22 February 2014

Anybody NOT in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong SAR, China—My first 2014 visit to Hong Kong was busy, mainly because so many other UK nursing academics were here. The list included: Hugh McKenna, CBE, PhD, FRCN, FAAN, pro-vice-chancellor (research and innovation), University of Ulster, UK; Dame Jill Macleod Clark, DBE, PhD, FRCN, professor of nursing, University of Southampton, UK; and Dawn Freshwater, PhD, RN, pro-vice-chancellor, University of Leeds, UK (soon to become deputy vice-chancellor, University of Western Australia). McKenna chairs the Research Excellence Framework’s subpanel for dentistry, allied health professions, nursing, and pharmacy, on which Macleod Clark, Freshwater, and I sit, and McKenna and Macleod Clark will serve on The Lancet Commission on UK Nursing, which I will chair. It’s a very small world.

Of course, we had to have dinner, and we were joined at Felix, one of Hong Kong’s most exclusive “high-level” restaurants (located at the tower atop world-famous Peninsula Hotel), by Kay Jones, MBA, chief operating officer, School of Health Sciences, City University London, UK, and Philip Esterhuizen, PhD, RN, lecturer in adult nursing, University of Leeds. The view over the harbour to Hong Kong island is eye-watering, the food to die for (I don’t think I have ever used that expression before), and the service unobtrusive and immaculate. The washrooms are a triumph, with surprises for both genders (best Googled rather than explained).

Amidst all this luxury dining and fun, this impromptu type of meeting, which involves colleagues who are as busy or more busy than me, is crucial. We have to take these opportunities, as nobody else provides them. Held without agenda, aims, or objectives, they are the most productive. Untrammelled by organisational issues, hierarchy, or the need to list tangible, bean-counting outcomes, such as how does this benefit my university, these gatherings are the time to discuss the state of nursing, the future of nursing, and who we need to cultivate. Of course, the Chatham House Rule applies, and what is said by whom at these tables stays at these tables.

Once again, I was in Hong Kong with Mark Hayter, PhD, FRSA, FAAN, my colleague from Hull and fellow editor of Journal of Advanced Nursing. Although we were teaching and consulting at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, our time here allows us to set up lunches and dinners with key people in the SAR (Special Administrative Region) and to extend the influence of our own work with the Journal of Advanced Nursing and the University of Hull. We also took time while in Hong Kong to meet Linda Sim, manager of the Marco Polo Club, the frequent-flyer privileges club associated with Cathay Pacific Airways. We dined at Hutong, another high level Chinese restaurant overlooking Hong Kong harbour, and were joined by Graeme Smith, PhD, RN, professor of nursing at Edinburgh Napier University, UK, and editor of Journal of Clinical Nursing, based in Hong Kong.

Recognition at last
This month, Alzheimer’s Disease International published a report, Nutrition and Dementia, in which my work on the development of the Edinburgh Feeding Evaluation in Dementia (EdFED) scale is cited. I was very pleased to see this, as it may increase the use of the EdFED and stimulate further research. It also reminded me how grateful I am for long-standing collaborations in the development and application of the EdFED, especially with Ian Deary, PhD, FRSE, FBA, professor, The University of Edinburgh, UK, and Li-Chan Lin, PhD, RN, professor, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan.

While in Hong Kong, I resided out in the New Territories, to the North of Hong Kong, where I found a running route along the reservoir in Sha Tin. It was cold this time of year and humid—not ideal for running, but still a great way to start the day and to register another 20 miles over five days in my wife-imposed half-marathon training program me.

For Reflections on Nursing Leadership (RNL), published by the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International. Comments are moderated. Those that promote products or services will not be posted.

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