New report explores how NHS staff can get involved in research

THIS Institute explored why and how NHS staff contribute to research, the factors that enable engagement, the impact of engagement on research processes and outcomes, and the implications for future engagement efforts.

Key findings from report

  • From shaping research questions, to collecting data and disseminating findings, NHS staff make valuable contributions at every stage of the research process. But their potential is yet to be fully realised.
  • Opportunities to get involved in research are not evenly available across or within different professions or staff groups. A wider range of healthcare staff could be mobilised.
  • Efforts to involve NHS staff should be mindful of the reasons why they get involved in research: an interest in the topic of study, the desire to improve healthcare and the potential for career development, for example.
  • Engagement efforts should also recognise the barriers that can prevent NHS staff from engaging with research, including – first and foremost – not having the time to get involved.
  • Bringing a wider range of expertise into healthcare research may require new forms of career structures and building in time to conduct research beyond clinical academic and fellowship models.
  • NHS staff engagement should be based on project needs and feasibility, with contributions considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Evidence about how to involve NHS staff in research, and the impact it can have, is fragmented and limited. Further investigation is needed to effectively unlock the full potential of NHS engagement.

To access the full report, please see THIS Institute’s website

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