Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Developing a Research Culture

Many thanks to Worcestershire Acute Hospitals, Wye Valley and Worcestershire Health & Care NHS Trusts for inviting me to give a talk at their Developing a Research Culture conference. 

What does being Research Active mean? (You can read my other blog post on this on the BMJ website which can be accessed here?)



I believe that a Research Culture can be identified by a common desire to provide and receive the best treatments and care. It is about us being open with each other about what is known and what is not known. It is about creating a partnership with our communities that helps us ask the relevant, suitable and most appropriate questions. It is about clinical practice and the services we provide being an agreement with patients and their families - a mutual learning environment. See the Kings Fund report – Shared Responsibility for Health.

It is about research being integrated into the normal and everyday part of the patient pathway but how will we know?

How might we all see, hear and touch a Research Active Culture? 

This is my Top Ten (Well, actually just 9 as I am keen to know what you think should be added at number 10)

Signage in Liverpool
1. RESEARCH GETS A MENTION…in letters, outpatient appointments, consultations, on noticeboards and through different media and language.                                                       



2. WHY WE DO RESEARCH…explains the ambition and value of providing the best evidenced based care and treatment for patients. e.g. that high quality research is a means of making sure our patients receive the best care; that research drives the work we do; that we retain and attract the best staff.


A Business Card from Nottingham
3. ASK ABOUT RESEARCH…becomes a norm People are prompted to ask if there are any research studies that would suit - link to a list of active studies. Staff are encouraged to apply for NIHR Fellowships. And providing staff including reception and the Board with the appropriate responses including the important use of Patient Data.


4. EVIDENCE IS APPARENT…on display boards about the types of research that has taken place over the years (Selected by a patient panel).


A Research Day in Birmingham
5. STORIES ARE TOLD…in Monthly bulletins about patients taking part, the research nurse, researchers work, lab and tissue work, leader board.  


6. LOCAL PEOPLE INVOLVED...and encouraged to help inform, shape and influence the research by identifying priorities. Patient Involvement is inclusive and reaches out into the community including support groups. 


7. THINK DIGITAL ...in the way technology is used to improve the research experience. Research on Trust Home Page -  One click to a page celebrating practice, the stories, the policies, performance and media coverage. 


I Am Research Campaign
8. PARTNERS ARE ENGAGED Examples of local and national work with local council, charities are included in annual reporting.


9. HOW WE CAN ALL HELP...is made clear on signs and display as to how people can get involved, take part and donate, money, blood, tissue and data. Use small business cards, postcards, leaflets and completing the Patient Research Experience Survey (PRES)


10. What would YOU add to the list?????





Community Involvement

To ensure we get these right it is vital to actively involve our local population. It ensures that the research and the culture is…

·      Relevant- directly related to the individual - why it is needed and wanted

·      Suitable - for a particular purpose and part of the patient pathway or service

·      Appropriate - whether this is something we should be doing.


This involvement provides the opportunities to tap into PATIENT EXPERIENCE and INSIGHT, KNOWLEDGE and SKILLS. Equally we, as patients, get to understand more about our health and the challenges faced by the NHS.




YOU can, of course, also suggest...


A TOPIC for Scientific Enquiry (Closes 29th Nov 2018) by the All Party Science & Technology Committee https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/science-and-technology-committee/inquiries/parliament-2017/my-science-inquiry-17-19/




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