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Durham University

Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing

Previous Events

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Monday 21 October 2013

Joint Wolfson and Durham University Business School Guest Lecture - 'Resilience as an alternative to old ways of thinking about patient safety' - by Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite

12:00pm to 2:15pm, Seminar Room 223, Durham University Business School, Mill Hill Lane, Durham, DH1 3LB

The Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing and Durham University Business School are pleased to host this joint guest lecture by Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite, Foundation Director, Australian Institute of Health Innovation.


We know that to improve patient safety we need to reduce medical errors, but it is not always clear how to do this effectively and efficiently. Over the last two decades health systems have adopted techniques, including teamwork training,[1, 2] checklists[3] and standardisation,[4] from other high reliability industries. While these interventions have shown promise in reducing some types of errors in specific circumstances,[5, 6] they are not always applicable across health care as a whole, and the impact has been disappointing. Research has shown that large, system-wide interventions, such as the introduction of Medical Emergency Teams to identify and manage deteriorating patients,[7] have met with only variable success. This presentation will examine what the current evidence tells us about how to reduce medical errors, what techniques work, and where. We will examine two different types of thinking about patient safety – Safety I and Safety II thinking[8] – that will help us understand how best to manage errors in the complex health care environment. We will review traditional techniques, such as the Swiss cheese model,[9] and present newer ideas, such as the Resilience Analysis Grid,[10] to enhance our understanding of how patient safety can be improved.


Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite, BA, MIR (Hons), MBA, DipLR, PhD, FAIM, FCHSM is Foundation Director, Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Director, Centre for Clinical Governance Research and Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Australia. His research examines the changing nature of health systems, particularly patient safety, standards and accreditation, leadership and management, the structure and culture of organisations and their network characteristics, attracting funding of more than AUD$57 million.

Professor Braithwaite has published extensively (more than 500 total publications) and he has presented at international and national conferences on more than 500 occasions, including over 60 keynote addresses. His research appears in journals such as Social Science & Medicine, BMJ Quality and Safety, International Journal of Quality in Health Care, Journal of Managerial Psychology, Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, British Medical Journal, The Lancet and many other prestigious journals. Professor Braithwaite has received numerous national and international awards for his teaching and research. Further details are available at his Wikipedia entry:

He has conducted a great deal of work over two decades on clinical and organizational performance and performance assessment. In relation to his work on performance, Professor Braithwaite was author of a major study into health care inquiries, Patient safety: a comparative analysis of eight inquiries in six countries, UNSW, 2006. He has recently co-edited a book with Erik Hollnagel in Denmark and Bob Wears in the United States, Resilient Health Care, Ashgate, 2013, which proposes new models for creating better performance in acute settings.


1. Buljac-Samardzic M, Dekker-van Doorn C, van Wijngaarden J, van Wijk K: Interventions to improve team effectiveness: a systematic review. Health Policy 2009.

2. Salas E, DiazGranados D, Klein C, Burke CS, Stagl KC, Goodwin GF, Halpin SM: Does team training improve team performance? A meta-analysis. Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 2008, 50:903-933.

3. Gawande AA, Zinner MJ, Studdert DM, Brennan TA: Analysis of errors reported by surgeons at three teaching hospitals. Surgery 2003, 133:614-621.

4. Pronovost P, Needham D, Berenholtz S, Sinopoli D, Chu H, Cosgrove S, Sexton B, Hyzy R, Welsh R, Roth G: An intervention to decrease catheter-related bloodstream infections in the ICU. New England Journal of Medicine 2006, 355:2725-2732.

5. Clay-Williams R, McIntosh C, Kerridge R, Braithwaite J: Classroom and simulation team training: a randomised controlled trial. International Journal for Quality in Health Care 2013, 25:doi: 10.1093/intqhc/mzt1027.

6. Thomas E, Williams A, Reichman E, Lasky R, Crandell S, Taggart W: Team Training in the neonatal resuscitation program for interns: teamwork and quality of resuscitations. Pediatrics 2010, 125:539.

7. Hillman K, Introduction of the medical emergency team (MET) system: a cluster-randomised controlled trial. The Lancet 2005, 365:2091-2097.

8. Braithwaite J, Clay-Williams R, Nugus P, Plumb J: Health care as a complex adaptive system. In: Resilient health care. Edited by Hollnagel E, Braithwaite J, Wears R. Surrey, UK: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2013.

9. Reason J: Human error: models and management. BMJ 2000, 320:768-770.

10. Hollnagel E, Pariès J, Woods DD, Wreathall J: Resilience engineering in practice: a guidebook. Surrey, UK: Ashgate Publishing Limited; 2011.


It is essential to book your place for catering purposes. Please click here to take you to the online booking form. Places will be allocated in order of receipt.


12:00 Lunch (Fusion Restaurant)
13:00 Welcome and Introduction by Paula Hyde, Professor of Organisation Studies and Professor Mark Learmonth, Deputy Dean Research (Seminar room 223, Durham University Business School)
13:05 Guest Lecture by Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite
14:00 Questions and Answers
14:15 Close

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Debt on Teesside: Pathways to Financial Inclusion

12:30pm to 3:30pm, F009, Wolfson Research Institute, Durham University, Queen's Campus, Stockton-on-Tees, TS17 6BH

Keynote speaker: Damon Gibbons, Director, Centre for Responsible Credit, London

How do households get hooked into a spiral of debt caused by high cost credit and what can be done about it? 

How can we support and develop credit unions and other community-based low cost lenders?

This event will focus on the use of high cost credit by poor households. We will:

  • Launch the findings of a two-year action research project, Debt on Teesside, which has involved: in-depth analysis of financial circumstances of 24 low income households using high cost credit in the Teesside area; offered financial mentoring; and engaged in campaigning on issues arising from the research.
  • Hear from our keynote speaker, Damon Gibbons, along with households and mentors involved in the project and Ian Bartlett, (Stockton and District Advice and Information Service) and Diane Patterson, (Tees Credit Union) about the issues facing people who seek financial advice and services.
  • Launch a campaign linked to the research project to demand that high cost credit companies adopt a charter to ensure that they do not lend to people who cannot afford to repay loans.

The aim of the event is to share research findings, consider recommendations for changes in policy and practice, discuss how to take forward the affordability and data-sharing campaign and encourage people to sign up to the charter.

Copies of a research briefing and community mentoring toolkit produced by the project will be available at the event. Further information about the project:

Booking - the event is free, but please confirm your attendance for catering and logistical purposes via any of the following means:

  • online registration - click here to take you to the online registration form
  • Telephone - Thrive Teesside 01642 769570
  • Email -
  • In writing - Thrive, Thornaby Methodist Church, Stanstead Way, Thornaby TS17 9EA


Damon Gibbons has 20 years’ experience of providing, designing, and commissioning services to meet the needs of disadvantaged groups and communities and has been involved in consumer campaigns at the national level on issues of credit, debt, and financial exclusion for well over a decade. In 1999 Damon founded the Debt on our Doorstep campaign and in 2003 he identified the grounds for a subsequent Competition Commission inquiry into the Home Credit or door-to-door lending market. In 2005 Damon was a founder member of the European Coalition for Responsible Credit ('ECRC'), and he remains a member of its Management Board. In 2008 Damon's paper, written with Sir Ian McCartney, concerning the position of low income borrowers in the current financial crisis led directly to the Office of Fair Trading High Cost Credit Review.

During the course of the afternoon we will hear from a range of other speakers and engage in discussions with:

  • Household participants and mentors from the Debt on Teesside project
  • Sarah Banks, Centre for Social Justice and Community Action, Durham University
  • Ian Bartlett, Stockton and District Advice and Information Service
  • Diane Patterson, Tees Credit Union
  • Tracey Herrington and Greg Brown, Thrive Teesside
  • Rob MacDonald, Teesside University


12:30 Lunch, Wolfson Street, Wolfson Building
13:00 Welcome, Sarah Banks
13:05 Keynote Speaker, Damon Gibbons
13:30 Research findings, mentoring toolkit. Sarah Banks, Tracey Herrington
14:00 Video, campaign and charter. Grassroots testimony. Greg Brown, Damon Gibbons
14:30 Panel discussion
14:50 Open discussion
15:15 Closing remarks and next steps
15:30 Close

Background to the Debt on Teesside Research Project

The impact of high cost credit (payday loans, doorstep lending, rent-to-own, catalogues) on poor households has been hitting the news recently – particularly the high interest rates and dubious practices of payday loan companies like Wonga. The use of high cost credit has been increasing and is set to increase even further as welfare benefits are reduced and unemployment continues, especially in North East England. 

Over the last two years, Thrive Teesside, Church Action on Poverty and Durham University’s Centre for Social Justice and Community Action have been working with low-income households experiencing high levels of debt in Middlesbrough and Stockton-on-Tees. The project has collected detailed financial information from 24 households, offered financial mentoring and run campaigns on predatory lending.

Funded by a grant from the Northern Rock Foundation, our partners in this work include Stockton and District Advice and Information Service, Tandem Finance Project - Fabrick Housing Group and The Five Lamps Organisation (providing mentors and sitting on the advisory group); along with Tees Credit Union, Teesside University and Wolfson Research Institute, Durham University (advisory group members). 

Bus travel information (to Stockton-on-Tees/Queen's Campus)

If you are travelling by bus for this event please click onto the following bus websites to search for your route:



Simply go

Tyne-Tees Express (Simply go)

X1 (Arriva) service Middlesbrough - Durham and vice versa (via Queen's Campus

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Tuesday 15 October 2013

Wolfson Workshop - Visualising evidence – sex, disease and death in the UK

9:00am to 1:00pm, B001 (PC Suite), Holliday Building, Durham University, Queen's Campus


This workshop is now full. When you register you will be placed onto a reserve list. 

This workshop will be run by Professor Jim Ridgway, School of Education and hosted by Dr Adetayo Kasim, WRIHW Statistician.

We discuss the implications of visualisation tools for user empowerment – be they patients, citizens or researchers.

New methods of data visualisation can make it possible to explore and understand complex phenomena without resorting to (perhaps) complicated statistical methods. We examine some interesting ways to visualise data that facilitate exploration, using data on heart disease, STIs, population change and migration.

Participants will be invited to create evidence-informed stories on topics central to their interests (e.g. health, ethnicity, religion, demographics, educational attainment…) using data from the 2011 census and other sources. 

This workshop is open to Wolfson Postgraduate Associates, Postgraduate Students and Wolfson Fellows.


Places are now full, you will be placed onto a reserve list in order of receipt. Please still register via this link click here which will take you to the online registration form. 


09:00 Registration/tea & coffee - A102, Holliday Building
09:30 'New Knowledge' - open data, big data and data visualisation - examples and issues (B001 PC Suite, Holliday Building)
10:30 Tea/Coffee - A102, Holliday Building
11:00 Into the sandpit - exploring evidence and creating stories (B001, Holliday)
12:00 Telling stories - your evidence-based accounts (B001, Holliday)
13:00 Close/end with Lunch - A102, Holliday Building

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Friday 11 October 2013

Wolfson Guest Lecture: 'Discovering and Improving the Tropics. Swiss Science and Medical Research in Tanzania and Côte d’Ivoire, 1950-1960' Dr.des. Lukas Meier. 11th October 2013

12:30pm to 2:30pm, Wolfson Research Institute, Seminar Room F009, Dr.des. Lukas meier


Dr.des. Lukas Meier will be talking about the topic 'Discovering and Improving the Tropics. Swiss Science and Medical Research in Tanzania and Côte d’Ivoire, 1950-1960'. The event is being held in Wolfson Building, Seminar Room F009.Queen's Campus, Stockton from 12:30 on Friday 11th October 2013

African decolonization brought Swiss science closer to the tropics. In 1951, France allowed the Swiss Tropical Institute (founded in 1943) to build up the Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques (CSRS) a small field-lab situated within a large French research complex in Côte d’Ivoire. Some years later, Swiss science reached the East of the continent. With the help of the Swiss Capuchin mission, the Swiss Tropical Institute was allowed to establish a field-laboratory in rural Tanganyika. Science and politics at these sites differed considerably. While in Côte d’Ivoire, Swiss scientists started to collect scientific specimens and to “discover” the natural environment, science in Tanganyika was more geared towards “modernizing” the country. The following talk looks at the Swiss scientific practices from a comparative perspective. It provides information on the character of scientific fieldwork on the ground, on the daily lives and social relations and the different paths the two institutions have taken into the post-colony.

Lukas Meier, Dr. des. studied history and political sciences in Basel and Bern. In his PhD-Study (University of Basel, Prof. Martin Lengwiler, Prof. Patrick Harries, Prof. Marcel Tanner, Prof. Guillaume Lachenal) he traced the history of Swiss science during the era of African decolonization. Currently, Lukas Meier is working as scientific collaborator at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH).

12:30 - Refreshments - The Street, Wolfson Research Institute

13:00 - Welcome by Professor Holger Maehle (Centre for the History of Medicine & Disease)

13:05 - Guest Lecture by Dr.des. Lukas Meier

14:00 - Questions & Answers

14:30 - Close

Please click here to register your attendance

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Wednesday 9 October 2013

Wolfson Fellows Networking Lunch

12:15pm to 1:15pm, Wolfson Street, Wolfson Building, Durham University, Queen's Campus, Stockton-on-Tees

The fellows networking lunch will be the first of the 2013/14 academic year, offering our fellows to meet our three Co-Directors; Professor Jan Illing - Optimising Population Health, Dr Amanda Ellison - Tomorrow's Healthy Adults and Professor Sarah Atkinson - Belief, Understanding and Wellbeing. This also an opportunity to welcome new fellows and discuss current research projects and programmes. Also in attendance will be Paul Ging, Research Institutes Communications Manager and Jenny Jeffes, Public Engagement Impact and Officer who will be on hand to advise Fellows on media and impact.


 It is essential to book your place for catering purposes by no later than 1st October 2013. Please click here which will take you to the online booking form.

Contact for more information about this event.

Monday 7 October 2013

Wolfson Coffee Morning

10:30am to 11:00am, Wolfson Street, Wolfson Building, Durham University, Queen's Campus

A Wolfson coffee morning will be held on Monday 7th October 2013 in the Wolfson Street, Wolfson Building from 10.30am - 11.00am.

Dr Amanda Ellison, Co-Director Tomorrow's Healthy Adults will be available to discuss her role and support to the WRI under the THA theme. Please do come along and network with colleagues over a cake and a coffee. Everyone is welcome!

Contact for more information about this event.

Wednesday 2 October 2013

Optimising Population Health lunch time networking event - 2nd October 2013

12:00pm to 2:00pm, F009, Wolfson Seminar Room, Wolfson Building, Durham University, Queen's Campus, Stockton

Professor Jan Illing, newly appointed Co-Director leading on the Optimising Population Health (OPH) theme would like to invite OPH Wolfson Fellows to a facilitated networking event to discuss your ideas about the future direction of this theme.

The plan will be to seek your ideas for new research, future speakers, workshops, and generally to meet your colleagues with the potential to identify future areas of work together.

There is a small budget to use to support the development of the theme, which can be used to support events and invited speakers.

If you wish to attend please could you click here to register your attendance for catering purposes by no later than Monday 23 October 2013, 5pm.


Contact for more information about this event.