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Leading Disfigurement Charity Speaker Presents at University of Bradford

21 June 10


Tomorrow (22nd June) the University of Bradford will welcome a leading speaker on disfigurements at an innovative showcase celebrating breakthroughs in health research and development.

Henrietta Spalding, Head of Policy and Practice from Changing Faces - the leading UK charity which supports and represents people who have disfigurements to the face, hand or body – will be giving the keynote speech at the event.

The event, ‘Improving People’s Lives Through Research, Knowledge Transfer and Educational Innovation’, is being run by the University’s School of Health Studies and is being held at the Norcroft Centre on the city campus.

The annual event is expected to attract over 100 health care professionals, academic colleagues from Bradford and other universities across the Yorkshire and Humber region, as well as healthcare service users.

One in every 111 people has a disfigurement to their face, from birth, trauma, paralysis, skin conditions or cancer surgery.

Henrietta will be speaking about disfigurement, which is a key area of research interest for the School of Health Studies.  In particular she will focus on the charity’s work with the health sector, exploring the challenges for patients with facial disfigurements, from societal prejudices to vulnerability and low self esteem.

Her presentation will also include reference to key research that underpins Changing Faces’ work.  She will then present a set of practical interventions developed by the charity in their work with patients over the past 18 years to help health care professionals ensure the best quality psycho-social care for their patients.

Henrietta will also focus on the charity’s broader objectives, describing their ‘Face Equality’ campaign, which aims to ensure that people with disfigurements are treated fairly and equally irrespective of their appearance.  There is still a way to go to reach this goal, with nine out of ten members of the public having unconscious negative attitudes towards people with facial disfigurements.

Many public and private sector organisations have already signed up to ‘Face Equality’, demonstrating a tangible commitment to promoting and embedding face equality. This has been done in many ways, from changing organisational culture to developing the curriculum to include face equality teaching. The University of Bradford is hoping to work further with Changing Faces, exploring how ‘Face Equality’ could be incorporated into the University’s practices and curriculum.

As well as the presentation from Henrietta, the Showcase event will also feature academic presentations on subjects ranging from the involvement of service users in healthcare to equality and diversity.

The Showcase reflects the School’s strong research profile which has a direct impact on patient care in the areas of dementia, inclusion and diversity, health care quality and education.

The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) recognised 75% of the total research at the School as being of internationally recognised originality, significance and rigour, with 35% as internationally excellent or better.

21 June 10

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Further information for Media Enquirers

For further information please contact the University of Bradford Press Office on 01274 23 3089/3084.

Out of office hours call 07879 437996. Alternatively, e-mail press@bradford.ac.uk or fax on (01274) 236280.