On Tuesday the 24th September 2019, the College of Paramedics held its 3rd Annual Research Conference at Cardiff City Football Stadium in Wales.
The venue provided the backdrop for a day of excellent quality oral and poster presentations from a variety of people undertaking research linked to the paramedic profession. The day started off with a fascinating plenary by Dr Nigel Rees, Head of Research and Development in the Welsh Ambulance Service, who delivered the Annual Malcolm Woollard lecture. Nigel focused on the importance of evidence to underpin practice and explored the life and work of Archibald Leman Cochrane, himself a visionary who did so much to influence the emergence of evidence-based medicine.
In total, 136 delegates joined us for the day to hear about a wide range of completed research studies as well as some still in progress. Delegates attended workshops on a wide range of subjects including writing for publication; preparing a research proposal; exploring ethical issues in research. The day concluded with a light-hearted and lively debate around who should be undertaking and leading the development of paramedic research in the UK. These debates are always a huge undertaking for the speakers as frequently people have to defend a position they do not necessarily agree with and we were certainly not disappointed with this one! Pete Gregory went head to head with Georgette Eaton and delighted the audience with wit, clever distortion of the ‘evidence’, and a memorable debate which even Boris Johnson would have been proud of!
All the presenters are winners in my eyes as they were selected from fierce competition during the abstract submission process earlier this year. However, this year we had two prizes sponsored by AACE. These were voted for by the audience and awarded to:
Hannah Lowther, a paramedic from Wales (WAST) for the Best Oral presentation for her study ‘Exploring the physical health and wellbeing of emergency medical staff’
Jules Cotton from SECAMb for Best Poster for his work on ‘A Feasibility study into the introduction and use of the Last One Waiting Vehicle to reduce patient waiting times’
It was a great day and the feedback has been immensely positive. A huge thanks to the Research and Development Advisory Committee, Soma Eatwell, Ian Purchase and Stephen Moakes for their ongoing work throughout the year to run this conference. We look forward to the 2020 conference planned for October!
Professor Julia Williams
Head of Research