Professorial Public Lectures

At Glasgow Caledonian University, we are building on Scotland’s proud history of innovation, intellectual curiosity and creativity to develop areas of international excellence in applied research. We have a strong tradition of conducting research that is economically and socially relevant - applying new knowledge to problems of global significance in areas such as Health, The Environment, Business, Social Justice and Inequality and Engineering.

These Professorial Inaugural lectures aim to showcase the research of our recently appointed or promoted Professors for a non specialist audience.

Forthcoming events

16 April 2014. Professor Nicholas Allcock - Nowt to Killin’: The struggle with pain in an ageing population.

Professor Nick Allcock graduated and qualified as a registered nurse from Surrey University with a BSc (hons) in Nursing Studies in 1983 and, after periods of practice as a staff nurse in neurosurgery and as a charge nurse in Intensive care, trained as a registered nurse tutor taking up a post in Nottingham in 1988.

Nick moved to the University of Nottingham in 1990 to work on a new Bachelor of Nursing program and studied for his PhD, exploring the experiences of student nurses caring for patients in pain. He was awarded his PhD in 1997 and undertook a range of roles at the University of Nottingham including Director of Practice Development , The Director of the Practice Development Research Centre and Director of Postgraduate Studies.

Nick's interested in evidence based practice led to him establishing the Nottingham Centre for Evidence Based Nursing and Midwifery the first UK Joanna Briggs Institute collaborating centre and he has been involved in a range of systematic reviews and evidence translation projects. Nick was awarded a leading Practice through Research Fellowship from the Health Foundation and explored ways of improving pain assessment in older nursing care home residents and has been awarded NIHR HfPB and HR grants. Nick is a Council Member of the British Pain Society having been elected for two terms and now serving as a co-opted member and chair of the Communications Committee.

Nick has continued to practice in the field of pain throughout his academic career and is a trained acupuncturist and member of the British Medical Acupuncture Society. Nick was appointed in January 2013 as a Clinical Academic Professor of Nursing at Glasgow Caledonian University and Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board. Nick works with Glasgow Pain Service and is a trustee of Action on Pain and an advisor to Pain Concern.


Overview of Professorial Lecture

Demographic changes across many countries are resulting in aging populations. Whilst this reflects positively on improvements in health and social care, additional years of life are of reduced value if they are blighted by chronic illness and pain. Chronic pain is common, affecting 18% of the Scottish population, and can have a significant impact on the quality of life of those who experience it. Prevalence surveys of chronic pain in older adults suggest that 50% of community dwelling and over 80% of older adults in residential care are experiencing pain.


While pain is not an inevitable consequence of the ageing process the ageing process can affect the experience of pain. Co-morbidity of pain with other long term conditions is common with almost 70% of those with chronic pain experiencing 2 or more other conditions. Whilst pain is not an inherent feature of Dementia they often coexist. As both dementia and chronic pain are age related and as the population ages the prevalence of both pain and dementia in older adults is likely to increase. It is estimated that 1 in 14 people over 65 years old have a diagnosis of dementia, increasing to 1 in 6 people aged over 80 years. Dementia is likely to affect the response to, reporting, assessment and management of pain.


Detecting and managing pain in people with dementia presents significant challenges for carers, particularly in those individuals who may be unable to self-report (88-95% of people with dementia have difficulties with verbal communication). There is a wealth of evidence to suggest that pain is commonly under-detected and poorly managed in people with dementia, particularly within acute care, leading to an increase in functional decline, slow rehabilitation, disturbances in sleep routine, poor appetite, impaired movement and an increased risk of falling. People with dementia may fail to recollect, interpret and respond to recent pain and report only their immediate experiences despite being susceptible to the same potentially painful conditions as those who are cognitively intact.


This talk will explore the nature and experience of chronic pain and pain in older age. Drawing on previous and on-going research the talk will explore the challenges of identifying pain in those with cognitive impairment and discuss possible future strategies to improve pain assessment.


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Should you have any queries regarding the event, please contact Chris Cadogan on 0141 331 8402 or by email on


Time: 5.30pm

Venue: Deeprose Theatre, Glasgow Caledonian University

Register Here

18 June 2014 - Professor Keith Stevenson - Teaching and Assessing Interprofessional Collaborative Practice in Health and Social Care

Time: 5.30pm

Venue: Deeprose Theatre, Glasgow Caledonian University

Register Here