Centre for Musculoskeletal Health and Work Annual Research Day 2024

Centre for Musculoskeletal Health and Work Annual Research Day 2024

This March we were delighted to once again welcome friends and colleagues from across CMHW to Aberdeen for our Annual Research Meeting 2024!

After last year’s fantastic event at the modern P&J Live venue, this year saw a change of scenery as we held the event in the Linklater Rooms of our historic Old Aberdeen campus for a day of research updates, networking and discussions about future work and collaborations.

Delegates and presenters assembled from across the Centre’s 9 key academic institutions, representatives from our funder Versus Arthritis and external guests including the University of Leeds, the Department for Work and Pensions, and Universal Inclusion as we continue to focus on how best to generate impact on policy and practice from our research.

Festivities began the evening before the event with a dinner evening at the Atholl Hotel, where our guests were served some fabulous Scottish fayre, and could chat and converse in a relaxing and traditional setting. Our dinner was followed by a fantastic talk by Laura Adelman of the Joint Policy Unit of the Department for Work and Pensions and Department of Health and Social Care, who gave us some excellent insight into what represents good evidence from a policy perspective, and how we can better shape our key messages so that the important points are clear and timely for those who make policy at any level.

Our main event was held the following day in Old Aberdeen, with guests welcomed into the baronial style of the Linklater rooms. The day was a whistle-stop tour through research being conducted across our participating institutions, covering measurement of the impact of musculoskeletal conditions on work (QUICK), creating interventions to support work engagement (Making it Work, Workwell), evaluating work impacts in specific populations (including musculoskeletal pain and work ability and the unmet support needs of disabled entrepreneurs), and broader perspectives including explaining work outcomes from a healthcare vantage point, and building the business case for workplace health interventions.

After a delicious buffet lunch (and a quick rain-sprinkled tour of our campus by Prof. Gareth Jones) our delegates settled back down to hear more about what the future holds as we move through our final year of Centre funding, focussing on our two key programme plans under the NIHR’s Work and Health calls; seeking to create a National Centre for Working Age Health (led by Prof. Gwenllian Wynne-Jones from Keele), and the CMHW:REACT project, which aims to develop a digital ‘one stop shop’ for work support for people with musculoskeletal conditions (led by Prof. Gary Macfarlane).

This year’s event was another great chance to get together and engage to discuss research and potential plans for what happens beyond the Centre. We would like to extend a big thank you to all the event staff at the University of Aberdeen for their coordination and assistance on the day, and to the Atholl and Chester hotels for catering to our dinner and accommodation needs. A big thanks also to Jisha Babu, our Epi group Administration Coordinator, without whom this event would not have come together as smoothly as it did!

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