Hospital director nominated for national award

The Director of Estates and Facilities at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH) has been shortlisted for a national award for ‘Individual Development’.

Dr Kirsty Edmondson-Jones, second from right with members of Estates Senior Team and Trust Chair

Dr Kirsty Edmondson-Jones has been nominated for the prestigious honour by the Health Estates and Facilities Management Association (HEFMA) for undertaking pioneering doctoral research in the field of bioengineering as well making significant contributions to the learning and development of her peers.

Taking up the role of Director of Estates and Facilities at the Trust in 2016, Kirsty has shown a commitment to development and innovation. This includes reorganising the department’s staffing structure in order to provide better development for colleagues as well as service to the wider hospitals, in addition to significantly improving Patient-Led Assessment of the Care Environment (known as PLACE) scores amongst other enhancements.

A keen and enthusiastic learner, Kirsty has also pursued further achievements during this time building upon her part-time academic career which began in 2006 when enrolling for a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Leadership. After successfully completing this course, Kirsty followed her interests by undertaking a Doctorate in bioengineering focusing on non-invasive neurostimulation,  achieving a doctorate in late 2017, before being granted a fellowship in the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing at Sheffield Hallam University.

Dr Edmondson-Jones has undertaken research trailing a novel intervention aimed at ‘artificially entraining the circadian rhythm’. The idea behind this is to ‘hack’ the body clock and then use this to improve a range of issues caused by its disruption. The Estates and Facilities Director’s research so far has been focused on the reduction of malnutrition amongst dementia patients, but her research has potentially far reaching applications.

Dr Kirsty Edmondson-Jones said: “It’s a huge honour to be nominated by my organisation, and then to be shortlisted by HEFMA, for this award. I am also greatly looking forward to speaking at this National event where I will share the results of my work for the first time ahead of publication.  As my research progresses I hope to be able to inspire students to further their academic careers into research, and also to demonstrate that professionals within my field have a great deal to contribute outside of what might be considered the norms.

Kirsty is currently undertaking post-Doctoral development at Oxford University, where she is completing a Masters module in Neuroethics, in addition to a postgraduate qualification in Neuroscience at Birmingham university. She has also been selected as a member of the curriculum committee for Doncaster University Technical College (DUTC), which is due to open in September 2020.

Speaking about the nomination, Richard Parker, Chief Executive at DBTH, said: “On behalf of everyone at the Trust, I want to wish Kirsty the very best of luck.

“Further research trials designed by Kirsty are planned in the sensory laboratory at Sheffield Hallam University where the initial research was conducted. This not only looks to progress the research, but also to offer the opportunity for students to become involved in real world active research whilst they are undergraduate and masters students. The reduction of malnutrition amongst patients has been a focus within the NHS for a number of years, with little success in reducing its incidence despite campaigns such as Better Hospital Food. We are hopeful that Kirsty’s research will be successful and help improve the quality of care for these patients, within our Trust, the wider NHS and potentially across the globe.”

The winner in each category will be announced at the Gala Awards Dinner on the evening of Thursday, May 16 during the 2019 HEFMA Leadership Forum at Doncaster Racecourse.