My research blog: 2015 in review

This year has been a wonderful year of discovery. I continue to be very happily immersed in my work and research, and have really enjoyed sharing my journey, thoughts and feelings with the readers of this blog.

I wanted to thank all of the sharers, readers and commentators of this blog, along with the participants who have given their time to get involved with my PhD research for helping this work to grow. I look forward to another year of research and collaborative work with NHS organisations, as I continue to share my passion for healthy NHS staff for healthy NHS patients.

I hope you will all continue to join me in another year of blogging, research and collaboration. Let’s grow together!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,600 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 60 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


‘Great Minds Don’t Think Alike’ Nursing and Midwifery Conference

Looking forward to presenting my latest research at this midwifery conference – Hoping to network with great aspiring midwifery leaders!

University of Worcester weekly staff news

‘Great Minds Don’t Think Alike’ – flyer

‘Great Minds Don’t Think Alike’ Nursing and Midwifery Conference

26th January 2016
St John’s Campus
University of Worcester

On the 26th January 2016, the University of Worcester will be hosting a Nursing and Midwifery conference in partnership with practice partners, entitled ‘Great Minds Don’t Think Alike’. This one day event will celebrate Leadership for Practice in a changing healthcare landscape.

Keynote speeches to be delivered by Prof Tamar J Thompson OBE, Visiting Professor, University of Worcester and Janet Davies, Chief Executive & General Secretary at the Royal College of Nursing.

This event is free of charge and lunch and refreshments are included, but booking is essential.

To book your place, please follow the link below:


If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Esther Dobson

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Who am I and what am I doing here?

Brief update: Deep in data for another week after the 2nd round of data collection ends. Fascinating results and insights coming through, but not quite ready for sharing/publication yet I am sorry to say. Conference season also seems to be upon us, and so I have been applying to various events where I can share my results with interested audiences across the UK. If you would like to see the data presented then why not come along to either the 2nd Behaviour Change Conference: Digital Health and Well being: 24 & 25 February 2016, the Midwifery Exchange; Thursday 4th February 2016 or the ‘Great Minds Don’t Think Alike’ – Nursing and Midwifery Conference, in January 2016. I will be there and hopefully at other conferences in the spring/summer of 2016 to share these insights and develop this project on to the next phase.

Another exciting adventure I have been having is with the National Elf Service, who disseminate high quality research for busy working professionals to update their knowledge on the go. I have always loved this project, and so now I have the opportunity to become a part of the project #Excited!…Anyhoo, as a part of their interview process, they had asked me why I may make a good elf. In answering this question they directed me to take a theory driven personality test. I found the results fascinating and would thoroughly recommend that everyone explore this resource too! I personally had never felt so very much understood. The description of me was almost word for word accurate. It was so empowering, that I wanted to write here a little about who I am.. and what I am doing here.

Who am I?

So apparently, I have the ENTP PERSONALITY (“THE DEBATER”) ,  ENTP = Extraverted – iNtuitive – Thinking – Perceiving – Also known as ‘The Visionary’ or ‘The Intuitive Seeker’. I am amazed at how accurately this personality type fits the description of me (warts and all). This discovery has also made me feel quite unique in the fact that this personality type supposedly only represents 3% of the female population.

Others labeled with this personality include Socrates, Barack Obama, Steve Jobs, Stephen Fry and Catherine the Great (Empress of Russia). Who knew?

Now that I have come uncomfortably close with my own strengths & weaknesses, I intend to spend time reflecting upon how I might use these personality traits to influence my own goals and projects in the real world. As I come closer to turning my vision for an online intervention, designed to support midwives in work related psychological distress into practice, I am confident that my enthusiasm and drive for success will take this project into the real world.

Why am I here?

Although my enthusiasm for change and improvement within the #NHS will never wain, I sometimes find myself wondering whether I am alone in such passions for #NHS staff well being. However, a quick conversation about my research, or a glance at Twitter always quickly let me know that this is not the case. I am constantly looking for people who I may identify with, or who may identify with me and what I am trying to achieve. I do this I think, in order to validate the purpose and worth of my research…to begin to understand why I am here and why I am doing what I do….I realise that many people are galvanising support for the cause and an appreciation for the need for change.

I am here because NHS staff need to be supported for the benefit of themselves and the patients they care for. The organisations they work for have at times been seen to blame the individual rather than the organisation as a collective when failings occur. This does nothing to improve candour, open learning or effective communications. Where punitive blame cultures exist, nothing can be improved. Staff are reluctant to speak out where a fear of retribution is apparent. As such, a trade off may be required if we are to allow staff to be kind to themselves, ask for help and improve the health of the service as a whole. Then I ask myself…is there anyone else who feels this way?

Then I came across this magnificent quote…

Good people do bad things

“The public mood may demand individuals to put in the stocks, but mature reflection acknowledges that there is a more complex debate to be had around the limits of obligation for professionals, the factors that motivate or discourage, the disempowerment that is inevitable in a more highly managed service and the promotion of virtue. These are beyond diktat, guidelines, unread protocols on hospital intranets and managerial exhortation. Intelligent kindness,5 medical humanities and the lessons of psychological experimentation may have more to offer.6” John Saunders

Ultimately I am here to promote the notion of kindness and compassion for #NHS staff. The need for a compassionate #NHS has been patient focused up until now. I am here to ensure that it also becomes staff focused. Who I am means that I am excited to find out why I am here. I look forward to fulfilling my potential and my duty to apply my research in a way which benefits society as a whole. To reflect is good. It keeps me focused and ‘in the now’. I am half way through this PhD journey already. Here’s to the next phase!