Former RBH Medical Director receives honorary degree
Release Date 17 December 2019
The former Medical Director for the Royal Berkshire Hospital has been presented with the honorary degree of Doctor of Science.
Dr Lindsey Barker played an important role in the development of a partnership between the hospital and University of Reading that sees joint research being carried out in a range of clinical contexts, including pain management and young people’s mental health.
Dr Barker was introduced by Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation, Prof Parveen Yaqoob who said:
“One of the reasons that we’re recognising Lindsey today is that she was key to the establishment of a partnership between the NHS Trusts and the University, which has two aims: health education and health research. She played a key role in establishing Reading as one of the early adopters of the Physician Associate programme- we were 6th in the UK to offer this and there are now over 35 programmes.
“Physician Associates are medically trained, generalist healthcare professionals who work alongside doctors to provide medical care as an integral part of a multidisciplinary team. They’re proving to be a huge asset to the medical workforce and we’re very proud to have 21 Physician Associates graduating in this ceremony today.”
“Lindsey’s approach to winning hearts and minds was to place the students in the departments that were fully on board, but to make the success of the PA students in those departments highly visible. Within a few years, pretty much every department was queuing up for PA students and there are now 30 qualified Physician Associates working in departments throughout the Trust.
“Lindsey used the same ‘hearts and minds’ approach in becoming an advocate for a research partnership with the University, bringing partners together to commit funding, creating a Joint Academic Board with the University and supporting the recognition of Cardiology and Emergency Medicine with University department status in 2018.”
The relationship between the Trust and University has already led to early joint research or education projects to improve clinical outcomes for patients.
From cutting edge technology to look at kidney damage, to the use of virtual reality in patients who have suffered a stroke, £290,000 of joint funding has been awarded to date and the programme continues for another two years.
Professor Adrian Williams, the Research Dean (Health) at the University of Reading said:
“Through the efforts of our Joint Academic Board, comprising senior colleagues from the Trust and University, we are delighted to support strong collaborations in teaching and research.
"We have funded 15 projects spanning the use of virtual reality for stroke rehabilitation, using big data to make patient care pathways more efficient, and nutritional interventions to support elderly in-patients. Coupled with University recognition of departments, the close working of the two organisations is delivering tangible benefits to patients in our region.”
Find out more about the Joint Academic Board partnership between the University of Reading and Royal Berkshire Hospital Foundation Trust at:
About Lindsey Barker
Dr Lindsey Barker, was appointed Medical Director at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust in November 2014. Lindsey joined the trust in 1990. She is a Consultant Nephrologist and Physician, who trained in Bristol and Oxford. As a Renal Consultant, she has special interests in all aspects of kidney disease and renal replacement therapy, particularly dialysis preparation and peritoneal dialysis.
Lindsey has worked in medical managerial roles since 2008. She is recognised for her long service and many achievements. Amongst other accolades, Lindsey is celebrated for her commitments to the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network for the Thames Valley and the South Midlands. Alongside other valuable contributions to research, Lindsey has received several awards herself and helped to shape a thriving research programme at the Trust.
She has led a programme of collaborative research and education with the University of Reading, supporting a joint Clinical Trials Unit and establishing a Joint Academic Board between the two institutions in March 2018. This board was tasked to deliver a three-year programme of collaborative research and education innovation funding and to recognise clinical and academic excellence in both organisations.
The early funding rounds have supported diverse collaborative projects. In 2019, the first specialties demonstrated all round excellence, delivering a nationally high standard of clinical care and multi-disciplinary research and were awarded the status of University Department of Cardiology and University Department of Emergency Medicine.
Image caption: Dr Lindsay Barker (centre) pictured with Steve McManus (left), CEO of the Royak Berkshire Hospital Foundation Trust (RBHFT) and Dr Atul Kapila (right), head of R&D at RBHFT