Health & Social Care Research Recognised in UK’s Best Breakthroughs List

Prof Niro Siriwardena, University of Lincoln, College of Social Science, School of Health and Social Care

Research to find ways to relieve the pressures on the NHS through better training from the University of Lincoln has today been named as one of the UK’s 100 best breakthroughs for its significant impact on people’s everyday lives.

A team led by Professor Niro Siriwardena, from the School of Health and Social Care have been honoured in the UK’s Best Breakthroughs list for their pioneering work to improve frontline, pre-hospital care.

The research has identified barriers to providing the best care possible and created recommendations that have directly helped a range of emergency situations from enabling call handlers to more quickly identify those at risk of cardiac arrest to new treatments to minimise long-term health implications for stroke patients.

In March 2018, the University of Lincoln, in partnership with the University of Nottingham, announced that it was to establish a medical school for Lincolnshire. The University’s health focused research will play an integral role in the new School, which will enable the next generation of doctors to be trained in the county for the first time.

The list of breakthroughs demonstrates how UK universities are at the forefront of some of the world’s most important discoveries, innovations and social initiatives, including the creation of the internet, work tackling plastic pollution, ultrasound scans to check the health of unborn babies and the establishment of the Living Wage.

The list also highlights the less celebrated breakthroughs that transform lives, including a specially-designed bra to help women undergoing radiotherapy; a toilet that flushes human waste without the need for water; the development of a new scrum technique to make rugby safer; a sports initiative that aims to use football to resolve conflict in divided communities; – and even work to protect the quality of the chocolate we eat.

The list was compiled by Universities UK, the umbrella group for UK universities, as part of the MadeAtUni campaign to change public perceptions of universities and bring to life the difference they make to people, lives and communities across the UK.

It follows independent research undertaken by Britain Thinks which found that the public has little understanding of the benefits of universities beyond undergraduate teaching. The findings show that research is one of the key triggers to change opinion about universities but for many people, it is an abstract concept.

Professor Toby Wilkinson, Deputy Vice Chancellor for External Relations said: “Recognition for the University of Lincoln in the UK’s Best Breakthrough list underscores our fundamental commitment to improving lives in our community and further afield. We are very proud of our academics and the positive impact of their work in so many different fields.

“The MadeAtUni campaign is an important initiative to highlight the world-leading research undertaken by British universities and the benefits it has for society as a whole.”

Professor Dame Janet Beer, President of Universities UK, said: “Universities really do transform lives. The technology we use every day, the medicines that save lives, the teachers who inspire – all come from UK universities and the important work being done by academics.

“The UK’s Best Breakthroughs list is a testament to the difference that universities make to people’s lives and we want everyone to join us in celebrating the work they do.”

The UK’s Best Breakthroughs list: 100+ Ways Universities Have Improved Everyday Life was put together in partnership with universities across the UK. As part of the MadeAtUni campaign, every university in the country was invited to nominate the one thing from their institution which they believe has had the biggest impact on people, lives or communities. Over 100 universities submitted a nomination. The entries cover health, technology, environment, family, community, and culture and sport.

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Prof Niro Siriwardena, University of Lincoln, School of Health and Social Care