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Why we should be talking TUF

Written by Louise de Winter, Director of Research & Operations

Did you know that The Urology Foundation (TUF, pronounced tough) has Irish roots? It was the brainchild of Professor Roger Kirby and Professor John Fitzpatrick (1948 – 2014), an Irish urologist, emeritus professor of surgery at the University College Dublin School of Medicine & Medical Science and Head of Research at the Irish Cancer Society. They wanted to do something to counteract the woeful under investment in urological research and to promote the training and development or urology professionals.

For over 25 years, The Urology Foundation (TUF) has been leading the fight against urology disease. We are the only charity across the UK and Ireland that addresses all urological diseases including prostate cancer and kidney, bladder, testicular and penile cancers, which are devastating in their impact. Importantly, we also focus on non-malignant conditions including incontinence, urinary tract infections and kidney stones, which have a debilitating effect on people’s lives. We are committed to improving patient outcomes and saving lives through investing in ground-breaking research to find better ways to diagnose, treat and manage these diseases. We support educational training for urology professionals to care for and help people affected by urology conditions, and awareness campaigns such as the annual Urology Awareness Month. Working with leading researchers, urologists, nurses and allied healthcare professionals, decision makers and influencers, patients and their families, TUF is improving the nation’s urology care.

Over the years we have funded a number of research projects in Ireland, covering topics such as renal blood flow, benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), prostate cancer and uteric obstructions. We have also funded Irish urologists to undertake clinical visits to centres of expertise around the world, to hone their skills and experience to the benefit of their patients. We would like more urology professionals from Ireland to benefit from TUF funding and the following are some of the programmes to which urologists, trainees and urology nurses can apply.

Innovation & Research Award
– To fund projects that seek to use new, exciting, innovative approaches to address urological diseases and disorders
– Up to £60,000

Small projects
– Nurse-led and/or Clinician
-led projects that seek to improve services and treatments and communications with patients and carers
– Up to £10,000

Urological trials
– We welcome ideas for measuring a medical, surgical or behavioural intervention that will provide potential for transformational discoveries and drive improvements in services. Our TUF urological trials unit (TTU) will provide multi-disciplinary support to develop study protocols and grant applications for urological trials
– On hand support

Malcolm Coptcoat Fellowship
– To support travel to international centres of excellence to gain invaluable experience and skills
– Up to £5,000

Urolink Trainee Fellowship
– To enable senior trainees to experience working in Low or Middle income (LMIC) environments
– Up to £1,500

TUF Urology Nurse of the Year
– To recognise a nurse who has demonstrated an outstanding contribution to their role
– £2,000

Urology Nurse Travel Grant
– To attend a training course or conference
– £500

Urology Nurse bursaries (coming soon)
– To attend further education/post graduate courses
– £2,000 grants

TUF professional development courses for urologists and nurses
– Providing training in communications, influencing & leadership skills
– Free to attend

In addition to the above, TUF runs an annual awareness campaign every September, Urology Awareness Month, to raise the profile of urological diseases among the general public, particularly signs and symptoms, and to encourage them to take control of their urology health. A number of information materials and leaflets are available for the campaign for urology professionals in Ireland hoping to take part.

One in two of us will suffer from a urological condition in our lifetime. Yet it’s an area that we rarely talk about. Diseases of the bladder, kidney, prostate and male reproductive organs do not get the attention they need, and urology research and support are still underfunded. The increase in urological cancers and other conditions is putting greater strain on the health service and having a devastating impact on the lives of millions of men, women and children.

Everyone affected by urology disease deserves the best care. That’s why TUF is providing ground-breaking research, advanced training and support for innovation to maximise survival and quality of life. We cannot do this without the help and support of urology colleagues across the UK and Ireland. For more information about The Urology Foundation and our work, see:

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