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Thinking Matters: Philosophy in Residence Programme

An innovative collaboration between the NHS and the University of Liverpool from 2018-2019

NHS Research & Development North West (NHS R&D NW) worked in collaboration with the Department of Philosophy at the University of Liverpool to stage a number of events over a 12 month period called :

The Philosophy Department team, consisting of Dr Panayiota Vassilopoulou, Dr Rachael Wiseman, and Professor Michael Hauskeller, took up a 12-month residency with NHS R&D NW, from 1st November 2018.

The aim of the residency was to bring philosophical reasoning to some of the key agendas in health and social care by creating opportunities for questioning, critical discussion and rational argument.

Throughout the year there was a series of events from small workshops to larger conference style days where healthcare professionals, health and care researchers, NHS managers and policymakers can connect with the philosophers. They will explore through rational investigation the truths and principles underpinning the NHS culture and the way it works both at an individual level and at a corporate level.

The first event, “Is there ever a right time to die?” took place on 18 January  2019, at the Friends Meeting House in Liverpool. 

The second catalyst style event ‘Making sense of pain‘ took place on 26th June 2019, at Federation House in Manchester City Centre. 

Professor Dame Janet Beer, Vice Chancellor, University of Liverpool, says: “This unique and innovative Residency between the University’s Department of Philosophy and NHS leaders will create an opportunity to think deeply about some of the most important questions of our time: how and when should we be allowed to die, what does good health mean, and how should the NHS allocate scarce resources and manage competing demands on its services. Every one of us has a stake in these issues and we hope through this project to help to prepare the NHS for the future.”

Professor Stuart Eglin, CEO NHS R&D NW, says: “I am delighted to host this residency with my team and hope that this is the beginning of a new way of thinking about the future of health and care research.”

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