider range of people who are available at different times and crucially bring different skills and experience. “The model could create a good match between consultant and business to make sure their needs were addressed.”

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Honorary graduates for 2017

Ruth Ibegbuna is the founder and CEO of Manchester’s RECLAIM

The model could create a good match between consultant and business

This year’s honorary degrees from Manchester Metropolitan University recognised the success of leaders and innovators from the world of business, computing, social work and youth engagement. The five recipients who have each made a mark in their respective fields were Lyn Romeo, Peter Lomas, Ruth Ibegbuna, Scott Fletcher and Iqbal Ahmed. Lyn Romeo, who is Chief Social Worker for Adults, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters (DLitt) degree in recognition of her significant contribution to social work and the reputation of the profession through excellent leadership and advocacy (see Views on page 53). Peter Lomas was presented with an honorary Doctor of Science (DSc) degree in recognition of his significant contribution to computer science through the development of the Raspberry Pi and dedication to engaging young people in computing. Ruth Ibegbuna is the founder and CEO of Manchester’s RECLAIM, an award-winning social action and youth leadership programme with a focus on working-class young people being seen, being heard and leading change. Ruth became an honorary Doctor of Education (DEd) in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the North West region through youth engagement projects. Scott Fletcher MBE received an honorary Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree in recognition of his outstanding contribution to business and the North West region. Scott is one of the UK’s leading entrepreneurs heading up companies with a total valuation in excess of £150 million. Iqbal Ahmed OBE was awarded an honorary Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree in recognition of his outstanding achievements in business and his significant contribution to the economy and regeneration of Manchester and Bangladesh. He is the founder of Seamark, one of Europe’s leading processors, exporters and distributors of frozen food products.

Business School welcomes first Global Online MBA students Manchester Metropolitan’s Business School has embarked on an exciting new venture as it welcomed its first Global Online Masters students. Twenty-six students from as far afield as Malta and China have enrolled on the Faculty’s new online MBA programmes. Delivered 100% online and offering flexible study options, the courses will teach students the skills and knowledge needed to lead in a global market, while balancing their learning with existing work and personal commitments. Two Global Online MBA

courses are currently available at Manchester Metropolitan – one business focused and one specialising in Strategic Health and Social Care – in addition to a MSc in International HR Management and with further programmes under development. Invest in your career with a Global Online Masters programme and gain the skills and knowledge you need to lead in a fulfilling and challenging managerial role in a global context. Go to mmu.ac.uk/ study/postgraduate/ and visit the dedicated programme pages to find out more.


Introducing RAH!: research to shout about Forgotten, marginalised and previously untold stories will be highlighted in the inaugural Research in Arts and Humanities (RAH!) public programme of events for 2017-18. Building on the success of the University’s Humanities in Public (HiP) programme, RAH! welcomes Manchester School of Art and Manchester Fashion Institute researchers following the Faculty merger in 2016. Audiences can anticipate fascinating events on writing, history, art, architecture, design, media, film, fashion, politics, philosophy and social science. The theme of the first RAH! programme in 2017/18 is ‘Finding Voices’, within five thematic strands of ‘Gender and Sexualities’,

‘Representations of Conflict’, ‘Migration and Diaspora’, ‘Creative Geographies’ and ‘Archive Interventions’. These themes will be explored through a series of public lectures, seminars, film screenings, fairs and shows, discussions, ‘show and tell’ workshops, artist happenings and augmented reality events. A taste of what audiences can expect includes: l Paradise Lost – Trailblazer

events around Manchester ahead of Asia Triennial 2018 on memories of the partition of India and Pakistan, and the complexities of relocated identities and cultures.

programme in 2012, the festival celebrates its fifth edition with this year’s theme ‘Gothic Style’. l Special film screenings to

celebrate the 40th anniversary of the North West Film Archive, an exploration of modern Japan in Japan in the Digital Age, Digital Home Movie Day and a clothes swap with a difference courtesy of Manchester Fashion Institute, Manchester Identity: Unworn.

A full list of events from now until the end of this year can be found at mmu.ac.uk/ artshumanities/rah with many more events set to follow for 2018.

l Gothic Manchester Festival –

Growing out of the first HiP

University leads the way on CityVerve ‘smart city’ projects Projects harnessing technology to boost green travel, bring culture to life and tackle isolation among older people are well underway as part of the University’s involvement in CityVerve. Manchester is the UK’s first ‘smart-city’ demonstrator, using the Internet of Things (IoT) to improve everyday life for its citizens through effective use of data. As one of over 20 partner institutions in the city, Manchester Metropolitan University is leading on three projects. These began last year and will make further visible progress in the next academic year. Currently in place on the University campus, the Manchester Plinth interacts with the ‘Buzzin’ app and phone cameras to reveal items from the University’s vast

Special Collections for users to explore. The project is due to expand to include more locations along the Oxford Road Corridor over the next six months in collaboration with events and festivals in the city. Academics in Manchester School of Architecture have analysed public transport data in Manchester to find the quickest and most carbon-friendly ways to travel around the city. The project is being led by Ulysses Sengupta, Senior Lecturer, and Eric Cheung, a researcher. This should result in a publicly available app allowing users to plot the greenest travel route for their journey in Manchester. It is believed to be the first app of its type in the UK. Manchester School of

Architecture academics and external developers are working to produce a crowd-sourced events calendar for Moss Side. The smart calendar will pull together listings from websites and social media platforms of community organisations to create one central calendar for what’s on in the community. Led by Professor Stefan White, the calendar is in response to the findings of the wider Manchester Age Friendly Neighbourhood project. This explores the use of a ‘community-technology partnership’, and how it can help groups to overcome technical hurdles to increase social contact. Watch out for further announcements throughout the year on these projects and further exciting CityVerve developments.

Partnership to boost public spaces and environments The Landscape Institute (LI) and Manchester Metropolitan University’s Institute of Place Management (IPM) will come together to help their members to create great environments. Through combining the organisations’ training resources and insight, the partnership will give both place managers and landscape professionals unrivalled opportunities to develop and learn. The practitioners responsible for managing our town centres, public spaces and local

environments will become better equipped to attract businesses and jobs, preserve public realms for all to enjoy, and prepare for future economic and environmental challenges. Daniel Cook, Chief Executive of the LI, said: “We have a great deal in common. So a collaborative approach is very much a win-win. By working together, we are paving the way for more professional bodies to cooperate with us on major issues and so better serve the practitioners and policy makers

who make and manage places.” Professor Cathy Parker, Chair of the IPM and Professor of Marketing and Retail Enterprise at Manchester Metropolitan, said: “Our agreement with the LI represents a significant development not just for our organisations, but for the whole placemaking sector. We need to collaborate and to combine the best thinking from both the urban and natural environments if we are going to have great and resilient places.”

So a collaborative approach is very much a win-win

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Record number of student athletes receive sport scholarships

A record number of 60 scholars and five sport ambassadors have been selected to benefit from a tailored financial and sporting support package provided by MMU Sport. The bespoke package, which includes nutrition, physiotherapy, strength and conditioning as well as financial support and contributions towards their fees, attracted hundreds of applications from athletes around the world – all looking to develop both their academic and athletic potential with Manchester Metropolitan University. This year’s cohort includes Paralympic champion Kadeena Cox, who erupted onto the Paralympic scene in Rio last summer winning gold medals in cycling and athletics; fellow track cyclist and Olympic gold medallist Joanna Rowsell-Shand, who is studying Physiology; Michael Jones, who brought home

a gold medal in last summer’s Paralympics in the 400m Freestyle category, will study Business Enterprise and Marketing; and Manchester Magic and England international basketball player Stefan Gillis, who is studying for an MSc in International Business Management. MMU Sport performance officer, Callum Jones said: “It’s extremely exciting to see the level of student athletes that we attract to Manchester Metropolitan University through our scholarship programme. “We have increased the number of student athletes supported by the programme whilst at the same time improving the overall standard of the cohort. This speaks volumes about the new partnerships and club links we have made across the country, and shows the investment into sport by Manchester Met.” Read Kadeena Cox’s amazing story on page 12.

University welcomes fourth Master of Sport Directorship cohort Twenty-seven former sports professionals and business leaders have joined Manchester Metropolitan University, as the world’s leading MBA-level course for sporting directors welcomes its fourth year of high-profile students. The elite programme – ­ the first of its kind in the UK ­– prepares professionals and executives for a career as a sport industry leader, helping to bridge the gap between the playing field and boardroom. This year’s cohort included sporting heroes such as Vikram Solanki, Gary Bowyer, Kevin Davies, Scott Sellars and former Everton and Scotland footballer David Weir.

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Dr Sara Ward, MBA and Executive Programmes Director at Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “Professionalising the industry of sport, from the highly lucrative Premier League, through the many burgeoning Olympic sports and all the way to grass roots nonprofit organisations has become a huge priority and this course addresses the needs of this new wave of sporting professionals.” For more information on the Master of Sport Directorship, visit: mmu.ac.uk/business-school/study/ professional/master-of-sportdirectorship/

Team Taekwondo success at the World Championships

It’s extremely exciting to see the level of student athletes that we attract to Manchester Metropolitan University through our scholarship programme

Manchester Metropolitan University’s International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) team made history by becoming the first university team invited to enter the World Championships – returning home with a remarkable 31 medals. The games, held in Barneveld, Holland, saw 2,300 entrants from 37 countries, with most competitors from professional national teams. Despite being the underdogs, the University Taekwondo team saw huge success, winning three world champion medals, 13 silvers and 15 bronze medals. These medals, combined with the success of the national UK team, mean that the UK was ranked first out of all the competing countries. Over the last two years, the team has competed in the British University Taekwondo League where they won two league titles. They also won numerous golds at the North West Championships. In July 2016, the team became the first university club to enter the European Championships, where four competitors won two golds, one silver and one bronze. Jérôme Read, MMU Sport’s Performance Sport Manager, said: “The University Taekwondo club has been one of the trailblazers in setting the bar high for competitive sport at Manchester Met. They have worked to create a model for their club that involves all levels from new starters right through to, now, world champions. MMU Sport is delighted that their endeavours have been rewarded at each and every step of the way.”


VIEWS

How do we deliver value for money? New Students’ Union President Hussain El-Amin discusses what represents a valuable student experience

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ecently I was sitting in a familiar spot in a lecture theatre, one that I frequently sat in while a student, listening in to a Welcome Week induction talk. Reminiscing about my time as a fresher and my lecture and classroom experiences, I realised that even though I was a student not so long ago, things have changed. Massively. Things have changed not just within my own institution, but right across the higher education sector. On a national level, tuition fees remain an important topic, and rightly so. On campus, however, students’ attention has shifted towards whether a degree represents value for money, or rather value for the debt they will finish university with. Prior to writing this article, I spoke to a number of our students to gauge what represents a valuable university experience. The students I spoke to seemed to gauge ‘value’ through university facilities, services and distinctiveness. They look for what is available on campus, from sports facilities to food and drink outlets. They also considered the prestige of the estates and residential services, which to me represented an element of aesthetic and a self-belonging. An emphasis was also put on the distinctiveness of the university, which included the city where the university is based. That is not to say that students do not value the educational and learning aspect to university, rather, good teaching and learning was considered the core purpose of university and is expected as customary. The marketisation of higher education has made students see themselves as ‘customers’ and subsequently they are ‘paying customers’ now expect their provider to deliver their services in ways proportionate to their expectations. On the one hand they are a paying customer with certain expectations, but on the other hand they accept that the more time and effort they put in, the more they will come out with. One student eloquently compared this to a gym membership, which will only give you access to the facilities – it’s hard work that produces results. To address the issue of increasing student expectations in recent years, universities have

invested billions into new buildings, which I think is great. It’s great because it means that the university may recruit more students; it’s great because facilities may be better. It’s great because universities will attract more research. It’s also great because it means that our students are sitting in new and modern lecture theatres and not run-down, post-war buildings, because studying in a castle-like university just isn’t that cool anymore. The challenge that faces our University is moving beyond the fundamental and psychological needs to focus on the aspects that will enable students to achieve self-actualisation. Students want to know that their university is investing in things such as mental health services, innovation in teaching, opportunities for personal development and employability, as well as modern technology and research facilities. Now more than ever, universities should be willing to bend themselves for the needs and expectations of students and be more student-centric, rather than students bending themselves for the needs of the university. I am very pleased to see Manchester Metropolitan taking this approach with initiatives such as the First Generation campaign, the Student Journey Transformation Project and the suMMUr project, as well as other initiatives. All of which have the needs of prospective and current students at their heart and aim to remove barriers to entering and succeeding at university. The main theme that was highlighted by a number of students focused on teaching and learning methods, and how teaching practices should be innovative and agile enough to respond to student expectations in order to succeed in this new environment. Teaching innovation and excellence, in my opinion are best derived from a research-based approach to understanding student learning and, from that, driving innovative excellent teaching. Teaching styles should be based on an understanding of how our modern generation of students learn, rather than learning styles adopted to match traditional teaching methods. Similarly, assessment increasingly needs to be formative, as well as summative, and applicable to life

outside of the classroom. Students need to be able to articulate their skills. I believe the approach of integrating enrichment and development opportunities through the curriculum is one that needs to be explored. This approach will provide constant opportunities for students to learn and develop transferable skills and to gain meaningful experience. So when they do attend a CV workshop in their final year, they will be able to create a good CV filled with a range of experiences and skills desired by employers.

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SHAPED

by the city Manchester Metropolitan University alumni are achieving great things across the world. We caught up with three of our graduates to find out how they are making a difference and what their time at university meant to them

They helped instil in me a real passion for learning that I still have today

Paul Hudson

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Passion for learning

T

he sense of purpose provided by working in the healthcare sector is what has motivated and rewarded Paul Hudson since his first days in the industry. Tracing a career path through sales, marketing and general management, he now leads a global team of 30,000 as Chief Executive of Novartis Pharmaceuticals. He graduated with an Economics degree from Manchester Metropolitan University in 1990, having made life-long friends, reconnected with his Manchester roots, and enjoyed the dynamism of a city that he said felt like the centre of the universe for music. Hudson says: “I was lucky to have some fantastic lecturers who brought to life the rich industrial history of the region and stretched our global economic thinking. “They helped instil in me a real passion for learning that I still have today. “My economics

studies provided a solid grounding in the business concepts that have helped me throughout my career. “Importantly, I learned to stay open minded and curious to continuously learn new things – something I have embraced and continue to instil in my team today. “Because of this, my education has continued far beyond graduation.” Hudson says his career highlights are when he feels he has made a real difference; when he receives a letter of thanks from a patient whose life was improved by the company’s products and, because he has focused throughout his working life on developing others and nurturing talent, hearing from an individual he has helped in some way grow professionally. He says companies like his Switzerland-based multinational are looking for new recruits who are well-rounded, and can add value to the team and push their thinking from day one thanks to their social skills as much as their brainpower. Hudson adds: “I would remind students to equally invest in learning, friendships and experiences – this need for balance will continue throughout life. “In my experience, if you are purpose driven, the challenging times will be easier to get through, and you will inevitably be more fulfilled.”


PEOPLE

Creative endeavours

E

Emma Freeman

mma Freeman is stitching together a successful business career with a burgeoning paper goods brand featuring her handmade designs. She graduated in 2016 with a degree in Textiles in Practice and soon after launched online store Eddie and the Giant Peach – eddieandthegiantpeach. com – named in memory of her grandfather. It stocks stylish home accessories including typography prints, art prints and personalised baubles created at her studio. Freeman knew she wanted to study at Manchester Metropolitan as soon as she saw the Benzie Building with its open plan layout and the inspirational buzz of floor after floor of workshops and equipment filled with industrious creative students. She says: “Manchester is a cosmopolitan city with lots going on and Manchester Metropolitan is in the heart of it all. You will never be bored, that’s for sure.

“I have gained confidence in myself and my abilities – and this grew throughout my time at university. “Going to New Designers (exhibition for emerging design) at the end of university was such a great experience. “To be around so many talented people was really inspiring and it was at that point that I decided that I didn’t want to just go home and get a normal 9-to-5 job and would instead start my own creative business.” Her career highlight so far is being accepted to sell her products on popular and influential web boutique NotOnTheHighStreet.com because it gave her a shot of confidence and more exposure to a raft of savvy customers. She says: “My biggest piece of advice to students would be to continue working and inspiring yourself after graduating, even if it’s just drawing once a week, because as soon as you stop it will be so much harder to get yourself inspired again.”

You will never be bored, that’s for sure

Unfinished business

M

iddle distance champion Steve Green is putting athletics back on track after returning to Manchester Metropolitan University as a coach. The Mancunian set a national Jamaican record by finishing seventh in the 1,500m final in 3m 39s at the 1994 Commonwealth Games – a time unbeaten to this day. He gained a degree in Public Administration in 1995 while still competing at the top level and returned to the University as head athletics coach in September 2016. Green says: “When I was here student sport was a lot different: the club system was paramount and the BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) system wasn’t as developed as it is now. “We didn’t really have an athletics team, which was a shame as I would have liked to run for the University. “This role is a chance to bring that ‘something’ that I missed to Manchester Metropolitan and bring the expertise I have in athletics and

coaching, so it’s all a bit personal for me. I feel that I perhaps have unfinished business here.” With the support of the athletics club committee, Green has introduced a more professional approach to training, with a focus on technique, conditioning and strength. He has shaped a dedicated training squad that now competes regularly in the University’s familiar orange and blue kit. His changes and the renewed camaraderie have already borne results, with track and cross country times showing large improvements. He adds: “I absolutely love it. It’s been great to see how the University has expanded in terms of student numbers and the facilities and what it has to offer. “It’s impressive to come back and see how much it’s grown.” For now the father-of-one remains in the history books alongside Usain Bolt. “To have that record for so

long is amazing,” he says. “It’s really surprising because Jamaica is not really known for distance running, but it has had some really good athletes down the years. “Not many people can claim to hold a national record, especially not a lad from Chorlton.”

I feel that I perhaps have unfinished business here

Steve Green

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BACK

on track

A year on from her four-medal blitz at the 2016 Paralympics, Kadeena Cox MBE is back at Manchester Metropolitan University to complete her Physiotherapy degree. Met Magazine finds out more about what it has been like to bounce back from adversity to glorious triumph, and asks what’s next?

A

sk Kadeena Cox for a rundown of the last 12 months after her stunning Rio 2016 gold rush, and the response is as jaw-dropping as the feat of being the first British Paralympian in a generation to triumph in two different sports at the same games. The 26-year-old sprinter and cyclist has barely paused to draw breath after capturing two gold medals, a silver and a bronze last summer – and subsequently being chosen to be Team GB’s flag-bearer for the closing ceremony. “It’s been a bit manic if I’m honest,” says Cox, in a dramatic understatement. She spent the latter half of 2016 appearing at a spree of awards ceremonies and on TV shows, before jetting out to Austria for two months to compete in Channel 4’s celebrity winter sports show The Jump. After four days’ break, and a stop-off at Buckingham Palace to receive an MBE, she returned to the track to win 400m gold at the World Championships in London. Following a week’s rest, she was at work for the first of three clinical placements necessitated by her ongoing study of Physiotherapy at Manchester Metropolitan University. How does she reflect on her success and meteoric rise in the public consciousness? “It is very weird. The point at which you have to get a manager – you’re like – why have I got a manager? I still feel like I’m just Kadeena Cox, whereas [now] my life obviously needs to be managed. It’s quite an interesting position to be in. It all happened quite quickly and I didn’t expect it.” Now, after an 18-month break

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from her studies, Cox is returning to the classroom to complete the final year of her degree. During a rollercoaster four years in which she has endured the extreme lows of being diagnosed with a chronic disease that dramatically halted a promising athletics career, and the euphoric highs of returning to elite level sport and winning gold for her country, one constant has been the support of the University and her tutors on the BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy course. She initially enrolled at Manchester Metropolitan in 2013. “Everything was going really well. I was getting good grades, being a good student, thinking ‘yay this is really fun!’ I’d nearly finished my first year, and then in May 2014 I had my stroke.” Completing her first year from a hospital bed, she had intended

I’d nearly finished my first year, and then in May 2014 I had my stroke

to return to campus as usual in the following September – but then was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. “I came back in the middle of October and got through one onehour lecture. As I was walking out of Uni with tears streaming down my face, Jan Rooney [Programme Leader for BSc Physiotherapy] grabbed me and took me back upstairs to her office. “I had a conversation with her, and Glenis [Donaldson, Senior Lecturer in Physiotherapy] who is my personal tutor, and they both said – ‘Kadeena you need to go home’. They knew it wasn’t the right thing for me to do, so they just gave me a hug and said ‘Kadeena – this is not the right place for you to be and you need to go and get better’. They got me a taxi home and waited with me


FEATURE until my Dad came to pick me up and take me back to Leeds.” Cox gradually returned to university and competitive sport and set her sights on competing in the Paralympics in 2016. Realising that the rigours of training alongside her studies would lead to her excelling in neither, her tutors again convinced her to take an extended break to prepare for Rio. “At that point I thought I could do them alongside each other. But I think them knowing that my health was a bit rocky because it was still early days, and the intensity of the course, as well as trying to do the two sports, that they were a lot smarter than me

and helped me to decide taking time out was maybe the best thing to do. And it was the best thing to do, wasn’t it?” she beams. Cox is extremely grateful for their care, describing Rooney and Donaldson as being ‘like her mother’. She explains: “The staff are here for all the students, and they will do anything to get us through the course. They really try to help you as much as they can to the limit of what they can do.” British Athletics and British Cycling have permitted Cox to dedicate the next year to completing her degree – which means knuckling down to complete essays, a dissertation

on children with neurological conditions, and a run of placements in local hospitals – plenty to keep most students occupied. But while sport isn’t currently the main priority, that doesn’t mean she can spend all her free time in the library. Cox plans to represent England at the Commonwealth Games in Australia next April during the University’s Easter break, and potentially compete at the Track Cycling World Championships a month earlier. All that means a gruelling work and training schedule. “I don’t do as much as I could do because of my MS. But currently

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on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I spend mornings on the bike and an afternoon at the gym. I’m in Uni 9-5 on a Tuesday and Thursday, then I’m straight over to the track. Then on Saturday mornings I have a track session over in Leeds. At one point I was travelling to Leeds during the week as well, but it’s just too much when I’ve got placements.” Cox explains her MS means she is often extremely fatigued, sometimes in bed by 8:30pm, making working into the small hours difficult. “The student athlete life is totally different to the average,” she admits. “When I’ve got placements I’ll be working a full-time job. So I’ll be fitting [that] around essentially having another two full-time jobs as well. It’s so tricky.” As well as her supportive tutors, that is where Manchester Metropolitan’s sports scholarship programme makes a huge difference. Cox was one of the first scholars enrolled into the scheme after it launched in 2013, and is part of this year’s record 60-strong cohort. The bespoke package includes nutrition, physiotherapy, strength and conditioning support for student athletes, as well as a coach to help them manage university alongside sporting and competitive commitments. “It’s just a big supportive network so you’re not having to deal with everything yourself,” says Cox. “You can see that in our BUCS (university sport) standings, it’s making a difference. So once I’ve finished this degree, I might do a Masters and stick around,” she laughs. The hard work is all to set Cox up for a career as a physio when her sporting career winds down. Her initial ambition was to become a sports physiotherapist, but the diverse experiences afforded to her on the BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy course has seen her change her plans. “Initially that’s all I knew of physiotherapy, but then you get onto the course and you learn about the neuro aspects, the cardio-respiratory aspects, as well as the musculoskeletal…I’ve learned quite a lot about neuro, but even before I got ill neuro really interested me. “I would have never thought in a million years that would be

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the area that interested me. But the way that it’s taught here and the things that we do, it’s really caught me, it’s opened my eyes to the different areas and doing all the placements I’ve learned a lot more about physio and where it can go.” Her placements with paediatrics, and the fact her personal tutor Donaldson is an experienced paediatric physio, have inspired her to focus on neurological conditions and children. “That’s now my main interest. Where I’m going to come out of this course is not the place I thought I would be in going to go into it.” Between the short-term focus on graduating, and her longer-term career plans, on the horizon is the small matter of defending her titles at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. “For next year, British Athletics and British Cycling just want me to get my degree done because they know that’s important to me and what I want to do eventually career-wise. After that, 2019 and 2020 are dedicated to the Paralympics.” But she does have something rare to look forward to before then – some time off. “Once I finish my degree in the back end of summer 2018 I get a break. I think I’m actually going to book a holiday for August. It’s weird, I don’t think I’ve ever been able to do that.” She is considering taking one of her elective physio placements towards the end of her degree in Sydney. “Then I might go travelling afterwards. Just disappear for a couple of months and enjoy myself. Then I’ll come back in the September and it will all be geared towards Tokyo 2020.” Cox is incredibly positive, both about the future and when reflecting on the challenges that the last few years have brought. “I feel like you can have a clear direction and end point of where you want your life to go, but there’s never a trajectory that goes straight up to your end point. It’s always some kind of swirly line,” she says. “Also that end point can change so easily. Even though I wouldn’t wish my diagnosis on anyone, it’s probably the

best thing that could have happened to me. It’s changed the direction of my life. I had so many opportunities I wouldn’t otherwise have had. “I now have the opportunity to make a difference to so many people’s lives and use the things I’ve had to go through to help other people, using knowledge I’ve gained through being in sport and understanding other people with disabilities.” She says that competing in elite-level sport with people with disabilities will lead her to being a better physio in future. “During my year away just doing athletics and cycling, I learnt so much because I spent so much time with other people with disabilities and with the physios, which is knowledge I would have never gained just being on the course. The wealth of knowledge I’ve got now I can use and take towards being a better physio in the future that can help other people and help them to achieve better things. I can also go into schools and help to produce the next generation of athletes.” At the end of another punishing day of radio interviews, university work and training, Cox rounds things off in her typical understated and selfdeprecating way. “I feel like I’ve just got an opportunity to use life experiences in so many different ways to help people, and I wouldn’t have had that if I hadn’t have been the weirdo that had a stroke and then found out they had MS. I feel like it has given my life more purpose.”


Despair to glory: the Kadeena Cox story Kadeena Cox started sprinting competitively at the age of 15 after her school hockey coach suggested she go to a Spar Sprints Challenge. With her heart set on the Olympics, she was emerging as a national standard able-bodied 100m and 200m runner. Regularly winning medals in both regional and national level competitions, Cox broke the 12-second barrier in the 100m and was ranked among the top few dozen athletes in the country for her distances before the onset of significant health problems. She was also attempting to get onto the UK Sport skeleton talent programme. But two days after competing at the Loughborough International in May 2014, Cox was taken to hospital feeling unwell and was diagnosed with a stroke. She was only 23 years old. After two months of rehabilitation, Cox returned to sprinting, but in September experienced progressively more severe tingling and numbness in her arms and legs. Doctors feared she had suffered another stroke, but after several tests she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis – a life-long neurological condition. Its symptoms vary, but can include flare-ups of fatigue, muscle spasms, pain, vision and mobility problems, as well as daily injections – which put an end to Cox’s able-bodied athletics career. With the support of her coaches and family, Cox gradually returned to elite level competition – this time as a parasports sprinter and cyclist. Her commitment culminated in gold medals in the T38 400m and C 4-5 time trial at the Rio 2016 Paralympics, as well as two further podium finishes on the track. She again took gold in the T38 400m at this summer’s World Championships, and is planning to compete at next year’s Commonwealth Games and the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo.

Even though I wouldn’t wish my diagnosis on anyone, it’s probably the best thing that could have happened to me

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THIS IS

Manchester’s moment Andy Burnham is Greater Manchester’s first elected Metro Mayor. He speaks to Met Magazine about his first months in the job, why cities are more important than ever and how hope grew out of tragedy

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FEATURE

A

ndy Burnham drove into work on May 23, barely three weeks into his new job, feeling sick to the pit of his stomach. Hours before he had heard the news from his friend Steve Rotheram, Liverpool’s Mayor, that there had been a terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena, where Steve’s daughters had been at an Ariana Grande concert. All that he knew as he drove along the dark and deserted A580 was that children had died, hundreds had been injured and that the city had suffered something horrific and unprecedented in modern times. But out of great evil he also discovered an incredible spirit that surprised and amazed him. A sense of togetherness and a willingness to pull together. “I’ll never forget that, and I’m sure none of us will ever forget how we felt when we heard that terrible news. We just didn’t know what we were going into. But immediately as I arrived, and I met Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, I just want to tell you what I felt. I began to sense what was here.

“The strength of our people, the strength of our communities, the strength of our organisations, but critically the strength of our partnerships that have been built over many years by many people. And it’s real. It matters. You feel it behind you. And it’s really helped me to feel that, to know what we’re about, to know where we’re going,” he says. “It makes me think that if we can carry that forward, then what can’t we achieve as Greater Manchester? We must capture that spirit and continue to work in this way and I’m confident that all of the things we want to do are completely achievable; if only we unlock the potential of the contribution the people here want to make. That’s the chance we’ve got, let’s grab it and make the most of it.” This cuts to the core of political leadership. A politician can issue as many mission statements as they like. They can write a comprehensive manifesto that sets out a plan of action. And they can make as many promises as they think they can keep. But ultimately, as history shows time and time again, the true measure of their success, their effectiveness and their authority comes from how they react to the unforeseen. Events, dear boy, as Harold Macmillan put it. So it has proved with Andy Burnham’s first few months as Greater Manchester’s first directly elected Metro Mayor. He won 359,000 votes across the whole of Greater Manchester, 63% of the total vote, even winning wards in places like posh Trafford and leafy Marple where Labour never comes close. His status as a nationally-recognised politician has been a real game changer. But it’s also about the right space opening up. And at a time that the government is distracted by Brexit, this is a moment. “We have power here to do something. And actually, it comes at a moment when nationally politics does feel turbulent. We can cut through that. We start to make progress on priorities like skills and health, on transport, on housing, young people. We can create a sense of momentum here and make the country

look at us and think that Greater Manchester is where the positive energy in politics is, not the negativity maybe we’re feeling at a national level. There’s positivity here and the more we can do that, the more we can change the way this country works. I think if we brought through that policy on young people and the NHS then everyone would level up and everyone would have to start to do it.” Burnham’s work rate since he was elected in May has been intense. He’s called summits, set up task forces and is rarely off the front page of the Manchester Evening News. He pops up on the radio, appears at unlikely events and has energised the workforce across the local civil service. As a recognised national figure he had a head start, but also huge expectation on his shoulders. The immediate personal visibility has probably brought local politics into the front of people’s minds for the first time. He attended a forum to tackle the blight of the synthetic drug Spice, organised by MetroPolis, the think tank established by Manchester Metropolitan University (see Spice Wars on page 60). He did so to listen and take soundings from those who know what they’re talking about. A Digital Summit that successfully brought together the disparate tribes of Manchester’s technology community sold out in hours. The day itself was fizzing with ideas and saw the Mayor stay at the venue, Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry, for the entire day. A summit on homelessness pulled in a huge range of expertise focused on solving one of the city region’s wicked problems, his number one commitment. In many ways he’s following through on his own manifesto, which he called ‘our manifesto’, where he drew on collectives, ideas and people beyond his inner circle and the Labour family to come up with policy priorities. “Be it public, private, voluntary, whatever, you’re more likely to succeed if people feel involved in the journey you’re on. So, the principle that I established with the manifesto, is that we were calling it ‘our manifesto’, has been carried through into the first 100 days. “The homelessness action network is now a thing and the

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aim there is that the experts, the charities and the organisations out there working with homeless people write the plan, they write the strategy and agree how we’re going to end rough sleeping and reduce homelessness. “Also, the Digital Summit. I set that up saying, ‘Look, you tell us what the digital plan should be for Greater Manchester’. We’ve got the follow-up event in December and if that’s seen as a plan the digital community owns and that’s what they have all contributed to, then it will have a much greater chance of success.” These aren’t direct statutory powers he’s exercising. But he insists he’s using the authority vested in him and his influence to guide strategic direction. He says his thinking on this formed during the election, but then grew when he joined a forum of mayors from around the world, held in New York over the summer, and hosted by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “It’s old school actually to think of just the hard levers of power, the ideas that you pull this thing and you make people do something over there. As I think everyone’s saying, that only takes you so far. The power is the power of the office, the convening power, the ability to unite people and lead them around a single agenda. That’s the message that we were getting from the Bloomberg event, that’s where you will get your real change from,” he says. In many ways, the system

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Universities are critical to the future industrial base and the skills that we’re going to need but also as social partners, building the Greater Manchester brand with us

wasn’t designed for a politician like this. Greater Manchester’s strength has been pragmatism, ambition and collective working. Unlike other local politicians that the civic officials have been working with, Burnham wakes up in the morning thinking about Politics with a big P. He isn’t in this to manage an existing strategy for Greater Manchester, but to open up policy making and politics to a new coalition of partners, very much including the university sector. He was pleasantly surprised by the level of collaboration between the universities. “I know it’s building all the time, but there is a good deal more than I expected,” he says. “I am one of those who despairs about education policy in our country over the last 20 years. I think the drive to false competition

among colleges, now academies and schools, is just damaging. You know, education is not a world where for somebody to win somebody has to lose. “Universities are critical to the future industrial base and the skills that we’re going to need, but also as social partners, building the Greater Manchester brand with us.” The part of the Mayor’s role that he believes is going to get even more interesting is being a global ambassador; attracting investment and working with other cities to form alliances. “When you meet mayors from other cities around the world as I have begun to do, I want Manchester to be in that club, seen to be in that club of forward thinking cities. They all say that actually what is happening here, what we’re living through, is a change where national governments are becoming dysfunctional because of globalisation. The speed of change is overtaking their cumbersome and unwieldy processes and actually cities are becoming the agents of change. “When you think of the world in 10, or 20 years’ time I think that will be more the case that global entities will think of cities rather than countries when they’re looking to have a partnership and looking to invest and we’ve got to be in that. “Hopefully that was what George Osborne had in mind when he created the role of Greater Manchester Mayor. That it makes it easier for Manchester to promote itself on a world stage. So, with the digital agenda, I’m sending a message to the world that we’re in that space


and look at us, we’re going to do something. It’s part of my job not just to shake the hands on the red carpet but to set ambitions to be the UK’s leading digital city. Why not? That’s what we should be. So, for me, it’s partly about shaking the hands and building the relationships, but also articulating the ambition that is felt collectively and getting that heard by those people in positions of power around the world.” There is a sense that he’s building Brand Burnham, and in doing so is accountable only to the public of Greater Manchester, not to a national party. He made a series of bold pledges while campaigning to become Mayor. Within his first 100 days in office he said he would host a Digital Summit and a summit to bring together people who would join him in developing a strategy to tackle homelessness. He’s stuck to the commitments on action to tackle rough sleeping (though it is a problem he acknowledges may even have got worse), host a Digital Summit and lower bus fares for teenagers. But the momentum and energy he’s had to demonstrate is precisely because this is a punishingly short term. Three years in politics is nothing. One hundred days is a blink of an eye. If there was a sign that Mayor Burnham had truly consolidated his authority and his place in the mind’s eye it was when a noisy protest formed outside his office on Oxford Street. Homeless campaigners were demanding an audience with him over the evictions from squats. It wasn’t his decision to evict, nor does he have the direct power to overturn. But he’s the name on their lips.

The spirit of the city The community response to the Manchester Arena attack was overwhelmingly positive and an example of ‘place trauma’, according to Professor Dominic Medway In his stirring poem written after the Manchester Arena attack on 22 May, poet Ryan Williams wrote:

“So, come at us again, and again if you must. Time after time we’ll rise from the dust. You’ll never prevail – not against us...This is Manchester, our Manchester, And the bees still buzz!” The poem reflected perfectly how the Manchester community responded to the atrocity. In a recent editorial in the Journal of Place Management and Development, Professor Dominic Medway and colleagues from Manchester Metropolitan University’s Institute of Place Management reflected on the aftermath of
the Manchester Arena attack as an example of a community-led response to ‘place trauma’. They comment on how recent terrorist incidents in the UK have been followed by a remarkable response from citizens, embodying a collective spirit of unity and support. For example, the sight of people in distress prompted some members of the public to offer a bed for the night to survivors of the Arena attack who were left stranded in central Manchester and in shock, miles from their own homes. Equally, local taxi drivers offered free rides, allowing those caught up in the aftermath to get safely back to their own neighbourhoods. Money was also raised for the families of those affected, and the streets of Manchester were full of people keen to show their solidarity with those mourning the loss of family and friends. Social media was obviously
key in all this, allowing people to form rapid and collective responses to an unfolding crisis. Professor Medway and IPM colleagues suggest such community-led interventions provide a salient reminder that places are made by people. In fact, when residents, tourists and employees of local businesses respond in
a spontaneous and positive way to occurrences of mass violence and tragedy within a given city or town it says a lot about its place identity. Clearly, the impact and outcome of any atrocity or disaster is not simply about who is affected or not affected. It is also about where the occurrence happens, and how this is rejected through the subsequent reactions and actions of local people. This is because they may hold a unique and strong sense of place that engenders feelings of care and protection for their town or city, and all those that have encountered a given traumatic event there. When dealing with the effects of a ‘place trauma’, therefore, it is suggested that people’s sense of place needs to be embraced and nurtured by place managers.

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AT THE HEART

of the healthcare revolution

Greater Manchester is hosting one of the most ambitious health reorganisation projects in the history of the NHS. As health and social care devolution becomes a £6 billion reality, Manchester Metropolitan University’s vital role is becoming clear

Jon Rouse

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FEATURE It was in Greater Manchester that post-war Health Minister Aneurin “Nye” Bevan first launched the National Health Service. Providing a momentous gift to the people of Great Britain, Bevan visited Park Hospital, Davyhulme on 5 July 1948 to launch an institution that would deliver a diverse range of health services. The NHS would be available to all and financed entirely from taxation, meaning that people would pay into it according to their means – free at the point of access. On the eve of the 70th anniversary of Bevan’s landmark visit to what is now Trafford General Hospital, Greater Manchester is again at the heart of revolutionary change in healthcare provision. The Greater Manchester Health and Social Care (GMHSC) Partnership was launched on 1 April 2016, when the £6 billion health and social care budget was formally devolved from London. By 2021, GMHSC wants a number of major improvements to the region’s healthcare, including fewer patients dying of cancer or heart disease, more people able to work, and more children getting a better start in life. Representatives from Greater Manchester’s 10 local authorities have produced plans outlining the proposed shape of health and social care in their specific locations. The needs of the region’s 96,200 students are included. More emphasis is being placed on prevention and provision of some services at
a regional rather than local
level. Together with a unique form of political governance, providing communities with the powers to commission services at a “local area neighbourhood” level is
one of the most groundbreaking features of health and social care devolution. Healthcare conurbations with between 30,000 and 50,000 people have been identified, with GP surgeries in those neighbourhoods forming clusters that agree on the most pressing health and social

issues facing local people. Health and social care professionals within those clusters will use the budget available to them as they see fit. Individual GP practices are the first point of contact for patients, offering a triage service which identifies and signposts the most appropriate form of care. Some patients will not need to see a GP and will instead be signposted to local pharmacies, smoking cessation officers, dieticians, care navigators and experts in mental health. New digital methods of delivering healthcare are also being introduced that will support patients in taking care of their own health. Manchester Metropolitan University is making an invaluable contribution to shaping the emerging healthcare economy by playing a vital role in supporting this most ambitious and farreaching reorganisation project, according to Jon Rouse, the man leading the devolution of health and social care spending to Greater Manchester. Rouse was struck by the spirit of support and collaboration across Greater Manchester’s universities – Manchester Metropolitan, University of Salford and the University of Manchester – when he first took
the role of Chief Officer with GMHSC. He says Manchester Metropolitan is contributing in a number of ways, including research; systems thinking – including through Health Innovation Manchester; supporting Greater Manchester’s branding and economic aspirations to be seen as a centre of excellence for life sciences; and shaping the future workforce across health and social care. But the University’s involvement does not stop with faculties generally associated with health and social care. “The breadth of the university offering should not be underestimated,” Rouse adds. “They are helping us to

This is a whole university effort and it is difficult to think of a single faculty that is not making a contribution

shape the architecture and built environment, technology and digital innovation in healthcare, science and engineering; even sport has a role in helping us to better understand rehabilitation. This is a whole university effort and it is difficult to think of a single faculty that is not making a contribution.” Writing in Met Magazine (see page 55) Rouse singles out Manchester Metropolitan’s membership of Health Innovation Manchester and its leading role in the Teaching Care Home pilot project as evidence of the University’s commitment to supporting Greater Manchester’s future health and social care needs. Health Innovation Manchester brings together research and clinical expertise with industry ‘know-how’ and the University’s contribution ranges from research into dementia to 3D printed production of precise medical supplies for individual patients and research into physiotherapy. Of particular interest to academics training the next

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generation of health and social care professionals will be Rouse’s firm belief that the current core health care disciplines are sacrosanct. While devolution of health and social care spending to Greater Manchester means significant changes in the type of services provided and how they are accessed, he is clear that the skills that underpin them should remain the same. He adds: “There are core ideologies and disciplines that exist within the health and social care professions and I would be concerned about watering those down. I believe that we need to create
core professionals who have the adaptability to become specialists by building on their skills. For example, a nurse who develops the skills that would enable them to have a role as a care co-ordinator.” He says the next generation of health and social care professionals will need to be adaptable in order to meet the increasing pace of change. “Change is happening more quickly than ever before,” he adds. “The ways we are able to share knowledge and integrate care and professionals have to be more available. “Patient self-care will become increasingly important and health and social care professionals will

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have a role as guides as much as carers. Patients are already able to decide on the best way to spend personal care budgets in order to manage their long-term care.” Rouse says that there is an initial five-year plan for the implementation of health and social care devolution in Greater Manchester, with “three hard years of delivery” before the new system becomes the “normal way of working” by year five. He adds: “It is now almost
18 months since we took charge. We are deep in to delivery phase and delivering new means of care to meet people’s needs more effectively. “We have allocated most of the transformational funding to health providers, including local care, primary care and public health. We have had to fill some gaps in provision to ensure we are caring for those most in need. We have prioritised those at most risk. Those at risk are people who are frail, with long term conditions, and with a high risk of going into crisis. Support for those people has previously been quite varied across Greater Manchester.” Rouse accepts that more should be done to ask people for their views on the shape of the local services they need. Adequate signposting of services is another priority. He acknowledges that tough decisions have led to some services being removed or reduced. “There is a balance,” he adds. “Choices have had to be made. We are supporting people with mental health conditions, we have targeted cancer, placing the emphasis on early diagnosis and intervention, and have been proactive in giving people a better start in life. “Some money has gone to areas where there have been particular difficulties. “In mental health, services are very variable across Greater Manchester. Some areas are very good, Salford for instance. Others are not so good. “The big thing is about finding people in communities who are vulnerable and have underlying health risks and making sure that we can offer them better care.”

What has changed? The £6 billion devolution of health and social care spending to Greater Manchester means that decisions previously made by Government and NHS England offices in London are now being taken locally, theoretically leading to care that better targets specific local needs. A key element of devolution is the integration of health and social care services, providing support for patients and carers who have traditionally had to join up services themselves. A stated aim of Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership – the body made up of local councils and NHS organisations leading the process – is ensuring that patients and carers will have only one local point of contact for the services they need, rather than being forced to contact multiple service providers. Devolution means that for the first time, local leaders and NHS clinicians are working together to tailor budgets and priorities to improve the health and wellbeing of 2.8 million residents, including people living and studying in Greater Manchester. The Greater Manchester Health and Social Care system comprises: • 12 Clinical Comissioning Groups • 14 acute, community and mental health trusts and one ambulance trust • 500 GP practices • 450 general dental services • 700 community pharmacies • 300 community optometry services • At least 300,000 carers • 10 local authorities • 27 social housing providers • 14,500 voluntary and community organisations • Greater Manchester Police • Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service • 2.8 million residents


Neil Walbran

Dr Kailash Chand OBE

Paul Tubbs

Chief Executive of Healthwatch Manchester, the publicly funded body designed to give patients a voice

Former GP and Chairman of the British Medical Association’s North West regional council, writing in a personal capacity

Head of Department (Nursing) in the Faculty of Health, Psychology and Social Care at Manchester Metropolitan University

Financial constraints are of real concern for the NHS and this is particularly true in nursing, where the end of NHS bursaries dramatically reduced applications to join the profession. Prospective medical students facing student loans up to £100,000 after five years of study are considering other options. However, I am optimistic Greater Manchester’s devolved £6 billion health and social care budget will make a difference. Economic disparity between London and Manchester created a health gap that could only be closed by bringing the NHS under local control. This integration could offer real benefits to patients, delivering genuinely patientcentred and coordinated care. Devolution isn’t without risk. The first challenge is ensuring people understand what it is. There are practical issues too. The NHS in Greater Manchester is under intense pressure with more than 200,000 patients on the waiting list and hospital deficits hitting record highs. Chronic underfunding prevents NHS staff from providing patients with the level of care they deserve. Devolution is an opportunity for Greater Manchester to deal with some of the problems, and also some of the more longer-term public health challenges, especially around health inequalities. Without the right financial support, it will be very difficult. Social care is collapsing – in Greater Manchester for 2016/17 we faced an £81 million black hole in social care funding, rising to almost a quarter of a billion pounds by 2020. One of the real challenges of devolution is ensuring all services remain stable and are invested in; not robbing Peter to pay Paul. The challenge and the opportunity are significant. If the project doesn’t use the £6bn devolved budget in a radically different way, it will face a major deficit of £2bn by 2021 – a recipe for another NHS reorganisation failure. The NHS has been seriously damaged by the policies of all three major political parties in the last decade. If this continues, England will have a completely different healthcare system in five years’ time – ‘NHS’ in name alone.

Health and social care devolution hasn’t yet changed very much for the majority of undergraduates who study nursing at Manchester Metropolitan University. They remain more concerned about the fundamentals – caring with compassion and courage for patients in an increasingly busy environment. Many are perhaps unaware they are studying in an area where devolution has occurred (40% of students are from outside Greater Manchester). Partly that’s because devolution is still happening at a strategic level, with changes yet to reach care deliverers. The real impact will be felt in years to come. But we are preparing graduates for the changing shape of the NHS. Health and social care devolution means increased emphasis on the public health agenda on the syllabus. A benefit of devolution is the scrutiny it has placed on health and social care provision. We have learned how poor the health of the North West is in comparison with the rest of the country. That saddened us, but stimulated us to take action in offering outreach events. For example, initiatives to measure the blood pressure of people visiting a supermarket so that they could alert their GP if it was found to be abnormal. We are responding to the region’s changing needs in other ways. We are working with the newly formed Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust urgent and emergency care programmes to upskill staff in those areas. That may impact on older, perhaps frail, patients, who could be cared for in the community, preventing admission to a hospital – usually via A&E. We are also developing an MSc in Advanced Clinical Practice and a degree in integrated healthcare studies. We will be looking at ways of bringing these disparate units together. Whether or not an integrated approach will attract any customers, we don’t know because NHS HR people aren’t currently advertising for people with integrated skills in health and social care. Perhaps it would drive demand if they did.

There is optimism that people’s health and mobility will improve enough to keep them out of hospital and A&E. I welcome the shift in emphasis from cure to prevention, with local health neighbourhoods suggesting services best meeting patient need. But I am concerned patients have had inadequate opportunities to shape services. We can create all the health and wellbeing services we want but should be cautious in assuming people will use them. There is concern that health and wellbeing initiatives in the community will lead to hospital-based services being decommissioned at a time when newly commissioned, community-based services are still gaining traction. What happens if people don’t take advantage of community-based health and wellbeing initiatives and the services they do require are no longer available? The answer lies in supporting ordinary patients in shaping the health and social care services they require in a way that is practical and convenient. Co-production sessions genuinely accessible to citizens – in terms of time, location and format – are key. Other significant issues include homelessness, access to mental health services, and childhood obesity. Twenty per cent of under-5s in Manchester are obese, with sugar considered to be the major cause. Supporting older people in accessing health services which are increasingly delivered digitally is another concern. Greater Manchester’s 96,200 students are a significant part of the local healthcare economy and Healthwatch Manchester is working to ensure the best outcomes for them too. For example, Healthwatch Manchester has worked to ensure overseas students are aware of the health services that are available. Many are unaware of where they should access health services and ended up clogging A&E. We attend Freshers’ Week to encourage students to register with a GP surgery. We are currently working around sexual health services amid moves to close sexual health walk-in centres, the rationale being that there are many appointment-based services available. We feel there remains a need for a walk-in centre.

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PRACTICE

makes perfect The University is bringing clinical settings to life through technology to train the next generation of nurses

B They have to prepare for the people involved as well as the clinical skills

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irley Place is a thriving community. It has shops, pubs and schools. There’s the James family, the chatty pub landlord and Tony and his dog. People living their lives with real issues, real problems. But you won’t find Birley Place on any sat-nav or street map. It is a virtual world created by Manchester Metropolitan’s Department of Nursing to help train the lifeblood of today’s National Health Service – the nurses. The NHS is one of the largest employers in the world and at the core are its nurses, the largest single group of staff. Nurses work across all health settings; acute and community. They are the backbone and the heart. In short, their importance cannot be understated. It is thanks to institutions such as Manchester Metropolitan that there is a well-trained and steady

Met Magazine issue 4

supply of professional nurses. The University has a rich heritage in training health care practitioners and notably nurses. These include undergraduate degrees in Adult Nursing and Community Health, with Mental Health Nursing starting next year. For those already in practice, the University works closely with health partners and the NHS to deliver quality continuing professional development programmes. It can be one of the most rewarding professions and, on occasion, difficult and demanding. How do you prepare students for these rigours and life as a nurse? Practice. Practice makes perfect. Using the aid of technology, Manchester Metropolitan students are trained through life-like scenarios, virtual worlds and VR training – all without leaving campus.

The University’s training facilities contain high-tech simulated patients inside realistic hospital wards that can react and respond just as the students might face. These scenarios replicate everything and anything they could encounter. It begins before the start of their first year with an early introduction to the virtual ‘Birley Place’ community, a town like any other, with people as diverse as any other. Undergraduates will come to know every nook and cranny of the place. Jacqui Gladwin, Principal Lecturer in the Department of Nursing, explains. “Birley Place was originally developed because our programme focuses so much on understanding the needs of communities,” she says. “Quite often students may struggle to get enough experience on clinical placement,


FEATURE or curriculums are only disease orientated. “They log on online to Birley Place and each house has an individual or family attached. It is a virtual community: pub, school, hospital, homes. “Students will meet all of the residents across the curriculum. Sometimes we will be learning about diabetes and there will be a character that has diabetes. “We let them see the people first before they are introduced to any diseases. People live in a community with back stories, students will engage with them before they give any advice.” Gladwin adds that the practical link is paramount, every virtual family brought to life. “They will learn more about those families and will meet some of them in the simulations,” she says. “When they come in for our clinical skills sessions, they have to prepare for the people involved as well as the clinical skills.” Students will eventually master the core skills that are expected out in practice, whether giving an injection, delivering resuscitation or administering basic life support. The complexity of the training increases with each year, as well as the intensity and gravity of the scenarios trainee nurses take part in. During their first year, the students train on the resuscitation mannequins on wards within the University, familiarising themselves with the environment. Later they practise on the advanced mannequins, striving to keep them alive in tense emergency settings.

All the time they are operating in a simulated but realistic scenario, even ‘family members’ – actors and trained lecturers playing the roles – are there just as they would be in real life. They won’t be strangers to them either, thanks to Birley Place. Tony and his dog at number 41, Jimmy the pub landlord, the James family, all part of the training mix. As they progress, students undertake increasingly demanding scenarios with the advanced equipment. One of the most challenging takes place during the second year in the anxious trauma situation, when a patient involved in a motorcycle accident is whisked into A&E by paramedics. To set the scene, there are a series of training wards and two specialist simulation rooms. Even the most discerning eye would be unable to tell the difference between them and a genuine hospital. In each of the simulation rooms is a control booth with one-way glass so technicians can watch and control the advanced mannequins from a bewildering control dashboard, reminiscent of an aeroplane’s flight deck. At first glance, the mannequins elicit a sharp intake of breath until the realisation they are not, in fact, actually human. But they do speak, breathe, open their eyes, and have a beating pulse. These vital signs can be adjusted during simulation and students have to react accordingly. Leah Greene, Senior Lecturer in Simulation-Based Education, believes the trauma scenario to be among the most demanding.

The ABCDE approach and such simulations remain an everyday part of my job in critical care

“The patient is brought in by ambulance and students have to prioritise,” she says. “It is a tense scene from the outset but, importantly, nothing that they wouldn’t experience as a nurse. “The patient will respond depending on how the students manage the situation and they have to recognise that the patient is starting to deteriorate. “The end of the exercise will depend on how the team works; they may have to make the call that they aren’t going to resuscitate any more. “We aim to be reflective of practice. It can be extremely stressful.” Gladwin adds: “They could be running a ward with agency staff after they have qualified, so it’s about testing and challenging them. “They have to be confident in their skills. Students will say after the trauma scenario that they have never had to make decisions like that. “It is stressful, but in a safe and supportive environment.” Students can be assured that the simulation exercises remain true to life as many of the nursing staff still work as clinical practitioners. The clinical link continues as post-registration nurses who take part in the University’s continuing professional development programmes are able to benefit from the advanced training technology. Manchester Metropolitan is also an accredited North West Simulation Education Network Centre, which is the highest level of regional accreditation and recognises the combination of

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experienced faculty members, evidence-based programmes, and local management and governance. The commitment to realistic training has proven to be a valuable tool for those graduates now working in practice. Former student Steve Haddock puts it to use as a critical care staff nurse. “During our simulations, the group was stressed but we were well prepared with teaching sessions on sepsis, shock, anaphylaxis and the ABCDE approach to patient assessment (airway, breathing, circulation, disability and environment),” said Steve, who graduated from the BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing programme in 2015. “ABCDE is the widely used head-to-toe patient assessment which is of great importance in critical and emergency care.” He adds: “It was a good exercise for gaining experience on the ABCDE approach. The next day after I had this simulation assessment day, I had to put this to use. “As a third year student nurse on placement, the nurse had left me with my own patients to look after. I was able to assess and manage the care of a patient with assistance from support workers who escalated to the nurse in charge and doctors whilst I continued observation and oxygen therapy. “I felt confident in this situation having received simulation training in the University on the acute illness management course. The ABCDE approach and such simulations remain an everyday part of my job in critical care.”

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It is a tense scene but nothing that they wouldn’t experience as a nurse

The Department of Nursing is looking to take a further leap into the digital world, utilising Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality technologies. Collaboration with computer science colleagues at the University has already borne fruit with the creation of a VR ward to tend to a patient and rehearse care protocols. Still in its infancy, it is brimming with potential. One possibility is for the technology to be scaled down for mobile phones for use anywhere. The VR nursing world created by the team is among the first of its kind.

There is already a surfeit of AR and VR teaching tools for specialist surgical training or set anatomy teaching apps. Greene, however, believes there is a gap for a portable and accessible training tool for nursing and healthcare simulation. It is 21st century training for 21st century nurses, and further proof that Manchester Metropolitan is at the forefront of technological innovation. So, no matter what the future holds, our students are ready to become the new generation of nurses – right at the heart of the NHS.


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T

he grimace of pain makes it pretty clear the postal worker lying on the treatment table at Manchester Royal Infirmary has sustained a serious injury. The healthcare worker in the white coat is a physiotherapist – he gently checks out the woman’s ankle identifying the location of the pain and quickly establishing it is highly likely she has sustained a fracture. The physiotherapist is quick and professional in his analysis and another patient moves from the Accident and Emergency Department at Manchester Royal Infirmary into X-ray. A normal day in the life of a National Health Service worker, triaging lower limb injuries, determining diagnosis and treatment. Little does the patient know the physiotherapist is a world leader in his field and has spent his career not only practising his skills on plumbers, postal workers

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and gardeners, but also world famous sports stars. The physiotherapist is Professor Michael Callaghan – or to give him his correct range of titles: Professor of Clinical Physiotherapy at Manchester Metropolitan University, Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist at the Manchester Royal Infirmary and Head of Physical Therapies for Manchester United Football Club. To call Michael Callaghan’s career varied would be an understatement. His is a path through the ordinary and extraordinary. From dealing with the everyday ailments seen in accident and emergency departments to dealing with Olympic champions. Over the last 20 years he has been involved in some major sporting occasions – FA Cup Finals, Challenge Cup Finals, Commonwealth Games and the Olympics. In fact he has been to


FEATURE

THE WORLD

in his hands Met Magazine meets Professor Michael Callaghan to talk knees, ankles and take a trip through his incredible sporting life

five Olympic Games and five Commonwealth Games in various medical roles – from GB Cycling Team Physiotherapist at the 1988 Seoul Olympics to Venue Medical Manager at London 2012. But the modest 60-year-old isn’t the sort who would normally shout about his incredible career. Asked by Met Magazine if he ever felt tempted to tell a Sunday League footballer who was in Accident and Emergency that he had been working on a superstar footballer the day before, Prof Callaghan bristles: “I would never ever tell anyone,” he says. “Occasionally a colleague will tell someone and I get quite annoyed at that. I don’t think it is relevant and it looks like I’m trying to big myself up and be more important than I am. When I am in the NHS, I am an NHS worker.” Prof Callaghan has from an early stage in his career seen the benefits of working in the NHS

while also forging a reputation in the sporting environment. Having studied at Salford School of Physiotherapy, he started his career at Wrightington Hospital near Wigan before moving to the Royal Liverpool Hospital. But contacts made at Wrightington led to his first move into sport with Wigan Rugby League Club in 1985 – at the time the dominant team in that sport. Prof Callaghan says: “The superintendent physiotherapist at Wrightington, Norma Wilding, had been physio for Leigh Rugby League Club when they got to Wembley. Norma told me the physio of Wigan was retiring and they wanted somebody else – so she asked me. I spent four seasons there.” Prof Callaghan was at the club with some of the all-time greats of rugby league – Ellery Hanley, Joe Lydon and Andy Gregory – and at a time when Wigan were winning everything. “It was a learning straight line,

When I am in the NHS, I am an NHS worker

not a learning curve. I had only been qualified for two or three years. I hardly knew anything and we were having to catch up. I took over and learned on the job as I went along. Luckily they were all very forgiving for me.” He adds: “In those days every sporting post, other than a physiotherapy post in football, were all part-time. Essentially in those days you could do NHS work and do sporting work in the evening and you could get away with it, which was a very important thing when I think about it. Looking back I was very lucky to be able to do that.” Prof Callaghan moved onto the British Cycling Federation, working on the Milk Race (the old name for the Tour of Britain), and Everton Football Club, with whom he went to two FA Cup Finals, while still continuing to work in the NHS. He also travelled to Olympic Games in Seoul and Barcelona working with star

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cyclists like Chris Boardman. “I was at Barcelona in 1992 when Chris Boardman won the gold on the famous Lotus bike – and we couldn’t believe the publicity,” he says. “Chris was and is an honest down-to-earth bloke, but everyone wanted a piece of us – it was extraordinary. I remember to this day Chris was lying on his bed relaxing and he said that he needed to get home and I asked why. He said ‘well I need to get home before all the fuss dies down and everyone forgets about me’. I said to him Chris you’ve won the gold medal mate, no-one’s going to forget about this.” But the lure of the bright lights and glory of sport was not enough to take Prof Callaghan away from the NHS. “Everton wanted me to be full time physio, but I knew something wasn’t right and I wasn’t ready for that, mainly because they wanted me to give up the NHS work,” says Prof Callaghan. “Once again, what I was learning in the NHS I knew was far more intense and far more meaningful than what I was learning in football. Football was getting the benefits of what I was learning in the NHS. “I now do both roles. Now it is even more important – what I learn on the NHS incredibly informs what happens in the football role. When I work in A&E now everything is to do with diagnostics, interpreting MRI scans, interpreting ultrasound scans, really enhancing the clinical skills and you bring a whole lot more to the club.” It is the skills that Prof Callaghan has built up during his NHS career that have helped

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shape his work in sport and build his reputation for world-leading research that he has brought with him to his role at Manchester Metropolitan. His research and clinical work has focused on the lower limb, particularly the patellofemoral joint (that’s around the knee-cap to those of us without a medical background). His internationally recognised work on patellofemoral pain syndrome revolves around the development of functional joint and muscle evaluation and the use of non-pharmacological and nonsurgical treatments for the knee such as exercise, taping and bracing. Prof Callaghan has collaborated with Prof James Selfe for over 20 years on patellofemoral research – and they both now find themselves at Manchester Metropolitan University. “After 20 years of collaborating together we were appointed at MMU within a month of each other – it was incredible really,” says Prof Callaghan. “We are very much at the forefront of world research in this area and are conducting important and exciting trials.” And now Prof Callaghan is testing his skills at arguably the biggest football club in the world – Manchester United. He explains: “In 2014 I was at my final Commonwealth Games at Glasgow and got an email from Steve McNally who is the club doctor and, this is not a cliché, but I thought it was a wind up. I read it again and saw the logo on the bottom and thought ‘hang on a minute’. “The idea was to come up and do certain tasks as a Head

L-R Michael Callaghan; Tom Hughes physiotherapist to U23 team, Neil Hough Head Academy Physiotherapist; Russ Hayes physiotherapist to U18 team

Football was getting the benefits of what I was learning in the NHS

of Physical Therapy, to look at helping the physiotherapists, the osteopath, chiropractor, podiatrist and the masseurs. Do a certain amount of management, but more for the physiotherapists to improve and enhance the evidence base for what they do and try to push people on for further studies and we’ve been able to do that.” And Prof Callaghan is developing his world-leading research further using the elite level athletes he now works with. He is continuing to examine the diagnosis and treatment of knee injuries as well as exploring how to predict and prevent injury – something which for athletes as well as the general public could save thousands of pounds in terms of NHS time and productivity. “That is the Holy Grail,” he says. “Looking at risk factors. There were some elements of screening and the way in which we look at players at the beginning of a season and how that informs our elements of predicting if they are going to get injured. We are working on trying to improve that. “The idea is you see someone on July 1 and look at their figures and then try to see what happens. If the player gets injured on October 1 was there something back then that could have predicted that? With ankle sprains if you had a previous one you are more likely to have another one, we know that by taping and bracing you are going to reduce the risk by 50%. Exercise regime will also reduce the risk by about 60%. It is a quite incredible decrease, so there is a huge evidence base behind physiotherapy for ankle sprains. “Prevention of ankle sprain is important – the problem is predicting who is going to get an ankle strain in the first place. At the moment we just don’t know enough about that.” Prof Callaghan oversees a team of 10 at Manchester United, a marked increase on the two physiotherapists who were at Everton. And many would think his working space at United’s state-ofthe-art Carrington training complex would be a different world to Manchester Royal Infirmary. “You would think I would be cursing that we haven’t got all the tools, but we have got all of them,” says Prof Callaghan. “Working in A&E and particularly one as big as


Manchester Royal you tend to have everything you need. We have an ultrasound scanner, we have one at Carrington; we have an MR scanner, we have one at Carrington; we have CT, we have one at Carrington. The thing we don’t have at Carrington are plain X-rays.” As a result it doesn’t matter if you are earning £30,000 a year or £300,000 a week. The level of treatment and the prognosis for recovery is likely to be the same. Prof Callaghan explains: “A patient would get in terms of imaging and care the same level of treatment that they would get at Carrington. They wouldn’t get as intensive treatment of course, because you can call a player in morning and afternoon and evening if you want to because they are under contract. The intensity of the treatment would be more and the timescales compressed at Carrington, but the initial diagnostics used to work out what is wrong would be more or less the same. “Clearly there are different priorities, but there might be someone who is a postal worker who walks seven miles in the morning – and we have a number of those who have sprained their ankle and they need to get back to work. And they might get paid for a certain amount of time off work, but some of them especially selfemployed plumbers and builders say to me: ‘we don’t get paid if we don’t go to work’. “Now Romelu Lukaku will get paid if he doesn’t get to work, he won’t see a drop in his wages at all. So in a sense some of the pressures in the NHS are worse in the sense that the priority is just as much, if not higher, for patients who are

How to recover from an ankle injury • Ice, compression, elevation are the immediate treatment • Walking is not banned – it helps ensure the long term problems such as muscle weakness and joint stiffness do not occur • Ankle braces and taping reduce risk of a recurrent injury • Make sure the muscles don’t get weak, the joint doesn’t get stiff and the healing of the ligament takes place properly

There is an old adage that you cannot cheat biology

self-employed, such as a bricklayer who has tripped on a brick or they dropped a brick on their foot and have a broken toe. All those sorts of things are just as much a priority as an elite footballer.” One of Prof Callaghan’s regular phrases is ‘you cannot cheat biology’. He uses it regularly during the interview, especially when addressing the belief that sports stars often seem to make miraculous recoveries from serious injuries. “Cruciate ligament injuries take nine months from day of surgery to getting back playing, now that doesn’t matter whether you’re playing in the local park or if you play at the elite level,” says Prof Callaghan. There is an old adage that you cannot cheat biology. So fractures will take the same with a 35-year-old bricklayer

as they will with a 26-year-old footballer. The timescales are the same, you can blast it to death with various scientifically proven things that the NHS can’t afford and the footballers can afford to try to heal fractures quicker. But you are not saving weeks, you might be saving days at best. “The problem with the elite level is – and this was a lesson taught to me years ago in cycling – the elite level actually demand more. The intensity and scrutiny is far greater – a player can’t go on and limp around a bit, and half perform. When a professional footballer goes back onto the field of play after injury he is going to be scrutinised to make sure there is nothing wrong, that he’s not a bit short of pace. Players have to put up with that, so it is a different sort of pressure.”

Career 1983 Qualified Salford School of Physiotherapy 1983-1987 Wrightington Hospital 1985-1988 Wigan RLFC 1987-1997 British Cycling Federation 1987-1997 Royal Liverpool Hospital 1993 MPhil. University of Liverpool 1989-1995 Everton FC 1997 PhD. University of Manchester, Faculty of Medicine Olympics 1988, 1992, 1996, 2004, 2012 Commonwealths 1986, 1990, 1994, 2002, 2016 Manchester Royal Infirmary 2004 Manchester United 2015 Manchester Metropolitan 2016 -

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Julan Walters

Sara Rawat

Shaquille Henry

Tanzeela Shabbir Bibi

Callum Bladen

Firzah Ali

James Thornhill

Caroline Busari

Euan Case

Hollie MacInnes

Shuab Gamote

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Met Magazine issue 4


INTRODUCING

the First Generation The doors are now open on a Manchester Metropolitan University initiative supporting talented Greater Manchester teenagers in becoming the first generation of their families to attend university. Met Magazine meets the First Generation

F

irzah Ali’s arm flies into the air as Met Magazine asks for a volunteer to explain how it feels to be a First Generation student ambassador and pioneer. “I am so excited,” the infectiously enthusiastic teenager smiles. “I applied for the First Generation scheme because I saw it as the perfect opportunity to help me take ‘that next big step’. I feel like I would have been lost without it. First Generation has already provided me with support, guidance and a sense of belonging. “I have learnt that I need to ‘be myself to become myself’ and am more confident. “I plan to study Psychology with a year abroad at Manchester Metropolitan and thanks to the support from First Generation, I now know a Masters and PhD are also within my reach! And I can’t wait to come back as one of the alumni encouraging other young people to embark on a university education. I’ll be back here talking about First Generation to other young people just like me!” Ali is justifiably proud to be part of the first cohort of 50 sixth-form students now working towards the day in September 2018 when they will step into university as undergraduates, the very first intake of First Generation scheme students. The First Generation scheme’s first cohort met for the first time in July before attending the scheme’s

residential summer school, and are back together in the Manchester Metropolitan University Business School to talk about what it means to be part of the initiative. The room is alive with a buzz of excitement and anticipation. It is clear that First Generation is already beginning to reach the ambitious aims unveiled when the campaign launched in autumn 2016. Backed by a £1 million fundraising campaign, Manchester Metropolitan’s First Generation scheme provides a package of support to young people from families with no experience of higher education. Those who choose Manchester Metropolitan will benefit from a peer, academic and professional mentor; work experience; residential opportunities and financial support in the shape of a £1,000 scholarship. The result for students is a scheme that breaks down barriers – before, during and after university – with Manchester and the rest of the UK benefiting from talent unlocked, potential achieved and lives changed. Celebrating her 19th birthday in November, Ali is grasping the opportunities provided by First Generation with both hands, knowing that things were very different for her proud parents. They came to the UK from Pakistan as teenagers, missing out

on a formal British education. Her mum, a housewife, was married by the age of 16, while her father is a hard-working taxi driver who was turned away from sixth form college as a teenager because his English language skills weren’t considered to be good enough. Both are determined that their daughter will have better opportunities to learn than they did. She is determined their dream will come true. “My parents have always said to me, ‘no matter what you do, we want you to go to university…,” adds Ali, who is studying for an Extended Diploma in Science at Oldham Sixth Form College and works part-time at ASDA. “The most exciting things for me have been hearing from the Manchester Metropolitan alumni and being asked to be an ambassador for First Generation. “I feel privileged because many people don’t gain much experience of the opportunities in the world. Through First Generation, I already feel part of Manchester Metropolitan University. It’s helped me to understand what it will be like to study here and what it might be like to live here. “There’s a sense of anxiety for anyone thinking about coming to university, but First Generation ends all of that. If anyone was to ask me about First Generation, I’d say ‘just go for it’.

If anyone was to ask me about First Generation, I’d say ‘just go for it’

£2k £2k will fund a place for a student on the scheme

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“My parents have worked hard to get me here and I want to work hard to support other people too.” Fellow First Generation student Julan Walters, 17, from Ardwick, plans to study business or economics at Manchester Metropolitan and is already enjoying success as an entrepreneur having staged and promoted a number of Manchester shows featuring London rap artists. His older brother, Alonzo, graduated with a 2.1 degree in Criminology from Manchester Metropolitan, and First Generation has provided Julan with an opportunity to follow in his footsteps. “I look up to my brother and also want to go to university,” explains Walters, who is currently studying A-levels in economics, business and accounting at Xaverian College, Manchester. He would one day like to work as an economist with a large company and is fascinated by the economic and political forces that shape the world’s fortunes day by day. He is certain that First Generation will have a positive impact on his own future. “I found out about the scheme through college and I thought it was a great opportunity,” adds Walters, who lives with his mum, a nursery nurse. “It makes me feel better knowing that I’m most likely to go university next year and First Generation already forms part of my personal statement. “My parents didn’t go to university. I know that university will help me get on with life and make me independent. I’ll be

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The first cohort of student ambassadors on the First Generation scheme

50

Every pound will make a difference and go towards supporting 50 students a year

My parents didn’t go to university. I know that university will help me get on with life and make me independent

more advanced in my own life than my parents were at my age, and that’s a fantastic opportunity. I always thought I would go to university but this scheme has made it easier for me.” James Thornhill, 17, from Bury, is a student at Holy Cross College, where he is studying A-levels in History, Law and English Language. Manchester Metropolitan is among his choices for a Law degree and he says First Generation has been helpful in providing experiences and skills that will be essential in the legal profession. “I found the presentation skills session to be particularly helpful,” he says. “Standing in front of people and talking will be really important in the legal world and First Generation has meant having to get out of my comfort zone.” While his parents did not attend university, they are happy it is an option for him. He is a great example of the kind of people First Generation is designed to help, providing additional support and background information for those who might be unfamiliar with higher education. “Dad is a surety broker and mum works for Warrington Council,” he adds. “They are supportive, whatever I want to do. I’m undecided about what I’m going to be at the moment but it’s great to be part of First Generation.” For Shuab Gamote, 18, the contrast between his parents’ young lives and his own First Generation experience could not be starker.

Displaced by the devastating civil war in their native Somalia, they sought a new life in the UK, raising a family in Moss Side, Manchester. Today his mother works as the trustee of a community centre and his father is a taxi driver. First Generation means being able to set his ambitions much higher and he dreams of one day working in marketing in Saudi Arabia for a global automotive brand. “I even cut short my summer holiday to come to the summer school,” says the student, who plans to study marketing and management at Manchester Metropolitan. “I feel privileged and extremely thankful to have been chosen to take part in First Generation. I feel like Manchester Metropolitan is the place for me – I feel comfortable to be here. Meeting the staff and everybody on the First Generation programme has been brilliant. “I’m surrounded by likeminded people, in the same situation, and it makes me feel more comfortable and more hopeful for my prospects. It’s also pretty amazing how excited people are to be part of the first year of First Generation. “Seven years from now I hope to be coming back to Manchester Metropolitan University to do an interview about working in digital marketing for Mercedes and how First Generation made it all possible.” Luca Raimo, Vice President Education, The Union, at Manchester Metropolitan, is an ambassador for First Generation and addressed participants as they signed up – talking about his own student life, studying public services, and his success representing the University internationally in taekwondo. He too was the first generation of his family to attend university and he believes that First Generation will be a great success. “First Generation is a great initiative,” he says. “It gets people thinking about university earlier and gives them the confidence that they need to know it’s an option for them. “This is something that other universities don’t do. The students who take part in First Generation think: ‘If Manchester Metropolitan University does this, then it’s the place for us!”


Inspired by the First Generation Helen Lord joined Manchester Metropolitan University’s Widening Participation team in March 2017. As well as taking the lead on peer mentoring across the university and managing the Step Up To Study initiative, she is the person who has the closest working relationship with First Generation students. She met the first cohort at the three-day, two-night First Generation summer school in August, which enabled her to get to know the First Generation students better. She was immediately struck by their enthusiasm, and today she has been telling them about what it means to be a First Generation ambassador, spreading the word to the next intake, and how they can make the most of their experience by documenting and reflecting on their journey. With video interviews and photography in the bag, she breaks from the group briefly to talk about progress to date. “The best thing for me has been meeting the students and getting to understand how much of a difference it is going to make to their lives,” she says. “I’ve found them really inspiring because they are so enthusiastic and grateful. It makes it feel really worthwhile because I can see what they are going to get out of the scheme. It’s been brilliant to meet them and to start building a relationship with them. “One of the things that struck me is how nice it is to see them coming together as a cohort. They come from different colleges and areas, none of them knew each other previously, but they now all meet as friends.” Lord points out that most of the opportunities available to First Generation students are also available to other students. The difference is the way that First Generation is packaged to ensure students will get the maximum possible benefit from the component parts of available

Progress to date

Helen Lord Transition & Peer Support Manager services, starting before they even begin university. Crucially, First Generation is providing a means to tackle an issue at the heart of the work done by the Widening Participation team, ensuring University is an option for all young people and targeting those groups who have fallen through the net of opportunity in recent years. Those living in low-participation areas of Greater Manchester will be priority targets, along with those leaving care or estranged from their parents. A key role for First Generation will be supporting students with the kind of networking opportunities not readily available within families where parents did not attend university. Introductions are also being made to alumni who can demonstrate the opportunities that lie ahead for them, Lord says. “They definitely do feel more positive about where they are heading and knowing that they have the support that will make a difference. “I’m not sure they quite understand what an impact it can make for them right now. At the moment they are only just going into Year 13 at college and they are only thinking about going to university next year. But we are also thinking about what will happen when they graduate and making sure that they are in a position to have the best chances in life.”

The best thing for me has been meeting the students and getting to understand how much of a difference it is going to make to their lives

Appealing to young people who will be the first generation in their family to go to university, First Generation offers so much more than financial support, providing participants with the self-belief that university is not just a place where they will be accepted, but also a place where they will thrive and have the confidence to follow their ambitions. All have excelled in their GCSEs and then progressed to Year 12 at a Greater Manchester college or school. The scheme starts with preentry, including a residential summer school, and peer mentorship from students with similar backgrounds. Those who choose Manchester Metropolitan will benefit from a professional mentor, work experience, residential opportunities and financial support in the shape of a scholarship. Already, First Generation is inspiring people across the region – staff, students, alumni, businesses and partners – to support the campaign. There are many ways to get involved with First Generation and help transform the lives of the young people involved. We are calling on our inspirational network of alumni, friends and business contacts to support First Generation by making a gift or fundraising to help fund 50 places a year on the scheme. You can also provide professional opportunities for the First Generation students such as mentorships, talks or site visits.

£1M

Aiming to raise £1 million by 2020 to support 500 students through First Generation

To get involved, please contact Manager Rachel Charnock, Head of Alumni and Development or Sophia McNeill, Development Manager. Alumni and Development, Manchester Metropolitan University,
 Bellhouse, Lower Ormond Street, Manchester, M15 6BX, United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)161 247 2158 • Email: giving@mmu.ac.uk • Visit: mmu.ac.uk/firstgeneration

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SOWING

seeds of hope The cells of living people are being harvested and reprogrammed as part of a pioneering bid to beat Batten disease. Met Magazine visited the laboratory where history is being made in personalised medicine

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t was in 1903 that the British paediatric neurologist Dr Frederick Batten first described a rare degenerative brain disease that gradually eroded all of the development gains its young victims had made, and then took their lives. As rare as it is cruel, that condition became commonly known as Batten disease – a name which has come to denote several different genetic life-limiting neurodegenerative diseases that share similar features. More than a century on, the fight to understand, treat and cure Batten disease continues. And scientists at Manchester Metropolitan University are now helping to provide the answers that eluded Dr Batten all those years ago. Professor Tristan McKay leads a six-strong team which is a partner in BATCure – a three-year, 6m euros (£5.3m) Pan-European research project developing new therapeutic options for patients and their families living with three different forms of what is clinically known as Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses (NCL). Other partners in BATCure include the Batten Disease Family

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Association and Orphazyme, a Danish company with a strong track record of translating new drugs for rare degenerative diseases to clinical trial. Furthermore, the work being done to solve the riddle of Batten disease also brings hope for the battle against other neurological conditions, including Alzheimer’s, which can also be traced back to a cellular level. The faulty genes that cause Batten disease are passed down by birth parents, with the risk of a child becoming either a sufferer or carrier of that gene increasing depending on whether one or both parents are carriers.

Neurodegeneration affecting people with NCL is caused by an excessive build-up of lipopigments (made up of fats and proteins) in all cells in the body, but brain neurons are particularly susceptible to these toxic products. Symptoms vary depending on the age of onset, but typically include seizures and sight loss followed by mental decline and death. It is most common in children, but can affect adults too. Researchers have identified 400 mutations in 13 different genes related to Batten disease since the first gene responsible for causing the condition was identified in 1995.

In our lab, we have the brain neurons of people with Batten who are walking around Europe today


FEATURE The Batten Disease Family Association estimate that between 11 and 17 children, young people and adults are diagnosed with a form of the disease each year; meaning there are between 100 and 150 affected individuals currently living with Batten disease in the UK. Worldwide, Batten disease affects around 14,000 children, with around 1,400 new cases each year. Although NCL diseases are rare, they often affect more than one person in families that carry defective genes. The condition is so rare that it is not part of any mass screening programmes like those used to test whether an embryo is carrying conditions including Down Syndrome. For those who have given birth to a child with Batten disease, or who are concerned that they are a genetic carrier for the condition, BATCure’s work provides a beacon of hope. Until recently, stem cell research was largely conducted using stem cells derived from human embryos deemed surplus to requirements after a successful programme of IVF. The use of human embryos for scientific research has attracted controversy on moral, ethical and religious grounds. More recently, science has found a way of ‘reprogramming’ cells obtained from routine procedures such as a blood sample so that they have the same stem cell characteristics as those derived from human embryos. Japanese stem cell researcher Shinya Yamanaka was awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine in 2012 for changing adult cells into these induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), which can become any other type of cell in the body. Importantly, cells adapted from those taken from an individual are not rejected by the human body’s autoimmune defences when they are introduced in another form. Such iPSC lines can be converted to those affected by disease, such as brain neurons, which are a fitting test bed for promising new drug therapies. This is now an important part of Manchester Metropolitan’s contribution to BATCure. By reprogramming skin cell samples taken from living Batten disease patients, the Manchester Metropolitan lab is able to

precisely replicate the cells found within their brains and other organs. “We can grow huge quantities of cells in the lab in an iPSC state and then turn them into whatever cell type we wish to study,” Professor McKay explains. “We can convert these cells into many different types of specialised brain neuron. In our lab, we have the brain neurons of people with Batten who are walking around Europe today. That means we have this unique ability to look at how those patients’ brain neurons will respond to different drugs. “We are using these cells in the laboratory alongside our European collaborators to test drugs. This brings other benefits too. We are now in the age of precision – or personalised – medicine. One drug does not necessarily fit all people. All drugs are metabolised in the liver, often in an unpredictable manner. We are able in principle to use iPSC technology to test a drug’s ability to repair brain neurons whilst simultaneously evaluating the potential toxicity of that drug in liver cells from a patient who is currently being treated in the clinic.” By the end of the project, BATCure expects to have preclinical evaluations of new lead drugs and gene therapies. Other goals include the development of faster diagnostics suitable for pre-symptomatic testing and monitoring efficacy of these new treatments, and a wider understanding of the disease and better knowledge and evidence for palliatively treating peripheral symptoms. The Manchester Metropolitan team has formed a close relationship with Batten disease parents and professionals, and held a laboratory open day earlier this year. The visit included an explanation of how these iPS cells will be used by other groups in the consortium to screen for potential therapeutic drugs for Batten disease. Those attending were also able to find out about the research they do and see first-hand some of the work currently taking place in the lab. Professor McKay adds: “Our

Professor Tristan McKay

We are now in the age of precision – or personalised – medicine

commitment to BATCure is making iPS cells for application in drug discovery by our partners. We are making excellent progress. Batten disease is only one of a group of lipofuscinoses diseases. If we find a patient therapy for one kind, it may be appropriate for others as well.”

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BREAK

ING

the habit

Changing unhealthy habits through facial ageing software’s ‘window into the future’

PhD student Sofia Persson prepares the facial morphing system

I

t takes just 21 days to make or break a habit, the old adage goes. Some say 28 days, some shorter, but whatever is true, habits, even bad ones, are just a part of human nature. You might make New Year’s vows to eat healthily, cut down on sugar or take more exercise, perhaps to drink less alcohol or spend more time with friends. Whatever the goal, it can be hard to get there. Resolutions fail, old habits remain. Driven by a complex array of factors, humans can press on regardless, engaging in activities they know to be harmful

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to their health, dismissing or ignoring the consequences. Why? Well, old habits die hard. A fact known only too well by public health practitioners and campaigners. Think smoking, sun protection, alcohol consumption. All of these health behaviours have been in the sights of successive campaigns from the government, NHS, charities and health groups, which deploy all available means to convince and cajole. And they have not been without their success, either. In 2016, 15.8% of adults in the UK smoked, down from 17.2% in 2015, according to data from the Office for National

Statistics (ONS). In 1974, almost half of all adults smoked. Some people stubbornly continue, however. One in 10 people in Northern Europe use a sunbed, increasing their exposure to UV rays. In 2016, 9.6% of British adults – around 4.9 million people – drank alcohol on five or more days, ONS statistics show. In a bid to tackle this, researchers at Manchester Metropolitan developed new tactics alongside the traditional. Professor Sarah Grogan is a health psychologist, and a specialist in body image and how that might influence our health behaviours.

It’s simple, effective and has a massive impact on people’s motivation to change


FEATURE

Facial morphing. L: how PhD student Sofia Persson would look at 72 with adequate sun protection during her lifetime. R: Sofia at 72 with increased UV exposure during her lifetime

By utilising specialist agerelated facial morphing software, her research looks at the impact of our habits on how our faces might age – using the shock factor of seeing ourselves in older age to inspire change today. “It’s simple, effective and has a massive impact on people’s motivation to change. A lot of people can’t get the image of themselves as an aged smoker out of their heads,” said Prof Grogan, who first conducted studies in 2008 at Staffordshire University when participants were shown images of their ageing faces if they continued to smoke or if they quit. “We can have good habits and bad habits, each one distinct from the other and driven by a variety of factors. “In some instances, we can break bad habits after being confronted with evidence of their adverse impacts. However, in many cases, we may continue regardless, often with negative consequences for our health.” She adds: “We thought if people could see the impact of what they’re doing on their appearance in the future, but see it today, it might provide an incentive to chart a new course. “We initially spoke to young people aged 17-24 in a focus group study, and asked them what would motivate them to quit smoking – and the key thing was damage to their appearance. “There is a very effective facial morphing programme by APRIL, which shows you how your skin would look if you stopped smoking and how it would look if you carried on smoking, right up to 72 years of age. “The programme is able to generate very life-like ageing scenarios.” Quick and efficient, users sit down in front of a computer to take a snap of their face. The intelligent

software then runs a simulation. A window into the future. Images show marked differences in skin quality, wrinkles and colouration. The impact on behaviour was apparent and secured funding from Stoke NHS Primary Care Trust, as it was known then, to run larger trials. Smokers reported that facial morphing had changed their attitudes and even their perceived addiction to nicotine. South Staffordshire smoking cessation services, with the help of Prof Grogan, incorporated the facial morphing system. Football fans may have spotted it as a mobile service, deployed outside Stoke City FC’s stadium. Thousands of smokers have now been exposed to the facial morphing system. A tobacco control coordinator declared the system a ‘great shock and a real draw’ for smokers. Sheffield-based GP Dr Brian McMillan, who has worked with the facial morphing programme and is a NIHR Clinical Lecturer at the University of Manchester, adds: “Research has shown that signs of ageing attributed to smoking may act as an important motivation to quit, so APRIL could be a promising tool for those involved in encouraging smoking cessation.” At Manchester Metropolitan, Prof Grogan expanded on the research with colleague Dr Maria Cordero, analysing stress levels via skin response and pulse. The team want to see if there is a connection between stress response and the propensity to quit smoking when facially morphed. It is attracting the attention of NHS services.

A promising tool for those involved in encouraging smoking cessation

Professor Sarah Grogan

Skin cancer caused by sun exposure presents a significant economic burden to the NHS

The work has now evolved into other corners of public health, namely UV exposure and alcohol consumption. The desire to look good, especially among younger adults, is an increasing concern for public health officials with people taking risks in the sun or through increased sunbed usage. The ‘window into the future’ is particularly useful in this context because skin damage from UV exposure does not show up for 20 years. The World Health Organisation states that almost 40% of sunbed users in the UK have fair skin. Additionally, 25% of Northern European artificial sunbed users are 16 to 24 years old, a particularly hard group to convince. But, as Prof Grogan’s research identifies, a group susceptible to the image impact factor. “Skin cancer caused by sun exposure presents a significant economic burden to the NHS,” Prof Grogan explains. “Health-related sun-protection campaigns fail to motivate many people to change their behaviour; however, there is growing evidence that young women and some young men may respond better to threats to appearance than risks to health. “We have shown that using the sophisticated age-appearance facial morphing technique can be a good way to change attitudes to sun exposure. It has been very effective at enabling women under 35 to use sun protection to protect against skin cancer, and new work by Manchester Metropolitan PhD student Sofia Persson suggests that it has similar impacts for women over 35.” A natural extension of their studies, the researchers hope to analyse the impact of facial morphing with alcohol, tailored to each person’s daily alcohol unit consumption. It is yet another example of the broad application of the system that can encourage people to adapt and alter their lifestyles. The use of the software at Manchester Metropolitan could hold the key to persuading change across a host of harmful behavioural habits in society, alleviating pressure on the NHS. Whether it takes 21 days or longer, the ambition remains the same: to create a healthier and happier population. So yes, old habits die hard. But with facial morphing, it may just become a little bit easier.

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WINNING

arts and minds

Paul Jordan

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FEATURE It is 30 years since the Arts for Health research unit at Manchester Metropolitan University first helped to crystallise nascent support for creative alternatives to conventional healthcare and therapies. In its 30th anniversary year, the unit remains at the forefront of the UK’s arts and health movement

P

aul Jordan teaches art classes at START in Salford, an arts and wellbeing charity that delivers mental health services. Its corridors and stairwells are decorated by a colourful assortment of his large canvas paintings and intricate sculptures, as are the studios where he encourages new cohorts of budding artists to make their own work. He is also establishing himself as a freelance painter and sculptor. But 15 years ago, he was in a very different place. “My sister was diagnosed with terminal cancer, so I spiralled into depression. I found it very hard,” the 63-year-old says. He was referred to a clinical psychologist, who first broached the idea of attending art classes. “I’d done art as a kid, and I went to art college when I was 15 and did a few years. But with one thing and another I couldn’t sustain it, because my parents weren’t wealthy and I had to bring in some money,” says Jordan. Jordan was referred to START, who are contracted by Salford’s clinical commissioning group to deliver mental health services that provide emotional wellbeing, recovery interventions and training opportunities through creative arts and horticultural programmes. It means that clinicians can prescribe art as therapy for people diagnosed with depression or anxiety. START is one of the pioneering organisations born from Manchester’s nascent arts for health movement, which also led to the establishment of the research-led Arts for Health at Manchester Metropolitan University. Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, it is the longest serving unit of its type in the country. With specialism in research, advocacy and development, Arts for Health works with Arts Council England, the Department

of Health and a range of partners to better understand the impact of creativity, culture and the arts on health and wellbeing. It supports organisations through academic research and evaluates the impact of their activities, providing evidence to support the government in understanding the value of arts health organisations. By proving the case for arts-based alternatives to traditional therapies, Arts for Health is helping to ensure that more people than ever before have access. Jordan spoke to Met Magazine after leading an arts class with a small group of new members. They will be producing silk banners to cover an unsightly partition wall within the START offices. Elsewhere, a ceramics class is underway, and a group of older people are deep into a crochet session. Photography, textiles, woodwork and music programmes are also on offer, and new projects are in the pipeline specifically working with minority groups, older people, military veterans and dementia patients. Jordan is clear about the

It’s like a sanctuary against the ravages of depression and anxiety

transformative impact that START has had on his life. As well as improving his mental health, attending classes reignited his passion for art, inspiring him to enrol in art college and then university. He has a first class honours degree in Visual Arts and is now proud to be in a position to help others. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to me,” he adds. “If I didn’t have START I think I would have been in a really bad place. The art gives you that mindfulness, where you’re engaged in your work and nothing really matters…It’s like a sanctuary against the ravages of depression and anxiety.” START an independent charity, is just one example of what can be achieved. It can trace its lineage back to 1977, when Peter Senior, who later set up Arts for Health at Manchester Metropolitan, established the Hospital Arts Team at St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester. That is still running as LIME, part of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, delivering creative projects within hospitals. In 1999, Manchester

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All the evidence indicates that participation in the arts has an impact on multiple health outcomes

START Chief Executive Bernadette Conlon

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Metropolitan University hosted the first landmark international conference on arts and health, and the centre has led multiple research projects going back many decades to increase understanding and awareness among academics and policymakers. Earlier this year, Manchester School of Art at Manchester Metropolitan hosted the public launch of a national report into the benefits of art on health and wellbeing. Commissioned by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Arts, Health and Wellbeing, the report – Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing – concluded that the arts can help keep us well, aid our recovery and support longer lives better lived. It added that art can also help to meet some of the significant challenges facing health and social care – namely ageing, long-term conditions, loneliness and mental health – and help save money in the health service and social care. The report was by far the most comprehensive collation of evidence so far, aimed at putting a booster rocket under the cause of

Met Magazine issue 4

embedding arts provision within the health service. National politicians, practitioners and campaigners attended the launch, and the government is poised to make a response in the coming months. START Chief Executive Bernadette Conlon is clear that the service can complement drug or talking therapies, but says it often goes further to give its users their confidence back and reduce social isolation. A Manchester School of Art graduate, Conlon worked first with Dr Langley Brown, now Research Fellow at the Arts for Health unit, and then in hospital arts in Manchester, before initiating START in Salford as a charity and social enterprise in the early ninetites and slowly building up its capacity. “When we first set up our arts on prescription service back in 2006, there was a very long waiting list for talking therapies. Where you could wait 18 months for a talking therapy, we could see you in six weeks,” she says. “It was about supporting people who had been unwell and maybe not working for a long time, who

had got very low in mood, and were very anxious or depressed. People might have been living in a tower block, they didn’t go out, they didn’t mix. The arts programme was designed to provide a welcoming environment that wasn’t overtly medical or clinical. “Coming here then spurs on the thought that maybe they could volunteer, go back to college, retrain as an artist, or go to work. Knowing they can carry on with art as a hobby is something that helps keep them well or keeps them functioning.” Clive Parkinson, current Director of the Arts for Health Unit at Manchester Metropolitan, previously worked for 15 years as a visual artist leading arts projects at a hospital for people with learning disabilities. “All the evidence indicates that participation in the arts has an impact on multiple health outcomes, ranging from mobility, memory loss and mental health to de-medicalising problems which often have socio-economic causes,” he says. Parkinson has been directly involved in the development


of another local organisation, Portraits of Recovery, which engages people affected by addiction in arts practice. “Manchester was the birthplace of the arts and health movement, which fits with the radical history of the city,” he adds. Among many other recommendations, the APPG inquiry report suggests the establishment of a national strategic centre for arts, health, and wellbeing, the development of a cross-governmental strategy on the issue, and appointing designated individuals responsible for arts, health and wellbeing within NHS England, Public Health England and each CCG, NHS trust, local authority and health and wellbeing board. Parkinson explains that while discussions are ongoing about the political response to these findings, with the culture secretary expected to reply on behalf of the government, Greater Manchester is again blazing a trail. “There’s a lot of talk about a ‘national centre’, and what this means is unclear, as is structure and funding,” Parkinson explains. “What I am confident about is Arts for Health and Manchester’s place in the bigger picture. Whatever the development, we remain ahead of the game and regarded as leaders in the field.” Following the devolution of the £6bn health and social care budget to Greater Manchester last year, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority signalled its intention to “position the strong inter-relationship between arts and individual and community health as one of the key foundations of building sustainable and resilient communities across Greater Manchester”. It went further, committing to the development of a programme of activity on arts in healthcare and social care, in social action on wellbeing, and to embed the approach in the commissioning of health and social care services in Greater Manchester. But Parkinson has more ambitious, far-reaching plans. “For me personally, the most interesting area is less about physiological sickness and disease, and more about marginalisation and injustice – so for example – people who are excluded from society because of mental ill health, homelessness, or disability, can be supported

Art is on display throughout the START building (above and right)

Manchester was the birthplace of the arts and health movement, which fits with the radical history of the city

through arts-based interventions to find or rediscover their voice.” He is in the process of writing a new five-year strategy for the Arts for Health Unit at Manchester Metropolitan, the prologue for the next chapter of the movement’s long journey. He explains: “Arts for Health by its very nature is driven by research, yet focused very much in the real world. As such it offers a rich and diverse context to work in and inhabits a unique place in a movement, arguably at its very core. “Being part of a university gives us a fertile community of new ideas to explore, but it’s not just about making things big, but doing them exceptionally well – deeply – reflexively and offering a counter-blast to reductionist ways of exploring health and wellbeing.”

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HELPING

influence policy

The University’s research-led think tank has enjoyed a successful and influential first year

We set out to give a high profile to some of the excellent policy work that goes on in and around our University

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deas on how to solve some of society’s most challenging problems are being cultivated by the University’s burgeoning think tank. MetroPolis aims to incubate a fresh approach to policy making with thinking that is underpinned and informed by the world-class research at which the University excels. Hundreds of academics, practitioners, civil servants and politicians have been engaged and inspired by an impressively wide range of projects designed to find real answers to the questions taxing decision-makers in both the public and private sectors. Michael Taylor, executive director of MetroPolis, says: “We’re delighted with the progress that we’ve made with MetroPolis since we were given three years of Strategic Opportunities Funding in September 2016. “We set out to give a high profile to some of the excellent policy work that goes on in and around our University. “Obviously we’ve set out to build our own infrastructure, to engage staff at Manchester Metropolitan and to establish productive relationships with policy makers. “Over the last 12 months we have been successful in meeting these aims.” Since its official launch in March by the University’s Chancellor, Lord Mandelson, academics operating under the

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brand’s umbrella have been working in the fields of public service reform, health, arts and wellbeing, science and technology, illegal drugs, business and the political economy. The election of former MP and minister Andy Burnham as the first Metro Mayor of Greater Manchester has provided an opportunity to contribute to the political dialogue specifically at a regional level. As an example of devolution in practice, the Mayor has been seeking local solutions to local problems, with MetroPolis positioning itself at the heart of influencing strategies on its home turf. Mayor Burnham is just one of the visitors and guests from the worlds of higher education, government, business and the voluntary sector who have attended the University for one of the numerous symposiums, conferences, talks, workshops, forums, training sessions and report and book launches. They are part of the think tank’s varied programme of events showcasing the expertise within the different faculties and demonstrating how it can be applied in the real world – less a talking shop and more of a creative thinker with the evidence to match. MetroPolis academics have been featured at other conferences and seminars away from the North West and have been highlighting

their work and fostering debate through a dedicated website and various social media channels. Ever ambitious to extend MetroPolis’ reach and influence, Taylor says the think tank team’s aims over the coming months are to produce a handbook on policy impact, increase external engagement in Whitehall and Parliament, work closer with Mayor Burnham’s office, and draw policy insights from diverse research projects together to maximise their potential impact in policy debate. Here we highlight some of the projects in more detail:

Case Study: Climate Change Dr Sam Illingworth, Senior Lecturer in Science Communication, and one of the think tank’s associate academics, has taken advantage of training opportunities to help staff better consider their research in terms of policy impact. He said: “Working with MetroPolis has really helped me to think more clearly about how my research not only affects current policy, but also how it can help drive it forward at both the local and national level. “In particular, I have been working with the Manchester Climate Change Agency to help develop climate change mitigation strategies using a bottom-up


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Dr Sam Illingworth

University Chancellor, Lord Mandelson Professor Cathy Parker

approach that means Manchester can meet its future sustainability targets. “Given the importance of ‘impact’ in the upcoming Research Evaluation Framework, MetroPolis offers an opportunity for researchers to develop their work into measurable impact that can enact change in a positive and sustainable approach.”

Case Study: Chancellor’s Fellowships The Chancellor’s Fellowship Scheme is designed to fund the placement of University staff into external organisations – such as a government department, think tank, charity or business – where they can make an impact on policy. Each researcher benefits from an opportunity to translate their ideas into practical policy outcomes that can transform the lives of thousands of people while the placement organisations benefit from highquality academic input, access to evidence-based research and a partnership with an inventive, creative and energetic university. The University’s Chancellor, Lord Mandelson, said: “The fellowships are a great idea. The University has outstanding research in many areas that are relevant to public policy. “This programme will

underpin improvements in the delivery of effective public services. I am very much looking forward to seeing the impact of these fellowships on policy development that will benefit the economy and society.” The first fellowships have been awarded to researchers from across the University. Professor Heinz Tuselman will be working at the United Nations in Geneva on the effect of inward investment on a local economy. Dr Rob Ralphs has produced some insights into how drug policy needs to catch up with the development of new synthetic cannabinoids, often known as Spice. The results were presented at a symposium in Manchester opened by Mayor Burnham. And next year Shoba Arun from the Department of Sociology will start a placement with the Department of Industries at the State Government of Bihar, in Northern India, to develop governmental policy on start-up businesses to encourage enterprise development and women’s inclusion. Professor Chris Fox, MetroPolis director, said: “We’re underway with the Fellowships and have seen some remarkable results already with the first partnership with Dr Rob Ralphs and drug policy innovation hub Volteface. “Being able to locate opportunities for our staff at the United Nations and with the Indian Government was another great achievement.”

Case Study: Combating Decline Of Town Centres By interpreting detailed footfall data from town centres Professor Cathy Parker and Dr Steve Millington were able to examine how these spaces are utilised by pedestrians and recommend ways of intervening to reverse the ‘death of the High Street’ . The pair, from the University’s Institute of Place Management, were encouraged by MetroPolis to produce a policy briefing on the need to adopt the four types of town centre profile they identified and characterised. Professor Parker said: “MetroPolis helped us focus our research outcomes on policy makers. “We were provided with a briefing template that you can fill in and that is already tailored to encourage you to use the best language for policymakers and that stresses the research, references and data. “The policy briefing has been picked up by the Department of Communities and Local Government and by the Welsh Assembly, where I met ministers and civil servants. People want to come to talk to us about it.” Their work drew on the findings of their Economic and Social Research Council-funded High Streets 2020 project and the Innovate UK-funded Bringing Big Data To Small Users project.

Being able to locate opportunities for our staff at the United Nations and with the Indian Government was another great achievement

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TRAINING

for the future With social care in crisis, new approaches are needed to help the sector retain and train staff. Manchester Metropolitan University has led the way with a pioneering approach to on-the-job education and skills development for carers. Met Magazine visited two pilot projects

Teaching Care Home Teaching Care Home was a 12-month nurse-led pilot programme designed to strengthen both the culture of person-centred care and the learning environment within care homes, particularly in staff education and development. The pilot was funded by the Department of Health and led by Care England, the largest representative body for independent care providers, which worked in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University, demographic change think tank the International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK), and the Foundation of Nursing Studies. Manchester Metropolitan researchers evaluated the scheme and its outcomes and their work fed into the resulting impact report launched at a reception at the House of Lords. The evaluation process assessed whether a trial programme of on-site activities and new policies and practices could help improve standards in the areas of recruitment and retention of registered nurses, fostering innovation and sharing knowledge, and improving the day-to-day experience of residents. Rose Court, a care home in Radcliffe, Greater Manchester, was one of five UK homes which

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Karen Davies

It’s been an enabling experience for me and for the team

participated in the pilot examining how a Teaching Care Home might operate. Manager Karen Davies says the project was helpful in encouraging staff to take a step back and question the way that care was delivered at Rose Court. She says: “They wrote up stories around what Rose Court does – what was the culture and philosophy and what did they see a Teaching Care Home might be? What would the parameters be? The methodology? The mission statement? “One of the things we asked ourselves was, if a student nurse came into the home and asked a team member ‘why do you do what you do?,’ would we be confident that the staff team would be able to articulate that?” Each pilot care home focused on improving one element of care, such as the dining room experience or the transition of residents from hospital to care home and back again. Rose Court chose the more nuanced theme of ‘reflection’ because employees lacked the opportunity to scrutinise their daily performance and the home’s practices and processes. Davies adds: “So we started asking ourselves very simple

questions: What went well today? What didn’t go as planned? And what will you do differently tomorrow or next shift?” Staff received coaching in order to elicit the most constructive responses from colleagues. Pairs of employees were allocated 10 minutes a day for contemplation and monthly group reflection periods helped share ideas and concerns more widely. “The process of being asked, reflecting and then saying it out loud was very powerful. People came up with solutions to problems they had while they were reflecting and discovered quite a lot about themselves, their skills and their communication. “It was quite ground-breaking for us. It’s been a long time coming. “We believe staff have developed their vocabulary and are more able to articulate and rationalise. It’s been an enabling experience for me and for the team. I want them to feel they have something important to say.” Professor Alison Chambers, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Health, Psychology and Social Care at Manchester Metropolitan, oversaw the project. Dr Kirsten Jack and Professor Josie Tetley undertook visits to all five care homes during the pilot to interview and hold workshops with managers, qualified nurses and care workers. The resulting analysis fed into the


FEATURE final Teaching Care Home report presented at the House of Lords. Dr Jack says: “It’s about understanding the needs of the care home staff from their perspective, identifying good practice and exploring ways to build on that.” Prof Tetley notes: “What we have tried to do is understand the issues and the positive aspects of care home work and identify those in a way that we can try to implement them on a Greater Manchester level.” Going forward, Prof Chambers explains: “This is part of the solution – we want to replicate the good things going on in care homes so we can improve the health and wellbeing of residents.”

Nottingham First If the provision of care of older people is in crisis then, then children’s services have experienced an equally uncomfortable time. It is a familiar story of limited public money, increasing workloads and heightened public scrutiny in the wake of a series of headlinegrabbing high-profile failures. It is easy to overlook the fact that in council departments are thousands of knowledgeable, committed individuals looking out for the nation’s youngsters and once again, the workforce is often the biggest untapped asset in austere times. The University in partnership with Nottingham City Council has developed a bespoke scheme which provides a fast-track social work degree that helps retain and train experienced council staff in the children’s and adult social services departments. The scheme values the experience that committed council workers have developed as a bedrock for professional social work training. Nottingham City Council extended the offer to other local councils and Derbyshire County Council joined the innovative pathway through which existing practitioners work towards a two-year social work degree, with teaching and placements held in the workplace. The introduction of the Nottingham First project at the East Midlands council contributed to the performance of children’s social care rising from a ‘requires improvement’ rating to ‘good’. Professor Samantha Baron, Interim Head of the Department

We believe this will have a really positive effect on the increased recruitment and retention of good-quality, trained social workers for Nottingham

of Social Care and Social Work at Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “Nottingham First was seen as an exemplar of innovative and responsive educational practice which aims to impact on recruitment and retention rates for social work. “We take very experienced practitioners who already have a high level of skill and knowledge of social work practices within social work settings and support them through a process of professional qualification, enabling them to qualify and register as social workers.” Receiving regular taught monthly sessions as well as engaging in private study and attending placements within local services, the council employees will become qualified social workers. By taking account of prior experience, the course is completed in a shorter time, which has made the self-funding scheme attractive for the workforce and the councils. In their report, Ofsted inspectors said the degree was one of a number of interventions that had “created an environment where social work practice can flourish” and that Nottingham City Council was now an “employer of choice”. Councillor David Mellen, Portfolio Holder for Early

Intervention and Early Years at Nottingham City Council, said: “We believe this will have a really positive effect on the increased recruitment and retention of good-quality, trained social workers for Nottingham. “There are limited options currently for people to study locally for this type of qualification while working, but by linking up with Manchester Metropolitan University we have been able to agree a fast-track programme at a very competitive price. “Our staff will continue in their current roles and will do placements as required by the degree programme within our own service areas. This will cause less upheaval to their day-to-day lives and they can supplement this with some study in their own time.” These two different but equally positive schemes demonstrate how Manchester Metropolitan University can use its expertise to assist providers to foster the kind of transformation that will help to tackle the crisis head on. Evidence suggests such interventions are working and it is likely the University will be engaging with a wider number of companies and bodies in the future to continue to shape social care for the better.

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COMMONS

people like you

Five of our alumni were elected to Parliament for the first time this year, second only to Oxford in the number of graduates from one institution represented in the 2017 intake. Met Magazine meets three of them

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he first few weeks at university can be a nervewracking and disorienting experience. Thrust into an unfamiliar environment, often hundreds of miles from home, new students are confronted with the tasks of forming friendships, tackling weighty new subjects and often navigating ancient buildings steeped in centuries of tradition. Decades on from their graduation, some Manchester Metropolitan University alumni are reliving their freshers’ experience all over again. “You can’t get hold of a map of Parliament,” says Afzal Khan MP to Met Magazine from his new constituency office in Manchester Gorton, as he recounts his early impressions of life in Westminster.

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“It’s like a maze. There are so many routes to get to the same place – and you’re like – ‘oh, I’ve never noticed this before!’” “It’s like starting a new school, but the weird public school that I never really wanted to attend!” laughs Laura Smith, newly elected MP for Crewe and Nantwich, who was unexpectedly propelled into Westminster’s gilded halls on the back of a high-profile local education cuts campaign. “It’s a mixture of that and Hogwarts.” Khan and Smith are two of the five Manchester Metropolitan alumni elected to Parliament for the first time at June’s snap general election. According to research by the Sutton Trust, only the University of Oxford returned more of its ex-students to sit on

the famous green benches for the first time in the 2017 intake. New MPs explain this staggering statistic as being a direct consequence of Manchester Metropolitan’s outward focus, encouraging students to think beyond the University walls. “The mixture of learning and life that Manchester Met provided me is exactly what is expected of good parliamentarians as well,” says James Frith, new MP for Bury North, another of the 2017 cohort. Originally drawn to Manchester in the mid-nineties by its thriving music scene, (he later fronted a series of rock bands and played at Glastonbury), Frith opted to study Politics at Manchester Metropolitan, in part because of the image it projected


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Afzal Khan

Laura Smith

James Frith

Member of Parliament for Manchester Gorton

Member of Parliament for Crewe and Nantwich

Member of Parliament for Bury North

course it’s played a huge part.” Smith, a primary teaching graduate, concurs. “It’s a fantastic university that encouraged real life experience. I was able to relate to the kids that I was teaching, and that has transferred into becoming a politician. I can relate to the people who I go door knocking for.” Fellow Manchester Metropolitan graduates Laura Pidcock and Thelma Walker were also elected for the first time in 2017, for North West Durham and Colne Valley respectively. They join the swelling ranks of alumni at Westminster, including former housing minister Grant Shapps, Helen Jones, Mike Kane, Rebecca Long-Bailey and Jo Stevens. Peers such as Lord Scriven (alongside Chancellor, Lord Mandelson) extend Manchester Metropolitan’s influence in the upper chamber, and many others hold important portfolios in local government.

Many also retain a close affinity with their alma mater. Mike Kane, MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East, is the new parliamentary ambassador for the University’s First Generation campaign, using his position to assist students from families, like his, who have no previous experience of higher education. The newly elected MPs have barely had time to draw breath after a chaotic few months. Prime Minister Theresa May called June’s general election at just seven weeks’ notice, ostensibly to strengthen her government’s hand during Brexit negotiations. Thousands of candidates across the country were unexpectedly thrust into an exhausting period of campaigning. Frith, who overturned a narrow Conservative majority in his marginal seat, has only just returned from paternity leave after the birth of his fourth child. But, when reminded of their

as a modern, forward-thinking university. “My first impression [was great]. The Geoffrey Manton building was brand new, so it was a very impressive setup on campus.” And he believes it is that combination of modernity and academic excellence that could explain why so many of his new colleagues once trod the same university corridors as him as teenagers. “[Being an MP] has to be based on what every man and woman in the street is experiencing, and coming up with solutions that aren’t based on a dyed-in-the-wool 18th, 19th or 20th century interpretation of life. It is about applying principles of fairness, equality, social justice to what people are going through at the moment. “I felt that in the original, modern city that Manchester is and I found my voice in my time at Man Met and eventually my place because of it. It’s not been exclusively because of it, but of

It’s a fantastic university that encouraged real life experience

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achievement – particularly for those who represent Greater Manchester constituencies – they clearly welcome the chance to reflect on their accomplishment. Frith jokes: “To come here and 20 years later be married to a Bury lass and have four kids who sound like mini Liam Gallaghers and Caroline Ahernes is something I take great pride in.” “Everything I have in my life is linked to Manchester,” explains Khan. Born in Pakistan, Khan arrived in the UK aged 11, adopted by a Manchester family. After leaving school with no qualifications, he worked variously as a labourer in a cotton mill and driving a bus – before returning to study for his O Levels and A Levels. He then became a police officer in Greater Manchester, before enrolling at Manchester Metropolitan as a mature student to study law. He adds: “The best place for me was Manchester and the city I loved. Having an opportunity to study there was good enough for me. I went there, had a good life like many students, was actively involved in student activities, and then managed to get a degree.” He progressed quickly, qualifying as a solicitor and becoming partner in a Manchester law firm. He moved into politics, first as a councillor in Cheetham Hill, before becoming Manchester’s first Asian Lord Mayor, joining a Home Office Task Force on extremism, campaigning against the growing far right, and becoming elected to the European Parliament in 2014. Following the death of veteran Labour MP Gerald Kaufman earlier this year, he was elected as new MP for Manchester Gorton. “It’s a city which has had an amazing journey in the last 20 years or so, from a dying city into a world-class city. It really is an amazing journey. A city which hosted the Commonwealth Games [in 2002], where every Mancunian felt two inches taller. “If you look at a city where we had a bomb attack, 22 people lost their lives and hundreds were injured, and yet the response we gave is amazing and inspiring. The messages of solidarity, unity, of love. That’s what makes Mancunians great.” Just four months on from election night, these Manchester Metropolitan alumni have been getting stuck into their new roles.

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It shows the quality of students that Manchester Metropolitan gets – they’re capable of reaching the top

Pidcock’s barnstorming maiden speech made national headlines, Khan has already been elevated to the frontbench as his party’s Shadow Immigration Minister, and Walker and Frith will serve on the Education Select Committee. For Frith, this is the continuation of a personal passion. He founded All Together, a social enterprise designed to improve careers education. He is a fierce advocate of ‘repeat opportunity’, drawing on his own experiences as an often poorly behaved child beset with serious health problems, who was still able to flourish at Manchester Metropolitan, in part because of his encouraging parents and relatively privileged background. But, he believes, that opportunity is not always afforded to others. “Our education system doesn’t do enough in appreciating the context by which people enter education. Whether that’s through family life, the social context, poverty, wealth – [they] play a huge part. But also how we learn. I don’t think we do nearly enough in understanding how a young person learns is different to each and every one of us.” Smith entered Parliament on the back of a whirlwind three months of political activity. It started when she posted a Facebook status that went rapidly viral after attending a public meeting at her former high school on education funding cuts. Inspired by the strength of local support she received, Smith subsequently organised protests and marches, before standing for

Parliament and unseating education minister Edward Timpson. Education remains a big priority, but she also reels off a host of other subjects she will be raising on behalf of her constituents – the state of social care, mental health and the future of a local fire station. Reflecting on her unexpected rise, she says: “I believe in the power of people. When people start to recognise that, they can actually change things. The message that you cannot do anything, everything stays the same, politicians are all the same, is wrong. I am an example of somebody who has come from a really poor background, and has managed to get myself into Westminster in a period of three months. So ordinary people can do it. That’s the way it should be.” It is clear that Parliament has gained several doughty advocates for their constituencies and causes they believe in. As Khan explains, when told of the number of his new colleagues who share his alma mater: “It shows the quality of students that Manchester Metropolitan gets – they’re capable of reaching the top.” Smith agrees, and hopes that the Commons class of 2017 can be an inspiration for future generations of Manchester Metropolitan graduates eager to enter public office. “I hope people look at me and think – she’s an ordinary person from a council estate and now she’s in Westminster helping to make the laws of the land. Why can’t that be me?”


MASTER YOUR SUBJECT. #MCRMET POSTGRADUATE PROGRAMMES Become an expert in your field. 

mmu.ac.uk/postgraduate


VIEWS

Playing to our strengths Manchester City Council Chief Executive Joanne Roney outlines the plans to make Manchester a world-leading city

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hen I joined Manchester City Council as Chief Executive earlier this year, I knew I was joining an organisation at the heart of a hugely exciting and ambitious city. But I’ve been hugely impressed by the sheer scale of that collective ambition and determination to become a top flight, thriving, global city where everyone can play a part in, and benefit from, success. Far from being dented by emerging challenges – not least the need to rise to the challenge of Brexit to ensure that Manchester clearly communicates its distinctive strengths and sends out a clear message that we remain a welcoming international city and a great place to visit and do business – that determination is redoubled. Manchester Metropolitan University and the city’s other higher education institutions are very much partners in this journey. A journey which we hope will put us among the top 20 cities in the world by 2035, whether it is through pioneering research, equipping students with the skills which will help them succeed in, and contribute to, our economy and the general buzz of the city, or continuing to attract international students. These ambitions are set out in two complementary strategies: the Our Manchester Strategy, which will guide the city up to 2025, and the Greater Manchester Internationalisation Strategy, a three-year action framework to boost the city region’s global competitiveness. The timeframes might be different, but the ambitions are equally lofty and crucially, both are strategies not just for the

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Council, Greater Manchester’s local authorities and other public sector organisations, but for all of us. Businesses. The voluntary sector. Academic institutions. And everyone who lives in, works in, or has an enduring connection with, the city. This is what the Our Manchester Strategy, especially, is all about. It’s about building on existing strengths as a platform for improvement, and doing things with – not to – people, communities and organisations. It’s about listening and understanding and recognising that the Council does not have the monopoly on good ideas. Becoming a top-flight city means building on our distinctive strengths – in particular in science, advanced manufacturing, culture and the creative and digital industries – to create a dynamic and sustainable economy. Corridor Manchester – with its cluster of higher education and medical institutions is a key driver for our economic growth. It attracts businesses that want to innovate and grow and which recognise the benefits of being located in an area rich with innovation and new ideas. Turning ideas into commercial products is a major opportunity. But achieving our ambition also means ensuring that Manchester people have the skills and confidence to access the jobs created, which involves everything from boosting school readiness, to increasing the number of graduates in the city. Connecting higher education institutions with businesses in the city will give graduates a clear route to quality employment, or support to get an innovative idea off the ground.

We remain a welcoming international city and a great place to visit and do business

It means working together to create a healthy, happy and welcoming city where residents of all backgrounds feel safe, can aspire to succeed and live well. It means constantly striving to improve connections, whether that’s through improved local and regional transport links, or the continuing success of our thriving international airport – making Manchester a true gateway to the UK. At the same time, it’s essential that Manchester plays its part in reducing the impact of climate change. None of these things are small or simple. But Manchester’s history contains endless examples of a radical, restless, innovative spirit and this continues to animate the city today. It is precisely because these goals are difficult, lofty even, that we must strive for them together. After six months in this job, during which I’ve met a huge cross-section of Manchester people, from no-nonsense grafters to community champions and organisational leaders, I have a clearer sense of what makes Manchester so special. Nowhere was this better illustrated than in the aftermath of the Manchester Arena attack when the city responded to an unspeakable act with remarkable solidarity and a refusal to bow to hatred and fear. I have long admired Manchester, but that was when I fell in love with the place. I believe we have both the character and the strategy to reach our destination as a world-leading city. Joanne Roney is Chief Executive Officer of Manchester City Council


Putting people in the centre of a web of care Chief Social Worker Lyn Romeo explains how social workers are part of the solution to the challenges that health and social care face in the 21st century

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ocial care is in crisis with concerns about the level of funding and resources available to support the needs of older people and people with disabilities in our communities, well-rehearsed in the media, in party political conferences and in the corridors of town halls and NHS headquarters all over the country. As Chief Social Worker at the Department of Health, it probably isn’t going to surprise readers that I am keen to promote social work’s contribution in delivering the best health and care outcomes for people. Integration has many different interpretations. Sometimes it is about integrating hospital and community health services. Sometimes it is about making sure that health, social care and housing are coming together to offer a more integrated approach to people’s need. And sometimes it is regarded as the Holy Grail to get more out of the system for the same or less money! For me, the focus must be on putting the person, their family, carers and community networks at the centre of the web of care. It’s about working with them to integrate responses which meet their needs, removing the obstacles to leading positive and rewarding lives. It is not primarily the means to meeting the needs of organisations and systems, sorting out structural arrangements or budgets. Social work is essential to integration, to support the social model and social care

Social work is essential to integration, to support the social model and social care approaches alongside the medical approaches and treatment models

approaches alongside the medical approaches and treatment models. In integrated arrangements, social workers need to be able to hold their own within multidisciplinary contexts and make sure that people’s rights, wishes and best outcomes are supported by the whole system. Social workers are uniquely placed to understand and advocate for individuals and families with complex needs – especially where health issues overlap with other life pressures including housing, employment and the desire to be accepted within supportive communities. Social workers are helping to make sure health and care services pursue best outcomes collaboratively – anchoring them to the needs of the people they serve. This is true integration. There are over 80,000 social workers in England working with individuals, families and communities at all stages of people’s life course. Social work offers a huge career progression across a range of work. The social work qualification is generic. Although protecting children is massively important, most social workers don’t work in this field for the majority of their careers. They work in the vast array of other services for children and adults, from physical disability to mental health, substance abuse and learning disabilities, to name a few. Social workers have the primary role of enabling people to get on with living the lives they want and can live, to promote their rights, so that they can be or

become fulfilled and contributing adult citizens. Protection from harm and discrimination is one important part of this bigger goal. Working alongside people in crisis or difficulty is challenging, but rewarding work. It is also a collaborative profession so involves working jointly with colleagues or professionals from other disciplines or agencies. Close working between social workers, doctors, nurses, health visitors, occupational therapists, community and voluntary sector providers and independent social care providers means that we can all help to try and get it as right as possible for the citizens we serve. Social workers are passionate about social injustice, discrimination and making a difference to the lives of vulnerable adults, children and families. Social workers can have a big impact on the lives of the people they work with – from building a relationship with a young person to supporting an older person, to transition into more supported living arrangements. It is heartening that Manchester Metropolitan University is investing in and supporting social work and interdisciplinary approaches across health and care. This really is the solution to making sure that people are supported to have the best possible lives and for us all to make the most effective use of the resources we have available to us. Lyn Romeo is Chief Social Worker for Adults at the Department of Health

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Developing the healthcare workforce of the future Professor Alison Chambers discusses the key partnership work which is supporting and preparing health and social care graduates

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feel very privileged to be working in Manchester at a time when we are probably experiencing the greatest change in our health and social care system through devolution since the inception of the NHS. I am proud to say that the University has a long and successful history of providing health and social care professional education that is recognised as being amongst the best in the UK. We are very proud to be one of the four founding Social Work Teaching Partnerships, leading and influencing the shape of social work education nationally as well as regionally. Partnership working is at the core of our work and the teaching partnership brings us together with our local university partners and the directors of social services across all 10 Greater Manchester local authorities to shape and develop social work education. We have seen a year-on-year increase in employer-funded social work programmes, which I believe validates and recognises the innovative approach to professional education within our social care and social work department. The changes to healthcare education funding, and the subsequent shift away from Health Education England funded places for undergraduate nursing and the allied health professional programmes to student loan funding for the first time, create a potentially challenging situation. I’m delighted to say that, by working in partnership with the Chief Nurses across all 10 Greater Manchester localities and our local university partners, we have bucked the national trend and been able to increase the numbers of health professional students commencing their studies in September by around 11% across the four Greater Manchester universities. This is testament to the strength of our partnership

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working with clinical partners and neighbouring universities. This bodes well for the future and I am confident that we will continue to see an increase in undergraduates starting courses in line with the demand for graduates once they complete their studies. We are keen to ensure that we attract and retain the very best talent to work within the Greater Manchester health and care system. We are very proud of our graduates, many of whom remain in Greater Manchester and the North West of England to pursue their careers as nurses, physiotherapists, social workers and speech and language therapists. Within the context of devolution and the emphasis on place-based care, we have been undertaking a research project, funded through Health Education England, to explore whether or not undergraduate education adequately prepares health and social care graduates for a career in an integrated place-based health and care system. Initial findings suggest that there is a compelling case for change and the final report will be ready toward the end of 2017. Our findings suggest that there should be more emphasis on preparing graduates to work in multidisciplinary teams. In summary, the complexities of working within multi-disciplinary teams – boundaries, roles, identity, building trust and professional understanding – were identified as requiring more emphasis within undergraduate programmes. The final report will make a number of recommendations for change largely around how we teach rather than what we teach. We are already thinking through how we can use our simulated learning expertise and our innovative online learning community ‘Birley Place’ (see The Future of Nursing on page 24) to test out novel approaches to teaching delivery. Of course, we could not do this without the support of our

clinical and practice colleagues, with whom we work to ensure that the work-based elements of our programmes provide a rich learning environment for our students. Being located in Manchester and building on our partnerships within the Greater Manchester health and social care system provides a perfect opportunity to create new work placements for our students. Across Greater Manchester there are fantastic examples of integrated neighbourhood teams and being able to place our students within these teams during their undergraduate studies will help them experience first-hand what effective integrated team working looks and feels like. This isn’t without challenges and we recognise that we will need to support our students and our teams to shift away from the traditional placement models to one where boundaries between professions is less clear and where interprofessional role complexity is guaranteed. Even more exciting is the work we are doing around Teaching Care Home which I hope will help raise the profile of care, improve student perceptions of a career in care and help to establish the care sector as a great place to work (see Training For The Future on page 46). I do believe that by continuing to work with our practice/clinical partners we can re-imagine interprofessional education, test out our thinking and ideas, and share our learning with others. From where I am sitting, the future is very bright and I look forward to continuing our close working with partners to ultimately contribute to improving the health and wellbeing of Greater Manchester residents through our research and education. Professor Alison Chambers is the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Health, Psychology and Social Care at Manchester Metropolitan University

Partnership working is at the core of our work


Challenging the way we have always done things Jon Rouse, Chief Officer of Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership on the role universities have to play in improving health

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There is historically a strong research relationship between our universities and our health and care system

he devolution of health and social care in Greater Manchester is a national first and we are setting our sights high in terms of what we can achieve. This is a great place to live, work, and study, but sadly people die younger here than other parts of England. We need to change this. In 2015, NHS organisations and local councils signed an agreement with the Government to take charge of health and social care spending and decisions, forming Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership. The following year, the Partnership took control of the £6 billion budget for health and care. Traditionally, reforming health and care has been seen solely as a job for the NHS, but transformation of this scale and breadth needs more than that. For this to work, we need other partners to get on board too, including our voluntary and community sector, local councils, and of course our universities. We are fortunate to have such a strong academic sector – with an active research community, a considerable range of expertise, and the largest student population in Europe. As a Manchester graduate, I know how formative an experience it is to be a student in this city. When I moved back to Manchester to join the Partnership in 2016, I was struck by the close ‘town and gown’ relationship. There is historically a strong research relationship between our universities and our health and care system so we have good foundations to build on. Right from the outset, we recognised that innovation was essential for the transformation of health and social care in Greater Manchester. All those involved knew devolution had to be underpinned by a drive to push boundaries and challenge the ‘way we’ve always done things.’ Without it, our efforts risked being overtaken, left behind

by developments elsewhere. But this has to be underpinned by evidence, linked to best practice – so a tall order indeed! Our universities hold the key to making this real. In recent months, we have been meeting with university colleagues to identify where their research activity links up with our delivery plan. This has gone well beyond the traditional options, such as health sciences and medicine. Health Innovation Manchester is a new body, combining two previous organisations, bringing together research and clinical expertise with industry ‘know how’ and investment. Health Innovation Manchester aims to speed up the discovery, development, and delivery of new ways to improve health. All our universities are members and I sit on the board. A number of collaborative projects are underway that are great examples of what we can achieve in partnership with our universities. Perhaps the most significant with Manchester Metropolitan University is the development of Teaching Care Home, which aims to establish a workforce development approach, similar to what we’re already familiar with in hospitals and GP practices. We want to support career progression whilst improving care. The University asked the Partnership to look at how this would work in practice and to set minimum standards for recognition as a Teaching Care Home. Seven of our boroughs in Greater Manchester fall below the England average in the percentage of care homes rated good or outstanding. We want to change this and become a leading innovator in the delivery of good quality care. When I hear someone championing the NHS, they usually mention a specific nurse, doctor, or health care assistant who went above and beyond. Our workforce is our greatest asset.

Manchester’s graduates are our future workforce and the future of health and care. One challenge we need to address is how to encourage graduates to come to our region by making sure it is an attractive place to live and work. This includes keeping more of our home grown talent. For example, over 60% of those who completed their nursing training, leave the region despite many vacancies. The withdrawal of the nursing bursary is another potential stumbling block. Despite this, through some excellent joint work between our universities and our senior nurses we have seen an increase (11%) in applications this year, but it is still early days. We will continue to work with our university partners to assess the impact of this change. We also know our nursing workforce doesn’t reflect the diversity of the region. For example, it won’t surprise anyone to hear that 80-90% of nursing students are female. We’re working with universities to look at how we can attract more men to consider nursing as a career choice. Workforce is not the only challenge facing our health service in the years ahead. Increasing demand and constrained resources pose a real risk to the viability of the system as a whole. However, I think we have reason to be optimistic in Greater Manchester. Devolution offers an opportunity to do things differently and our history of innovation and invention in this region gives us the means to get on and do it. Our universities have been central to this city for over a hundred years as places of collaboration, learning, and discovery. I believe they will be a big part of our future too. Jon Rouse is the Chief Officer of Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership

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SOCIAL

creatures

The rise of social media means that every aspect of our lives can now be chronicled online – but what is the psychological impact of this? Researchers at Manchester Metropolitan University have been exploring the phenomenon 56

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Dr Sarah Parry Senior Lecturer in Clinical and Counselling Psychology

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uman beings have always wanted to capture and chronicle important moments in their lives – from weddings, births and deaths to individual achievements and community celebrations. Whereas in the past this was done through photography, family albums, slide shows and videos, in the 21st century it’s more likely to be done instantaneously – and in huge volumes – via social media. Now ubiquitous in modern life, social media offers a fast and powerful way to connect everyone from chatty teens to remote-living grandparents and all those in between. This year those meeting Facebook’s minimum age requirement of 13 will be the first generation for whom Facebook has always existed (Mark Zuckerberg and his Harvard classmates launched the platform in 2004). Quite a startling statistic that shows how embedded it is in our lives. But what effect is this sharing or oversharing of information having on our lives?

By the time they’re two, more than 90% of children have an online history

Growing up in the Digital Age

Babies! Dr Bex Lewis, Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and a social media expert, says: “Social media definitely acts as a record of our lives – not just if we choose to share, but in how others choose to share about us. “New and expecting parents are often avid sharers. Many parents are announcing their pregnancies online, with around 25% sharing the news via the first scan. Other, more extreme, cases involve sharing the actual birth. All this social media activity essentially creates a digital shadow before the child is even born. By the time they’re two, more than 90% of children have an online history. “It’s not a new thing to record treasured memories, especially when it comes to children. Social media has just made it easier to share. Some do overshare, leading to the term ‘sharents’ being coined in recent years.” Dr Lewis points out that oversharing is not new and not limited to the digital world. But are tweets and Facebook posts the

same as photo albums and videos? With smartphones and technology advancements, images in particular are easier to share and due to the global nature of social media, any damage is often more permanent and far-reaching. In her book Raising Children in a Digital Age (2014), Dr Lewis encourages parents to regulate what they post when it comes to children. “Involve your children from an early age and ask them what kind of pictures they like you sharing – some kids love it, some don’t,” she explains. “Also consider what an image could mean in the future – is it something a child would be embarrassed by, or something that could jeopardise their future prospects, with employers now trawling through candidates’ social media pages.”

Dr Bex Lewis Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing

Ofcom statistics from last year’s Children and Parents report show that some 23% of 8- to 11-year-olds now have social media profiles – despite minimum age requirements for most social networks being 13. Dr Lewis continues: “In order to create social media accounts, young children are pretending to be 16- or 18-year-olds to get around the restrictions, sometimes

even with the parents’ permission and help. This highlights a bigger problem online and means that children are therefore exposed to unsuitable material.” Dr Sarah Parry, Senior Lecturer in Clinical and Counselling Psychology at Manchester Metropolitan, says: “Young people do seem to be more affected by what they see on social media – especially the presence and prevalence of certain graphic images. With videos automatically playing on our timelines with little warning, children can be exposed to more content than is helpful.” Following the Manchester Arena attack, there were lots of distressing images on social media. Within 48 hours of the incident, Dr Parry and colleague Dr Jez Oldfield, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, developed some ageappropriate guidelines for when parents talk to their children about terrorist attacks. One poignant piece of advice from Dr Parry was to “point out the heroes” – the paramedics and hospital staff, and the passers-by and locals who offered help. Social media was the platform on which stories of these heroes were shared. She explains: “Young children don’t usually have the life

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experiences to contextualise what they’ve seen and they often need a grown-up to do that for them. On social media, there isn’t that voice or regulation. Social media just presents information and it’s taken in – there isn’t always room for a helpful two-way conversation with an adult, so parents do need to step in in certain cases.” For children and teens on social media, there are risks of cyberbullying, grooming or access to inappropriate content – but that’s not to say experiences on social media are all negative. Some teachers encourage students to discuss lessons or ask for homework help on social media. For older teens, it can be helpful when choosing universities or looking for jobs later in life. Dr Parry adds: “Working at a university, you see how social media is used in the student lifecycle. For many students, it fills a social hole – if they were missing family, or if they wanted to feel a greater connection to their new community.”

Socialising with ‘friends’ The most obvious use for social media for most people is socialising – hence the name. Dr Jenny Cole, a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University, says: “You see so many stories in the media that try to say social media has damaged traditional socialising or that it has revolutionised it. People always try and fit it into these boxes, but it really depends on how you use it. For some people it probably has reduced the amount they socialise face-to-face and for other people, it hasn’t. “We can constantly keep in touch with each other across huge distances. Social media has facilitated that. It’s especially helpful for families that are separated or if someone we know has moved away. “There is evidence to suggest that online friendships impact how we construct and maintain relationships, including offline ones. Online, we can find people who have similar interests to us and it’s becoming more popular to meet up with these people in real life to discuss your shared interest,

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Dr Jenny Cole Senior Lecturer in Psychology

People want to be seen for who they are but only the bits of who they are that they’re happy for other people to see

whether that’s a favourite TV show or all following the same blog. I think our online communities are just as much an important part of our social identity now as our ‘inreal-life’ friend groups.” Despite all the camaraderie that can be found on social media, it is often blamed for increased youth loneliness and exacerbating experiences of isolation. But how can the most connected generation in history be lonely? Researchers at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Centre for Childhood, Youth and Community have been supporting young people at 42nd Street, a Manchester-based mental health charity for young people, as part of the innovative Youth Loneliness Project. Through conversations with young people, the youth-led project aims to help establish a clearer picture of what loneliness means to young people across the UK and how social media plays into that. One participant explained: “Social media is social pressure...people posting fake happiness. That has to be one of the loneliest places… all your connections are based on falseness.” Authenticity is an issue on social media as it does allow us to tailor our lives and identities, with some

people even creating fictional online personas to ‘catfish’ – tricking others into seemingly authentic relationships with fake profiles. Still, Dr Cole argues that most people are concerned with being authentic: “People want to be seen for who they are but only the bits of who they are that they’re happy for other people to see. “The same goes for selfies – our research into the psychology of selfies shows that women liked being able to control their image online by choosing different angles, lighting and filters that made them look their best but still like themselves.” Dr Cole adds: “This is seen as vanity by some and empowerment by others. We found that selfies are complex and can be a way of policing women’s appearance by other women.”

Love online Romance isn’t dead – it’s alive and well on social media judging from the gushing statuses and couple selfies. Dr Jenny van Hooff, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Manchester Metropolitan University, looks at intimacy, sexual practices and commitment in modern couples. “There’s an element of display in relationships that has become much more prevalent through social media,” she explains. With 11 relationship statuses to choose from on Facebook, you can broadcast your personal lives to friends and ex-lovers with ease. For young couples in the early years of the social network, to declare


#RIP Dr Jenny van Hooff Senior Lecturer in Sociology

yourselves ‘in a relationship’ or become ‘Facebook official’ was a major milestone, but now it’s a less popular feature, regarded as an awkward ‘public’ display of affection. Social networking sites are still popular places to meet and connect with potential partners but they aren’t the only way of finding love online – for some it’s as easy as swiping right. Dr van Hooff, whose research explored how Tinder affected the nature of relationships and intimacy, says: “Online dating has been going on for a while, but what really changed the landscape of the dating scene was dating apps. “With traditional online dating, you had to sit at your PC, but with dating apps on smartphones, they’re always accessible. It has become much more instant.” She explains: “When the internet first became popular, a major appeal was that you could meet people online who were halfway across the world and fall in love. That has really changed now and location and proximity are more important. People want to talk to people close by so they can meet quickly and location preferences on apps allow that. “It’s also fairly normal to be talking to multiple potential partners on the apps and on social media, and really keep your options open because you don’t want to waste any time. There’s a real sense of urgency to the dating process today that not everyone we spoke to liked. “Another issue is that relationships have become more commodified and dating apps have become almost a form of online shopping – you choose people based on appearance. Anyone that has a profile is essentially branding themselves by presenting themselves a certain way.” Dr van Hooff points out that the apps have created a hook-up culture encouraging casual sexual encounters, and so are regarded with scepticism by many. Despite this, Tinder, which is five years old this year, is available in more than 190 countries and boasts that it connects around 26 million people every day.

Relationships have become more commodified and dating apps have become almost a form of online shopping

With some of our best-loved celebrities passing away in 2016, millions of fans flocked to social media to share their grief and post their fond memories of listening to David Bowie, Prince and George Michael; of watching Carrie Fisher and Alan Rickman in their favorite films; and of witnessing “the greatest” Muhammad Ali fight. Social media has changed how we grieve and we don’t just limit it to celebrities. With acts of terrorism on the rise globally, we are increasingly using the platform to express our despair, confusion and condolences. “Social media is enabling expressions of grief,” says Dr Lewis. “With the recent tragedies, one of the most encouraging things I’ve seen is the use of social media to offer practical help such as beds for the night, blood, food and transport to those in need.” Dr Parry adds: “It provides yet another platform for communities to come together and share stories, support and ideas, although this platform can also nurture polarised views and be used to share hostility – social media platforms can certainly be helpful and useful, although need to be used with care.” Social media has also adapted as a response to these attacks with the development of terror alerts and safety check-in features, occasionally easing people’s worries. Other times, social

media can exacerbate tensions with fake news, false reports and exaggerations of the threat level. Dr Neil Dagnall, Reader in Applied Cognitive Psychology, is researching how people respond to terrorism. He spoke with Met Magazine about the role social media plays: “Yes, social media offers inspiration, hope and reassurance. It can also be useful to raise awareness of pertinent threats and encourage people to behave in ways that will reduce risk. Issues arise when there is a mismatch between perceived risk and actual risk. With social amplification determining perception of risk, people often possess distorted perceptions of terrorism-related threat. “Another concern is constant exposure to threats on social media may produce complacency, which results in genuine risks and threats being overlooked.” Dr Lewis also explores how constant exposure to tragedies on social media can de-sensitise people to loss: “Sometimes you think to yourself, why would someone post that? After the tragedy at Grenfell Tower in London, residents had to step in to ask people to stop taking and posting selfies in front of the tower block.” It’s easier to express grief online, but it hasn’t led to a culture that’s more sensitive about loss. Social media shows no sign of slowing and our relationship with it can be summed up in five words: Till death do us part.

Dr Neil Dagnall Reader in Applied Cognitive Psychology

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wars The battle against former legal highs forced suppliers and users underground, but the war on Spice is far from over. Researchers at Manchester Metropolitan are leading the fight

Instead of Manchester being the problem, it is actually developing the solutions

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he shuffling figures have filled our screens and newspapers. Sensationalist headlines about zombies, epidemics and chaos have become the norm. However, this isn’t some George A Romero film – this is a tragic reality of the now outlawed dangerous synthetic drug Spice. The phenomenon is as captivating as it is concerning. Previously regarded a problem largely at the margins of society, the laboratory-made narcotic burst into the public consciousness and the media’s attention after some

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serious incidents in Manchester. However, instead of Manchester being the problem, it is actually developing the solutions. The city is at the forefront of developing proactive action – and Manchester Metropolitan University is leading the way. Dr Oliver Sutcliffe, Senior Lecturer in Psychopharmaceutical Chemistry, and Dr Rob Ralphs, a Reader in Criminology, are expanding our understanding of what is actually in these drugs as well as exploring the human effects – for both users and the

professionals who have to deal with the fallout. Co-lead on this work is Dr Paul Gray, Senior Lecturer in Criminology. The research team is also part of the interdisciplinary Substance Use and Addictive Behaviours research group (SUAB). The pioneering research being conducted at the University has raised awareness of both the composition and consequences of the drug in a way that has not been replicated anywhere else in Britain. Misunderstanding, rumours, the use of a generic brand name


FEATURE and an inconsistency in both the product and in consumers’ reactions to it have all clouded the perception of exactly what Spice is. The raw powder replicates the effects of the main component of cannabis and is dissolved in a solvent before being sprayed or applied on to plant material and left to dry. Doses of the ‘smoking blend’ mixture could be bought legitimately in so-called ‘head shops’ in colourful packaging. But in response to mounting concerns about the increasing prevalence of these kind of substances, ministers banned legal highs in 2016 since when they have been known as New Psychoactive Substances (NPS). Dr Ralphs had previously carried out work on mephedrone and explored both legal highs and clubbing, and Spice in a prison, leading to the establishment with Dr Sutcliffe of the Manchester Centre for the Study of Legal Highs, superseded by the MANDRAKE (MANchester DRug Analysis and Knowledge Exchange) project. Their incisive research attracted the attention of Manchester City Council and the community safety partnership board. The team was commissioned to investigate and explain the NPS marketplace in the city in 2015 and recommissioned as the new legislation came into force in 2016. Dr Ralphs says: “The Act has been widely criticised for being rushed through, and not being thought through, especially in terms of the unintended consequences of developing a more volatile street market for Spice. And there was no evaluation built in on how successful the legislation would be. One of our original recommendations was that we needed to re-commission research to look at the impact of the Act and Manchester did exactly that. “Manchester is the only local authority in England or Wales that has the research leading right up to the introduction of the Act and the research 12 months on to look at the impact. Nobody else has that kind of data.” MANDRAKE’s research helped the authorities to identify ways to develop training, support and awareness and to understand the content of Spice as it became

more commonplace. It has helped to shape policy responses to the Spice question through close partnership working with Manchester City Council, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and Greater Manchester Police (GMP). Tellingly, predictions made by the MANDRAKE team before the ban came true. Dr Ralphs explains: “Once the Act came into force, we thought the purity would become more variable and the price would probably go up. Homeless people were warning that it would lead to more violence in the homeless community and it would lead to more acquisitive crime in the city centre. “We predicted more adulteration of Spice that would lead to more harm to the users. “The follow-on research moved beyond the original prevalence study,” Dr Ralphs adds. “We built on that to investigate the prevalence within coroners’ reports of deaths due to drug use, including synthetic cannabinoids and other NPS drugs.” This was part of the further work led by Dr Lucy Webb,

Dr Oliver Sutcliffe Senior Lecturer in Psychopharmaceutical Chemistry

Dr Rob Ralphs Reader in Criminology

The Act has been widely criticised for being rushed through, and not being thought through

Reader in Nursing at Manchester Metropolitan and also part of SUAB, to gain an insight into the impact of drug use in the community. Dr Ralphs says: “The ban on legal highs meant that the Government would no longer be able to carry out test purchases of Spice. By incorporating the work done by Oliver, we were able to better understand the contents of the Spice products being used locally.” This work meant that MANDRAKE had some of the answers when headlines about ‘Zombie Spice’ users started to appear. People wanted to know what was making users ‘freeze’ and fall into a catatonic state, and Dr Sutcliffe was able to build those questions into his ongoing research. “Even though the research was commissioned for Manchester, going forward, with the impetus of the Mayor of Greater Manchester and devolution, we proposed a Greater Manchester-wide Local Drug Information System, which would feed in intelligence – and a key part of that is knowing what’s in these drugs.” Dr Ralphs’ observations and research dovetails neatly with Dr Sutcliffe’s work in the lab confirming chemical compositions. Using specialist equipment, he has been testing confiscated Spice samples under an arrangement with GMP and Manchester City Council.

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By identifying emerging drug trends, Dr Sutcliffe can share alerts with stakeholders including policymakers and frontline professionals. What started with mephedrone and Spice is already expanding into new areas of research, such as the heavily addictive opioid pain medication fentanyl. Dr Sutcliffe and Dr Ralphs’ work has forged a path for MANDRAKE as a think tank engaging in practical activities and research that informs teaching. Dr Sutcliffe says: “My research was originally in mephedrone and it expanded to look at other New Psychoactive Substances, or legal highs, as they were.” He adds: “We originally set up the Manchester Centre for the Study of Legal Highs to combine humanities and sociological research with lab testing. Manchester Metropolitan was one of the first universities to have both of those capabilities on site and we have grown it organically. We rebranded as MANDRAKE to show we can investigate the wider impact of any substance that could be abused. “We have focused on Spice and now we’re also looking at things like fentanyl. That could expand potentially into other substances such as performance-enhancing drugs, or medication that might be being diverted to the recreational use market.” MANDRAKE supports harm reduction initiatives and is

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Spice explained

engaged in research linked to the rapid detection systems within custodial settings. Strong links forged with GMCA and GMP and the ability to conduct research of the kind absent in the public sector means the University has become a leader in the field. “The fact we have been so broad and the fact we have been able to cover both the humanities side and chemical side means that we are uniquely placed,” Dr Sutcliffe adds. “Public authorities like Manchester City Council have realised the value of our work: that it is of high quality, and is respected.” “They need to be credited for making this kind of investment,” Dr Ralphs adds. “Their response to NPS is based on solid, academic evidence and they have been quite innovative and willing to do something different. Manchester is leading the way.”

Efforts to understand the impact of Spice have been clouded by misunderstanding and rumour. The name Spice is a generic description for a variety of similar substances sold under different brand names. Those products are inconsistent, as is the reaction of their consumers. The raw powder replicates the effects of the main psychoactive component of cannabis (tetrahydrocannabinol or THC) and is dissolved in a solvent before being sprayed or applied on to plant material and left to dry. Before the ban on Spice, colourful packages of the ‘smoking blend’ mixture could be bought legitimately in so-called ‘head shops’. In response to mounting concerns about the increasing prevalence and impact of these kind of substances, ministers banned legal highs in 2016. They are now categorised as New Psychoactive Substances. Reflecting its emergence as the de-facto centre of Spice understanding, MANDRAKE organised a summit called Responding to Spice: Developing an Integrated Response, that was convened by the University’s think tank MetroPolis and drug policy think tank Volteface. The event brought together major players, including the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham (pictured above), to discuss an integrated response to the problem of Spice, including developing ways to reduce the stigma and impact to users and communities. Michael Taylor, Executive Director of the University’s think tank, MetroPolis, says: “This shows Manchester Metropolitan at our best. “The hard science that Oliver Sutcliffe provides, to support the social scientific rigour of Rob Ralphs, is a powerful combination indeed. “To hear the Mayor commit to implement the recommendations from the conference reflects not only the urgency of this acute and complex social problem before us, but the possibilities of what we can achieve if we direct our efforts in a smart way.”


What’s on your bookshelf?

Met Magazine takes a look at the bookshelf of Dr Karl McLaughlin, Senior Lecturer in Spanish 30 Days. A Month at the Heart of Blair’s War – Peter Stothard I have always been something of a political animal and worked as an interpreter for the Spanish government during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The job involved meetings and phone conversations with world leaders, including Tony Blair and others in the ‘Coalition of the Willing’. Journalist Peter Stothard gained unprecedented access to 10 Downing Street and his gripping account provides a fascinating insight into a key month in international affairs. The level of detail provided is extraordinary and the narration of the political wheeling and dealing jogs many memories for me.

All Hell Let Loose. The World at War 1939-1945 – Max Hastings I have had a keen interest in the second world war since my A-Level History days. I have also visited the D-Day Landing beaches and war graves. We risk losing sight of the significance of what is widely considered the most terrible event in history and the sacrifices made. Max Hastings’ single-volume history book is a staggering piece of writing and is rightly praised as the best of its kind. It is a treasure trove for someone like me who is an avid collector of information.

Blood in the Forest: The End of the Second World War in the Courland Pocket – Vincent Hunt This is a perfect complement to the Hastings book. Vince Hunt, a colleague in Manchester Metropolitan’s Department of Languages, Information and Communications, spent several years gathering interviews, pictures and stories to narrate a lesser-known aspect of the war: the battles between Germans and Soviets in late 1944 and early 1945 in Latvia, a country ravaged by both fascism and communism. I have been to Latvia for work and this new and well-documented book, full of detailed archive material, has renewed my interest in the country’s fascinating and cruel recent history. I took advantage of a teaching visit to Riga before the start of term this year to see some of the locations featured.

Is That a Fish in Your Ear? – David Bellos As a teacher of translation, I am wary of books on the subject as they can be dry and theoretical. David Bellos’ examination of how translation permeates our lives is quite the opposite. It offers an engaging, informative and frequently funny treatment of key aspects, including the dilemmas of rendering familiar (to us, at least) concepts into a language

that does not have those concepts: left and right, for instance. This excellent study of the nature of language and meaning encourages nonspecialists to reflect on the challenges of translation. Illuminating explanations of the ins and outs of the processes at play include, for example, translating Asterix cartoon humour into English. And discussions of why chowder may or may not be acceptable for “soupe de poisson”. I am envious of Bellos’ talent for entertaining while explaining difficult linguistic ideas.

The Real Life of Anthony Burgess – Andrew Biswell My translation interest gave me the excuse to read this book by Manchester Metropolitan colleague Andrew Biswell, one of the people who “knows” Anthony Burgess best. I am researching the controversial Manchester novelist and composer’s correspondence with the translators who translated his novels into other languages and I had to find a speedy and enjoyable way of learning more about the prolific and polyglot author of A Clockwork Orange. Andrew’s erudite study has given me that opportunity and sits permanently on my desk for regular consultation to check facts and details of Burgess’ colourful life and exploits.

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A PICTURE

of health

Comics are playing a vital role in providing information and understanding for patients, families and practitioners

Iggy and the Inhalers: One of the comics analysed by Dr Sarah McNicol, which helps to teach children how to use asthma inhalers

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f someone asks you to think about comics, there is a good chance you might think about superheroes. And why not? Comics and their graphic novel counterparts are a ubiquitous part of popular culture thanks in no small part to silver screen adaptations; Superman, Spider-Man, Batman. The list goes on. As any aficionado will know, comics can trace their roots back much longer and many of the major comic characters are fast approaching their 90th birthday too. And while they are more readily associated with the entertainment industry, to restrict this visual format to light-hearted fun is to do it a massive disservice. The malleability of comics has been used to satirise, inform, subvert, reassure and provoke. One such format has been the use of educational comics within the health industry to communicate important and complex information to patients, families and practitioners, and across all ages too. At Manchester Metropolitan, researchers and students are creating and analysing comics as

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Comics can also offer reassurance, empathy and companionship

a way to talk about health issues. These run the gamut of health: providing information on how to manage diabetes, helping to understand dementia or teaching children how to use asthma inhalers, for example. Dr Sarah McNicol, Research Associate from the Faculty of Education, led a study funded by the Wellcome Trust to understand the impact of health comics, researching more than 30 conditions and diseases. She discovered how they can break down jargon-filled barriers, serving to raise awareness, prepare patients for procedures, help with decision-making, promote self-management or just increase understanding and acceptance of a condition. “Of course, educational comics play an excellent role in helping patients, families and even health practitioners to understand factual health information, typically through the use of jargon-free explanations and images,” says Dr McNicol. “Through narrative, humour, images, characterisation and informal language, comics can also offer reassurance, empathy and

companionship. “Something as simple as an educational comic can help to deal with the social and psychological issues associated with illness. They create dialogue between patients, families and healthcare professionals. “The benefits extend far beyond simple information provision.” Found online and in physical format, Dr McNicol understood that educational comics may be perceived as childish, despite many being aimed at older audiences. She says: “People, particularly adults, can start to read them and think ‘what’s this about?’. Our research found that once they do read them, they found comics to be invaluable and often show sides to conditions that many didn’t anticipate. “For example, most of the dementia comics were intended for family members to show how dementia affected their relatives, showing them slowing down. “However, when we showed these comics to people who had dementia, they didn’t feel the comics reflected how they actually felt – they didn’t feel like they


were slowing down. But they liked the overall idea of communicating through comics and wanted to work with an artist to create a comic to show dementia but from their point of view, helping to communicate with their families about their experiences.” This motivation to show the first-hand experience is what inspired student Tony Pickering to design and draw a comic about living with type 1 diabetes. Pickering joined the University’s Manchester School of Art in September 2016 to start a masters degree in Illustration, after a career as the head of a high school drama department. Diagnosed as an adult and only shortly before starting his masters degree, Pickering was presented with a raft of new daily processes to contend with after a lifetime of living without any constraints. “You get told you have type 1 diabetes and you go ‘so what?’, where’s your frame of reference? You don’t know what it means. “I was diagnosed in June before I started the MA, which came as a shock and obviously not something I anticipated. I had no intention of looking at diabetes or health, but it rapidly played on my mind.” Employing the storytelling techniques he learned as a drama teacher, Pickering started researching health education comics, paying particular attention to a technique known as ‘unflattening’ – describing the dayto-day experiences of living with the condition. “I am a real foodie and the idea of having a snack had gone by the wayside, which was one of the hardest things for me. “I want to eat interestingly and to be spontaneous, but you have to plan. You have a backpack with everything you need in there and that has to go everywhere with you: to the pub, to work, on holiday. This was all completely new and I wanted to capture that in the comic. “The focus in my comic is on the patient experience. It’s not so much ‘what is type 1 diabetes?’, it’s more ‘what is it like to live with it?’. Something that would be useful for a patient coming into it.” He adds: “The thing for diabetics is that it is very individual, so what works for you won’t necessarily work for anyone else. It’s responding to the plethora of word documents that you get

It’s not so much ‘what is type 1 diabetes?’, it’s more ‘what is it like to live with it?’

when you first get diagnosed, the comics might tell you something to help you understand it.” His 36-page comic took four months to develop and Pickering has since been reviewing opportunities with health organisations about wider publication. He now wants to explore the concept further, potentially a PhD looking at the patient-practitioner interface. He adds: “I am involved in a drug trial and I was speaking to one of the nurses who treated diabetics all the time but she said how she didn’t necessarily know what that means for the patient going about their daily lives. Health professionals understand a lot more of the science than I do, but I understand about the day-today living. “When you have got something like this, educational comics can inform a range of people who are not necessarily ill themselves. “They provide a level of empathy and understanding.”

Student Tony Pickering’s comic chronicling his journey with diabetes

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Narrative told through pictures was prominent in ancient Egypt, Rome and Greece

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Early versions of comics existed following the development of the printing press in the 15th century

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Arguably the first modern comic strip was the Glasgow Looking Glass in 1826, a satirical publication poking fun at fashion and politics

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During the 1800s, satirical drawings spread in the UK, continental Europe and the US

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The 1920s and 1930s saw the development of The Dandy and The Beano in the UK. In Belgium, Hergé created The Adventures of Tintin newspaper strip for a comic supplement

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In 1938 Action Comics #1 launched in the US, with Superman as the cover feature

:Year One

DIABETES

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8 ing Tony Picker

But that's not how it works now .

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The Japanese form of comic, Manga, was established after the Second World War, expanding the page count to number in the hundreds The term graphic novel was popularised in the late 1970s I n the 1980s, a resurgence in the popularity of comics was seen, with Alan Moore and Frank Miller producing notable superhero works An original copy of Action Comics #1, with Superman appearing for the first time, sold at auction in 2014 for $3.2m

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A week in the life... Professor Rebecca Lawthom, Professor of Community Psychology

T

he purpose of my professorship is very much what it says on the tin: I do psychology with a community feel. It is hugely varied and challenging. It is psychology since we work with ways that people act, feel and behave in the world. It is community-based because rather than examining what is inside the head, we look at the world outside of the psyche of the individual. A recent project I was involved with explored the ways in which individuals with the label of learning difficulties were faring during times of austerity. I use the term ‘labelled with’ to reinforce the important work that we do to understand how others pre-judge what this or that person has, or more often, does not have. Working with disabled people’s organisations, disabled researchers and their supporters, we explored how the Big Society agenda impacted upon their work and their community. Using a range of creative methods and the skills of disabled artists, we researched aspects such as community circles, selfadvocacy and employment. Rather than labelling, treating or ‘curing’ people, a community psychology approach works from recognising an asset and strengths in the people themselves – seeing people as experts of their experience.

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Working with marginalised people is key to this approach, which has social justice at its core. Trying to maintain this set of values and kind of collaborative working is a challenge, but it is a worthwhile passion of mine. I also strongly believe that universities have resources which need to be shared with both local and international communities and the academic journal I co-edit, Community Work and Family, is one of the few which actively gathers the perspectives of nonacademics in its Voices section. This philosophy of recognising knowledge capacity in others is often translated into our work with PhD students who explore issues such as disability, migration or ageing and are always working with community partners. As a research professor, my colleagues and I are always thinking of ways to communicate the benefits of our research and, crucially, to make a difference and it was in this vein that we organised a community psychology festival. In order to make it interesting to non-academics we developed workshops on placemaking, arts practice, and with homelessness in mind, building an actual cardboard city. Part of my job involves writing academic papers and books while also reaching out to a wider audience, and I belong to

My colleagues and I are always thinking of ways to communicate the benefits of our research and, crucially, to make a difference

MetroPolis, the University’s policy think tank, developing briefs linked to research. And while I do less handson research than earlier in my career, I still love hearing about how students are tackling ethics, methods and access. In a typical week, commenting on draft chapters and peer review is a large chunk of the role or else I am supervising students doing Masters and doctoral work, alongside academics engaging in research. Furthermore, I mentor women through the Aurora womenonly leadership development programme and collaborate on the Athena SWAN agenda, which recognises excellence in an institution’s commitment to gender equality. With so much to do, I am thankful to be always in possession of a ‘to do’ list and am lucky to have a good memory and find myself constantly entangled with my phone checking my calendar and e-mails, alongside my Twitter account. Luckily, I love communication and spending time with people – which is a good fit for my role, where being with people is key. Find out more about the Faculty of Health, Psychology and Social Care: mmu.ac.uk/hpsc/


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There is a huge range of events taking place around the University and beyond this autumn and winter. Check out our picks of the best events below.

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University Events

Lucienne Day – Living Design

Met Magazine

Met Magazine Autumn/Winter 2017 Met Magazine is published by Manchester Metropolitan University

Vice-Chancellor Professor Malcolm Press

Foreword 3 Vice-Chancellor’s message

News 4 Landmark building gets planning permission 5 University wins silver status in Teaching Excellence Framework 6 Honorary graduates for 2017 7 Inaugural Research in Arts and Humanities (RAH!) public programme revealed 8 Record number of student athletes receive sport scholarships

Features 12 A year on from her four-medal blitz at the 2016 Paralympics, Kadeena Cox MBE is back studying at the University 16 This is Manchester’s moment: Andy Burnham, the first elected Metro Mayor of Greater Manchester, talks about his first months in the job 20 As health and social care devolution becomes a £6 billion reality, Manchester Metropolitan’s vital role is becoming clear 24 Practice makes perfect: Training the next generation of nurses by bringing clinical settings to life 28 From celebrity footballers to NHS patients, clinical physiotherapist Professor Michael Callaghan has the world in his hands 32 Introducing the First Generation: Manchester Metropolitan’s £1 million campaign welcomes its first cohort of sixth-form students 36 Sowing seeds of hope: The laboratory where history is being made in personalised medicine 38 Facing up to the facts: How facial ageing software is helping to tackle unhealthy habits 40 Winning arts and minds: Celebrating 30 years of the Arts for Health research unit

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Met Magazine issue 4

Editorial team

Ian Christon Chris Morris Ian Proctor Maryam Ahmed Dominic Smith Michael Taylor Simon Donohue (Intelligent Conversation)

Design – Steve Kelly Illustrations Clair Read

Photography Ade Hunter Paul Heyes

Contact us metmagazine@mmu.ac.uk

44 Influencing policy: How the University’s MetroPolis think tank is helping to answer society’s big problems 46 With social care in crisis, Manchester Metropolitan is leading the way with initiatives to retain and train staff 48 Commons people like you: Met Magazine meets three alumni newly elected to Parliament 56 Social creatures: Academics trace the route from cradle to grave on social media 60 Spice wars: Researchers are playing a leading role in the battle against synthetic cannabis 64 With comic effect: How comic books are being used to convey important health messages

Views 9 Students’ Union President Hussain El-Amin discusses what represents a valuable student experience 52 Manchester City Council Chief Executive Joanne Roney outlines plans to make Manchester a world-leading city 53 Chief Social Worker Lyn Romeo explains how social workers are part of the solution to the health and social care challenges of the 21st century 54 Manchester Metropolitan’s Professor Alison Chambers discusses the key partnership work which is supporting health and social care graduates 55 Jon Rouse, Chief Officer of the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, on the role universities have to play in improving health

People 10 Shaped by the city: Alumni achieving success around the world 66 A week in the life of Professor Rebecca Lawthom

Regulars 63 What’s on your bookshelf? 67 What’s on listings Cover image: Neurons generated from Batten disease induced pluripotent stem cells. See page 36.

As part of Design Manchester 2017, Manchester School of Art is delighted to welcome Lucienne Day – Living Design to our Vertical Gallery. This exhibition celebrates the life and work of one of most influential designers of the postwar generation. art.mmu.ac.uk/events/2017/ lucienne-day-living-design/ Until 20 November 2017

Picnic

Manchester School of Theatre production of William Inge’s Picnic, at HOME. theatre.mmu.ac.uk/2017/picnic/ Thursday, 16 November – Saturday, 18 November 2017

The Gentle Weapon: Social Ostracism, Gender and Massive Resistance in Montgomery, Alabama Public lecture by Professor Helen Laville, ProVice-Chancellor for Education (Manchester Metropolitan University) exploring the pressures facing white women who attempted to advocate a moderate position on racial integration, focusing on efforts by women to form an interracial prayer group in Montgomery, Alabama. mmu.ac.uk/news-and-events/events/ Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Business Masterclass: The Five Steps to a Winning Mindset Manchester Metropolitan University Faculty of Business and Law, in partnership with the Chartered Management Institute and Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, presents a Business Masterclass Event by Professor Damian Hughes, Founder, LiquidThinker. mmu.ac.uk/news-and-events/events/ Thursday, 23 November 2017

Manchester Writing Competition: Poetry & Fiction Prize Gala 2017

For more information, visit www.mmu.ac.uk/news/events

Conferences at Manchester Conferences Business Tech Live 2017 Manchester Metropolitan Smarter Business Technology Expo for SMEs. Encountering Corpses III Conference This two-day conference will include an exciting mix of presentations from postgraduates, leading academics in the field and featured keynote speakers.

Convened by Craig Young, Professor of Human Geography at Manchester Metropolitan, the conference will be accompanied by a series of free creative cultural experiences and performances, including a poetry reading from Michael Symmons Roberts, music and an exhibition. encounteringcorpses.wordpress.com mmu.ac.uk/artshumanities/rah/ Friday, 8 December – Saturday, 9 December 2017

Textile and Place

The conference, hosted by Manchester School of Art and the Whitworth, draws upon Manchester’s history and contemporary associations, with textile linked to place. textileandplace.co.uk • Thursday, 12 April 2018

Manchester Events

Manchester Christmas Markets Manchester’s annual festive markets. manchester.gov.uk/christmasmarkets Until Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Manchester Beer and Cider Festival

The festival returns to Manchester Central. mancbeerfest.uk/ Thursday, 25 January – Saturday, 27 January 2018

Chinese New Year celebrations Manchester

Street food and shopping, music and fireworks. Friday, 16 February – Saturday, 18 February 2018

Manchester Film Festival An independent film festival. maniff.com/ • 1 March 2018

Wednesday, 15 November – Thursday, 16 November 2017

Public Sector Show

The UK’s largest gathering of senior professionals from local and central government. Tuesday, 21 November 2017

UCAS Create Your Future

Find out about universities, colleges, apprenticeships and school leaver programmes. Tuesday, 21 November – Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Developing Excellence in Medical Education Conference

Leading organisations in medical education and training come together. Monday, 27 November – Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Children’s Global Media Summit

Bringing together the most influential people from across the media and digital sectors. Monday, 4 December – Thursday, 7 December 2017

UK Northern Powerhouse Conference and Exhibition Convening the thinkers of the North to discuss and debate the solutions to productivity. northern-powerhouse-conference.com/ event/annual-conference-exhibition-2018manchester/ Tuesday, 13 February – Wednesday, 14 February 2018

UCAS Manchester Higher Education Exhibition

Join UCAS experts and hundreds of university representatives, employers, and gap year specialists. Tuesday, 13 March – Wednesday, 14 March 2018 For more conference information, visit manchestercentral.co.uk/events

The atmospheric Baronial Hall at Manchester’s medieval Chetham’s Library is the venue for the announcement of the UK’s biggest literary awards for unpublished work, awarded by the University’s Manchester Writing School. manchesterwritingcompetition.co.uk Friday, 1 December 2017

Connect Enjoy Inspire

For more University events log on to our website mmu.ac.uk

Benzie for networking, dining and exhibiting

mmu.ac.uk/venues venues@mmu.ac.uk 0161 247 1565

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Manchester Metropolitan University values its relationships with alumni, companies and organisations, and is keen to make new connections. To find out more about any of the schemes or stories in this issue, please contact us.

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Autumn/Winter 2017

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sowing the seeds

OF HOPE

THE STEM CELL RESEARCH MAKING HISTORY IN PERSONALISED MEDICINE

THE WORLD

in his hands Autumn/Winter 2017

Met Magazine Email: metmagazine@mmu.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0)161 247 3405 mmu.ac.uk/metmagazine

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ANDY BURNHAM TALKS ABOUT LIFE AS MAYOR

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GOLDEN GIRL KADEENA MEDAL-WINNER SHARES HER AMAZING STORY

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