AHP lead gains prestigious fellowship to research public engagement with health care

Michelle Tennyson, assistant director of allied health professions and personal and public involvement at Northern Ireland’s Public Health Agency, has received a fellowship that will allow her to conduct international research into how public involvement can help shape health services.


Fellowship winner Michelle Tennyson, assistant director allied health professions and personal and public involvement, Northern Ireland Public Health Agency

She applied to the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust with a research proposal titled Involvement – shaping a new conversation with the public.

The trust’s fellowships aim to allow successful applicants to investigate inspiring practice in other countries and return with innovative ideas that could benefit people in the UK.

Ms Tennyson plans to use her fellowship to conduct trips to Belgium, Germany and the USA to gain knowledge about the successes, failures and impact of introducing a co-production approach across a whole population.

She told Frontline: ‘I am passionate about ensuring that the public voice is fully integrated into our decision-making processes in health and social care in Northern Ireland and I am committed to learn as much as I can and use that learning to make a difference when I come home.

‘The research will enable me to benefit from experiential learning from world leading organisations that have moved a population to where people take greater control over their health services, transforming the community’s role from “recipients of services” to “owner” of their health system.’

Her schedule will include visits to organisations such as the Gesundes Kinzigtal Integrated care system in southwest Germany and North Slope Borough community services in Barrow, Alaska.

Ms Tennyson added: ‘I strongly encourage other allied health professionals to apply to make the difference they too want to see.’

Applications for Churchill fellowships open on 27 April.

Author: Robert Millett

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