Leuchie and QMU win Special Commendation Award

An innovative joint project between Leuchie House and Queen Margaret University has received a Special Commendation Award at the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards 2018. 

The project is part of the ongoing partnership between the East Lothian charity and the university and has been exploring ways in which Leuchie House’s unique respite service could be extended to a much wider range of people.

People living with long term conditions often find it difficult to access services like specialist nursing, wheelchair assessment and physiotherapy when they need them. This can have a devastating long term impact on health and wellbeing, resulting in the need for hospital admissions and acute care which could have been prevented. All these services form part of the unique package which people who come to Leuchie House for short respite breaks are able to benefit from.

Working with academic staff at QMU, the award-winning research project has been exploring a business model that would enable more people in the community to access these services, delivered either by Leuchie or by other healthcare providers under license. This includes an information hub where people with long term conditions and their carers could easily find the practical information they need; a wheelchair assessment service where wheelchair users can have essential regular checks and repairs done; an integrated assessment and rehabilitation service providing physiotherapy, counselling, speech therapy and a wider range of other preventative health and social care services; and a knowledge exchange community for health professionals.

Leuchie House’s Chief Executive, Mairi O’Keefe said:  “We’re thrilled to have received this award. The project is one which we’re passionate about at Leuchie House. We see on a daily basis the enormous benefits all the individual services we provide can have for people with long term conditions. To be able to extend the service to community level through an outreach programme would, we believe, have significant benefits for health and social care provision across Scotland.

“Having completed stage one of the research required to develop a strong business model for the outreach programme, we are now exploring options with QMU to fund the next stage. This recognition in the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards is an encouraging sign that the value and potential for the project are clear.”

Miriam Smith, Business Development Manager in the Research & Knowledge Exchange Development Unit at QMU, added: “We’re really pleased that our collaborative project with Leuchie House has received a special commendation award.  QMU’s nursing team are engaged in developing new approaches to education at Leuchie House, which includes providing opportunities for QMU students to experience working in the development and support of person-centred services, and identifying and collaborating on mutually beneficial research projects within nursing, health and rehabilitation, events management and sustainable business.”

The Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards are run by Interface, and connect business to universities, research institutes and colleges, recognising, rewarding and celebrating impacts achieved through collaborative business and academic partnerships. The 2018 awards took place at the Royal Bank of Scotland Conference Centre, Gogarburn, Edinburgh, on Thursday 22 February.