PhD Studentship in Patient Safety in Veterinary Practice, University of Nottingham

Updated: about 5 years ago
Location: Nottingham, ENGLAND
Deadline: The position may have been removed or expired!

PhD Studentship in Patient Safety in Veterinary Practice
Job Type
Research & Teaching
School of Veterinary Medicine & Science

Principal supervisor:
Liz Mossop

Other supervisors:
Kate White (School of Veterinary Medicine and Science)
Prof Malcolm Cobb (School of Veterinary Medicine and Science)
Prof Eamonn Fergusson (School of Psychology)

The School of Veterinary Medicine and Science at the University of Nottingham is the first brand new, purpose-built veterinary school in the UK for over 50 years and it is our intent to make significant leading contributions to both veterinary research and teaching within the context of valid relevance and application to the wider veterinary profession.

Research is central to the activities of the School, both in terms of maintaining ourselves at the forefront of national and international efforts in veterinary medicine but also as an integral part of the training and education for undergraduate and postgraduate students.  In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science joint submission with the School of Biosciences was ranked first in the country for the power of its research with 95% of its activities classified at an international standard.

Patient Safety is a critical issue in human healthcare , with one in ten hospital visits resulting in an error of some form (WHO 2002). There is therefore a large body of research around the types of errors occurring, healthcare workers attitudes to these errors and the evaluation of prevention strategies. This topic is extremely under researched in veterinary practice. There is very little published data describing the type of errors the veterinary team witness or contribute to. This studentship will therefore aim to investigate the types of error in veterinary practice and assess the veterinary healthcare team’s attitudes to these errors. It will then trial a number of interventions, targeted at problematic areas.

It is widely accepted that patient safely and medical error is effectively studied by psychologists in combination with clinicians. This studentship will therefore be supervised jointly by the School of Psychology and SVMS. Attitudes can be measured extrinsically and intrinsically and this study will draw on both approaches initially using a survey (such as a version of the Operating Room Management Attitude Questionnaire (Flin et al 2002)) and interviews. A quantitative evaluation of the types of error occurring will also be performed. Based on these results, one or more interventions such as surgery checklists will be trialled (using clinical associate practices) and perceptions and usefulness evaluated.

This study will result in some definitive figures describing the safety of the veterinary practice environment for patients. Any interventions successfully trialled will be potentially implementable in all practices, offering scope for further research. The outputs regarding attitudes will be an interesting addition to our own professionalism, leadership and clinical governance teaching

The studentship is available from September 2012 or as soon as possible after for a period of 3 years and provides the standard UK/EU postgraduate stipend, though there are potential funding restrictions for non- EU students.  In addition this studentship comes with an additional tax-free scholarship of £2,000 as a Demonstratorship (you would be expected to provide up to 200 hours per year of teaching, invigilating and other teaching related assistance).

Applicants should have a minimum of a 2.1 undergraduate psychology degree or an equivalent degree in a related social or behavioural science background. A Masters degree in a relevant and related subject would be desired but not essential

Informal enquiries may be addressed to the principal supervisor: Liz Mossop, email:

To apply, please access: and upload a cv.  Any queries regarding the application process should be addressed to Helena Percival, Postgraduate Admissions Officer, (email: Please quote ref. MED/1088. This studentship will remain open until filled. Early application is strongly encouraged.

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