About the project
The NIHR-funded Global RECHARGE project seeks to address the challenge faced by many low-mid income countries in delivering pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) to patients suffering from lung disease.
Bringing everyone together for training
We aim to work with our partners, Kyrgyzstan, India, Sri Lanka and Uganda in tackling this gap by providing guidance in the development of training in PR interventions.
Early in April 2019 we organised a two week PR training course for our partner researchers, drawing on existing research and clinical staff expertise in the BRC respiratory theme. After last minute flight cancellations, visa issues, coordinating schedules, eight researchers from our partner countries were finally here!
Tip: The willingness of the administrative and clinical staff members to accommodate us was fundamental to delivering a successful training programme. Everyone went above and beyond to facilitate the training so we made sure they were invited to the evening meal out with our partners too.
The PR training for the partners coincided with a two day ‘Advanced Pulmonary Course’ held at Glenfield Hospital. Tying in our training with an external course meant two of the ten days’ were planned and organised by the Advanced Course team. This saved time and effort on our part, allowing us to organise and concentrate on the rest of the days.
Tip: When planning training events, try to tie in relevant courses already in place should timings and costs permit. Use the facilities already in existence at your centre to save costs.
The two weeks of PR training encapsulated a broad range of training from research skills to clinical implementation, including observation and Q&A sessions with the rehab team, defining datasets, activity monitoring and focus group workshops. However what really resonated with our partners were the visits made to community based rehabilitation and public engagement sessions. The involvement of patients in the research and rehabilitation process is not a common practice in our partner countries and many expressed an eagerness to implement this.
Partners helping each other
The partner countries themselves varied in their country infrastructure, level of research experience, and availability of PR therefore this training proved an opportunity for them to learn from each other and transfer knowledge. A benefit of having a global partner group of this dynamic is the ability to utilise and share the more established partners’ insights and experience with other countries starting out new.Bringing in fun
It wasn’t all work and no play, with evening meals, lunches and picnics planned. Having the partners stay at the same hotel built camaraderie and personal relations. The partners also felt comfortable in expressing the challenges they faced and drew from each other’s experiences.
Tip: It is important to factor in time for social activities, but with University regulations and financial restrictions, organising paid activities was not possible. Research your local area and look for points of interest that have free admission.
What we achieved
Basing the training visit at the heart of where research and clinical practice takes place meant the partners were exposed to not only the knowledge and expertise but also the environment, they had real patient contact and were also able to grow and strengthen international relationships.
Working with our partners, the main thing we learnt was how best to utilise everybody’s skills and cultural practices in carrying out good research and implementing appropriate PR interventions. I couldn’t agree more with Shruti when she said the ‘…visit to Leicester has Recharged us all to deliver our best for the project.’
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“This research was commissioned by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Global Health Research Group using UK aid from the UK Government. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.”