Prestigious Churchill Fellowships awarded to Nurses and Allied Health Professionals

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust has just awarded 10 Travelling Fellowships to nurses and allied health professionals. The Churchill Fellows will investigate overseas approaches that have had a positive impact on a range of healthcare issues, returning with new solutions that benefit their working practice and communities here in the UK.

Nurses, midwives and the allied health professions make up the majority of the healthcare workforce and play a pivotal role in direct care to patients.1

The Nursing and Allied Health Professions Fellowships are running as part of a partnership with the Burdett Trust for Nursing, with support from the Royal College of Nursing and the FoNS Centre for Nursing Innovation. An investment of over £65,000 has been made in people in this field travelling in 2017. They will travel to five countries between them, across three continents.

This year’s Fellows are:

  • Dr Victoria Butler, a Physiotherapist from Kirklevington, North Yorkshire, who will be travelling to Australia to investigate exercise programmes to prevent falls in stroke patients.
  • Dr Crystal Oldman, from London, and Chief Executive of The Queen's Nursing Institute, who will be travelling to Australia and New Zealand to research safe staffing within community nursing services.
  • Dr Caroline Bradbury-Jones, a Reader in Nursing from Edgbaston, who will be travelling to New Zealand to research health professionals' responses to domestic violence.
  • Penny Curtis, Professor of Child and Family Health and Wellbeing at the University of Sheffield, who will be travelling to Australia and New Zealand to explore how art can contribute to healing environments in children's hospitals.
  • Sian Phillips, a Senior Occupational Therapist from Solihull, who will be travelling to Australia and Canada to research best practice in treating children with brain injuries.
  • Gayle Richards, a Lead Diabetes Specialist Nurse from Woolacombe, Devon, who will be travelling to the Netherlands and the USA to investigate training for health professionals in blood glucose awareness for type 1 diabetes.
  • Kate Knowles, an Advanced Nurse Practitioner from Nottingham, who will be travelling to the USA to research how Advanced Care Practitioners evidence the benefit of their work.
  • Clare Bennett, a Registered Nurse and Senior Lecturer from Worcester, who will be travelling to the Netherlands to explore approaches for parents in discussing sex and sexuality with their children.
  • Alan Finnegan, a Professor of Nursing and Military Mental Health from Chester, who will be travelling to the USA to study approaches to preparing nurses to care for military personnel.
  • Paula Dyce, an Advanced Nurse Practitioner from Liverpool, who will be travelling to the USA to research best practice in treatment for patients with Cystic Fibrosis Related Diabetes.

Julia Weston, Chief Executive of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust said:

“Churchill Fellows travel globally and return with innovative ideas and a commitment to sharing their findings to help others in the UK. Our hope is that exposure to practical, positive practices overseas will enable the individuals we fund to contribute to the delivery and leadership of an effective healthcare system in the UK.”

Fellow’s Case Study

Anne-Maria Olphert travelled to New Zealand in 2015 on her Churchill Travelling Fellowship to explore approaches to end of life care.

During her Fellowship, Anne-Maria observed how integrated working across health and social care, and the voluntary sector, had produced clear benefits for patients in New Zealand.

Since returning to the UK, Anne-Maria began working with Macmillan Cancer Support on a large scale two year project to improve services and care for patients and their carers at the end of life. The project involves collaboration between community and acute healthcare services and voluntary sector providers, and emphasises the importance of taking into account the experiences of patients to inform services.

The project has already resulted in the introduction of a 24 hour bereavement support helpline, and has led to GP practices identifying patients in need of palliative care much earlier.

1. Burdett Trust for Nursing

Notes to Editors

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust

In total 150 Fellowships have been awarded across the UK in 2017, an investment of over £1.4 million in UK citizens. The Fellows will be travelling to 49 countries between them, across six continents, where they will carry out a wide range of projects, designed to benefit their communities and professions in the UK. The average length of a Fellowship is six weeks.

Churchill Fellows come from all over the UK and from many different backgrounds. They must be UK citizens aged 18 or over, but no qualifications are required. What Fellows share is a passion to make a difference and a desire to share their passion to inspire others.

The categories for the 2018 Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowships will be announced on Tuesday 9th May 2017. See for more details.

We have many examples of Fellows’ stories of achievement from 1965 to the present day. If you would like one from a particular year or location, or would like to interview a Fellow, please contact The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Press Office on 020 7799 1660, or email

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The Royal College of Nursing

The RCN represents nurses and nursing, promotes excellence in practice and shapes health policies. Through the partnership, the RCN will help disseminate best nursing practice and lessons learnt from Fellowships in the Medicine, Health & Patient Care category.

The Burdett Trust

The aim of the partnership is to improve the health and well-being of patients, a key element of the Medicine, Health & Patient Care category. The Burdett Trust makes grants in support of nurse-led projects, using its funds to empower nurses and make significant improvements to the patient care environment.

FoNS Centre for Nursing Innovation

FoNS Centre for Nursing Innovation has an excellent reputation at the forefront of nursing and operates UK wide and across all healthcare settings. FoNS is dedicated to working with nurses and healthcare teams to develop and share innovative ways of improving practice. The goal is to provide care that is high quality, evidence-based and meets the needs of patients. The partnership with FoNS will help ensure that Churchill Fellows' findings are disseminated and implemented appropriately.

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, on Monday 8 May, 2017. For more information subscribe and follow

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Prestigious Churchill Fellowships awarded to Nurses and Allied Health Professionals