I will get back to blogging…in fact, I have a half written blog that is almost ready to go… It’s just that it is sitting on my desk some 5,900 miles away.
In another country.
On another continent.
In another hemisphere…

Indeed. I’m as surprised as you. For someone who has managed to achieve a total academic/industrial/life geographical spread of approximately 25 miles, my current adventure marks quite the landmark!  (Perhaps influenced by location/in-flight entertainment, my mind turns to a certain South American ursine fellow, and I’d like to assure my own “Aunt Lucy” team that I am indeed being very well looked after…)


Identity role model?

So, here I am in Brazil, after day one of our collaborative workshop. Today has given all the participants opportunity to share short presentations outlining backgrounds, institutional key facts, and research highlights, and has been an eye-opening and enthralling introduction to an exciting week. I cannot pretend to do these talks justice in an off the cuff blog, but thoughts milling around my head this evening include:

Passion: all the participants spoke with such passion about their research, institutions and future aims…  How can we fail to produce something meaningful if we harness this?

Diversity yet overlap: apart from the obvious differences from the UK/Brazilian participants, we all also bring wide ranges of experiences; infection prevention, management, clinical skills, educational training, sociology… However, within this diversity there are already emerging themes and points of overlap…and it is only day 1!

Fun: The day has been underpinned by laughter, warmth and blossoming friendships. Surely this is the perfect environment from which to begin discussions about future, meaningful collaborations…?

Looking forward to tomorrow…

(follow our progress on twitter #RAID15)


An open admission…

So here it is.

As we know, I have now safely navigated through the PhD journey, and can officially say I have qualified as a Doctor of Engineering. My thesis, which examines future systems of hand hygiene measurement in healthcare, will soon be available for anyone to read.  Amazing.

Even more exciting (not sure I ever thought anything would top that…which shows you how much a PhD can change you!), we also know that I have now started working for the NHS – with the phenomenal IPCT at UHCW

Now two weeks into my role as IPC Research Practitioner and I have been blown away by how much I am enjoying myself, how diverse the workload and challenges that face the team are, and crucially how overwhelmingly welcoming the team have been.  I never doubted that for a second, but they have surpassed even my high expectations. I have LOVED every moment I have been there, and am so excited about the plans we have been making.  One thing I know for sure…we’re going to be BUSY!

And my admission?

I am SMUG.

I cannot help it. I have tried to battle it, but to no avail.  I just cannot help randomly smiling whenever I think about how much I am enjoying my new post-doc freedom, the ability to offer an “expert” opinion on real world, patient safety matters, and to be given the opportunity to develop research ideas that could make a difference to the way we think in the IP community.  It’s fantastic, and the picture below sums it up beautifully.

Whilst I enjoyed my PhD journey immensely, there is an element of being “caged” – when all is said and done, the main purpose is to develop as a researcher, and ensure you display skills required to earn the qualification.  Once this has been achieved, the freedom is granted to really focus on the research area…and this feels immense!

Having returned from a lovely holiday, it’s been such an exciting week so far – two major headlines:

  1. I officially started my new role as Infection Prevention and Control Research Practitioner with the wonderful IPCT at UHCW. I had an UHCWamazing couple of days, sitting in on meetings, watching team members prepare to spread the love (#IPSWales) planning our summer of research activities, and taking part in my very first team schimee.  Cannot believe I get to do this every week now!
  2. We had our abstract accepted for #IP2014 – we’ll be there sharing our work on how ATP screening may help increase engagement with environmental cleaning… Look for the #TeamGreen poster.  The team have also been successful with other abstracts, but I’ll leave it to them to share that news over on their twitter feed….IP2014



Not sure what next week will bring, but tomorrow I have my final Warwick Women In Science (WIS) meeting before we announce our WIS A Day With…2014 plans, so I am sure there will be plenty more excitement to come…

WalktheWalk.org Update

As mentioned in the last post, I have been part of a team training for the 2014 London Moonwalk.  I just wanted to thank everyone who sent support and donations, the texts, emails, tweets and personal messages really kept us going.  It was a tough event but we were so proud to take part.

Our debrief blog, including details of what shall always be known as “the lamp post incident“, can be found here….

Thank you, you have made such a difference.

WTW Kit!

SO, here I am back blogging at exploringhandhygiene – it’s wonderful to have the time and opportunity to share my recent activities within the research sphere of infection prevention. Therefore, without further ado, let’s crack on!
  • What’s happened to my PhD research?

ThesisFirst, the big news – since my last post I am happy to announce that I successfully defended my thesis in my viva examination!  I had a very enjoyable examination, aided by superb examiners and a moderator who kept the atmosphere friendly, helpful and conducive to meaningful discussion, rather than making it in anyway seem like an interrogation.  My overwhelming thanks must therefore go to Professor Judith Tanner (external examiner), Dr Tina Barnes (internal examiner) and Professor Paul Jennings (viva moderator).

I am now working on my minor modifications, and also working on the feedback from a number of peer reviewed papers stemming from this research.  I’ll update on the progress of these outputs here in due course.

  • How I marked May 5thmay 5th

Whilst I was not able to be online for May 5th – the WHO SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands campaign – I did write a guest blog for Deb Group, which you can read here. This explores the origins of the WHO 5 Moments, the role of hand hygiene in helping stop the rise of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and the importance of producing meaningful data when measuring hand hygiene compliance if we want to change behaviour.

  • My latest research plans

Now that I have (almost!) completed my PhD I am working on plans to further key strands of the research in order to improve practice within Patient safety.  The core aspect of my work is Meaningful Data for Behaviour Change, and this involves psychology, human factors and technology.  As I have a strong belief that research should have a practical application I will be looking to maintain close links with day-to-day infection prevention activity, and increase the level of involvement of front-line healthcare professionals in research: exploring issues that they identify as important for Patient safety.

  • What I’ve been doing outside the hand hygiene bubble

Finally, because it has been an unusual time, I have been offline quite a bit recently – hence the blog/twitter silence.  This is in part due to a technical hitch (I’m awaiting a new shiny machine, as currently my old faithful laptop is on the way out to pasture), but mainly due to taking some time out on holiday, AND training for the walkthewalk.org London Moonwalk 2014.  You can read all my team, and our motivations here – plus see some rather spectacular training photos…!wtw


Coming soon….

Come back here later this week (w/b 5th May) to find out:

  • What’s happened to my PhD research…
  • How I marked May 5th….
  • My latest research plans….
  • What I’ve been doing outside the hand hygiene bubble…

Looking forward to returning to blogging!


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