A new report from THIS Institute highlights the valuable role of NHS staff in research and explores how the full potential of their involvement could be better realised.
Involving NHS staff in research details the many ways NHS staff are making their mark on the research process – from designing studies, to collecting data, to disseminating and implementing research findings.
“NHS staff have so much to offer to healthcare research because they live the health system every day,” says THIS Institute Deputy Director Dr Rebecca Simmons, one of the authors of the report. “Their experience gives them tremendous insight into how things actually work in healthcare, and they are strongly motivated to help make the NHS the best it can be.”
Produced in partnership with RAND Europe, THIS Institute’s report identifies some of the key reasons NHS staff get involved in research, including the desire to improve care. It also describes some of the barriers to active involvement, ranging from lack funding and support through to a tendency for research opportunities to be offered to certain healthcare professions and specialties. NHS staff are also stretched thin and short of time.
“Research about the NHS needs expertise from people in the NHS. It’s important to explore how a broader range of healthcare staff can lend their expertise to healthcare research,” says Sonja Marjanovic, another author of the study who serves as project leader and head of RAND Europe’s partnership with THIS Institute.
Overall, the report says that evidence about involving NHS staff in research is limited. Dr Simmons says new and targeted approaches to involving NHS staff will be needed.
We’re going to have to be bold if we want to realise the potential of NHS staff in research. That means acknowledging the overstretched reality of today’s NHS, and working together to support staff involvement.”
– Dr Rebecca Simmons, Deputy Director at THIS Institute and co-author of this report
This report is the first of two from THIS Institute about involvement in research. The second report will look at patient and public involvement, and will be published in Spring 2019.
Read the report
Media queries: Lucy Lloyd at the Primary Care Unit