UCL Institute of Child Health
30 Guilford Street, London, WC1N 1EH
Job reference: xxxxxxx
Unit The Louis Dundas Centre for Children’s
Grade Grade 6B
Salary (inclusive of London £28,057 - £29,585 per annum, depending on
allowance) skills and experience.
Reporting to Dr Myra Bluebond-Langner
Duration 12 months
Hours of work 36.5 per week
Annual leave 27 days per year
Probation period 9 months
Closing date 31 May 2012
Interview date 21 June 2012
Background to post
The Louis Dundas Centre for Children’s Palliative Care was created to be a
world-class centre of research, teaching and practice in children’s palliative
care, hosted by Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) and the UCL Institute
of Child Health (ICH). Palliative Care as it is understood here can be
appropriate at any and all points in the lives of children with life-threatening
illnesses and life-limiting conditions and their families as well as those who
The Louis Dundas Centre for Children’s Palliative Care will support an
integrated approach to palliative care in which care is available from diagnosis
and delivered seamlessly along with disease-directed care. The Centre will
play a key role in the development of an evidence-base for palliative care and
in the dissemination of the results of research.
This is a core funded post in the centre designed to work closely with
Professor Bluebond-Langner and the wider team on a range of projects,
related to the central themes of the unit.
Core academic themes
It is our intention to deliver a sustainable programme of academic work,
informing policy, practice and education across four core themes:
1) The illness experience
In clinical practice as in research, understanding the impact of the illness on
the lives of these children and families requires that we follow the experience
as it unfolds, over the entire course of the illness from diagnosis through
death when the child is in the hospital, at clinic, at home, or at school. The
methods and techniques of ethnographic research are well suited to such an
approach and will be used in the study of the illness experience of these
children and families and in turn in the development of recommendations for
practice and policy.
2) Decision-making about care and treatment
We need to understand how the complex and difficult decisions parents and
children face are made. What are the significant factors in the decision
making process? What should the child or young person’s role be in that
process? How are parents and children best served by clinicians and other
health care professionals in that process?
Understanding decision making demands prospective, real-time studies. It
requires that we move beyond thinking in terms of models of consent and
assent, and that we formulate new empirically grounded accounts of the
process. Such studies will be at the centre of the research we do in decision
making as we pursue questions of policy and practice in advance care
planning for these children and families.
3) Pain and symptom management
Reliable control of pain in severely ill children is astoundingly an aspiration,
not a reality. Practitioners are all too often left to extrapolate choice and
dosage from adult medicine. Many of the drugs used in paediatrics are trialed
and licensed in adult population, yet children’s bodies are different and as
such effects differ. In partnership with the GOSH pain management team and
ICH unit in pain research we intend to launch a series of projects evaluating a
number of medications and interventions currently used in care and treatment
of these children in such areas as breakthrough pain, status epliepticus, and
chronic neuropathic pain.
4) Service delivery
Are the children and families who need palliative care services receiving
them? Are there barriers of whatever sort – physical, psychological, social,
economic or structural - that discourage or prevent children and parents from
obtaining the best in palliative care?
Using instruments that would yield comparable data we will undertake
collaborative, multi-site studies of specialist, hospital, community and hospice
based services across the UK. The results of these studies will be used to
inform the development of effective models of service delivery.
The postholder, will work closely with Professor Myra Bluebond-Langner, to
contribute to the conduct of current and future projects within the unit. The
focus of this post will be working on projects related to the decision making
theme of the unit.
The post holders main responsibilities will be to, (a) assist in all aspects
of research studies, including recruiting patients, families and
professionals to approved studies, data collection, entry and
management, collaborative analysis and presentation of results. (b)
Transcribe verbatim audio taped interviews and prepare interviews,
observations and field-notes for entry into the unit’s qualitative
Participate in literature and instrument review, instrument development
data collection and analysis.
Transcribe verbatim audio taped interviews and prepare interviews
observations and field notes for entry into the unit’s qualitative
Undertake analysis of empirical data under the direction of Professor
Bluebond-Langner and provide written reports of the analysis subject to
her specifications in a timely manner.
Carry out data entry on the unit’s qualitative and quantitative data
Contribute to preparing and submitting project outlines for peer review,
research and development review and ethical approval.
Attend and make appropriate records of project steering groups.
Contribute presentations to regular unit seminars.
Provide the unit team on regular progress reports in relation to current
Collaborate in preparing final reports of projects in a timely manner for
a range of audiences.
Assist in the development of proposals and articles emanating from
Requirements Essential Desirable
Qualifications/ Masters degree (MA, MSc, Research training in
Training MRes) in relevant subject ethnographic methods.
area (e.g. medical
anthropology, medical Research training in data
sociology, health psychology, collection with children.
Experience Management of qualitative Assistance in conducting or
data, including (a) collection participating in mixed-
via interviews or methods studies
observation, (b) verbatim
transcription from field notes Working in health, education
and audio tapes, (c) analysis or care settings with children
using qualitative data and or families
Working in health care
Assisting in collecting and settings with clinical staff
analysing data as part of
research teams in high
quality research institutions
Participating in multi-
Assisting in preparing and
developing articles for
Knowledge Understanding of the Background in qualitative
research process research methods and
Understanding of the ethnography, interactional
implications of chronic and analysis, content analysis,
or life-threatening, life- grounded theory, open-
limiting illness on children, ended interview studies,
young people and parents focus groups) and working
knowledge of quantitative
methods and techniques.
Skills Ability to transcribe verbatim Ability to analyse and write
data from audio-tapes up data fully
Excellent written and verbal Training in Interview and
communication skills recruitment skills
Good computing skills (MS
Word, Excel, PowerPoint
and web database
Good organisational skills
and attention to details
Ability to work alongside
clinicians in a range of care
Personal Ability to work collaboratively
Qualities and as part of a team but be
able to function
Willingness to learn and
adapt to new techniques
Commitment to high quality
The School of Life and Medical Sciences (SLMS) comprises four Faculties:
Medical Sciences, Life Sciences, Brain Sciences and Population Health
Sciences. The Institute of Child Health is one of four Institutes and Divisions
(Child Health, Women’s Health, Cardiovascular Science, Population Health)
which form the Faculty of Population Health Sciences. The Faculty’s aim is to
deliver outstanding research and teaching for improved human health. The
unifying concept that informs our scholarship and educational activity is the
life course. Between them the Institutes and Division, comprehensively
address all these phases and periods, and the health variations associated
with them at a population level.
In our work with other Faculties and through the Domains and UCL Partners,
and with neighbouring academic and health service colleagues, we aim to
realise the translational vision expressed in the structure of the School of Life
and Medical Sciences. In this way we can serve the needs of local, national
and international communities.
Further information on the Faculty and Institute can be found at
Details on the Palliative Care Service at Great Ormond Street Hospital can be
Full UCL terms and conditions for Research and support staff
An offer of employment will be subject to a Criminal Records Bureau
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