Research for all: Developing, delivering and driving better research

Published
15 Sep 2020

15 Sep 2020

The RCP is deeply committed to improving access to clinical research and supporting the integration of research into everyday care. The RCP has produced a strategy to develop, deliver and drive research in the NHS; seeking to address the barriers to equality of access.

This is in response to the report Research for all? An analysis of clinical participation in research which highlights the results of our survey on barriers to participation in research.

There is growing evidence that clinical research activity improves patient outcomes and this has led to the Care Quality Commission examining for research activity during its inspection of NHS trusts. We also know that research involvement is linked to better staff morale with improved retention and recruitment. The benefits are clear and as such the RCP seeks to deliver research for all.

Vision

Every clinician is supported to become research active for the benefit of patients and the public.

Mission

As a leading body for physicians in the UK, we strive to engage more physicians in research that improves health and care as well as their wellbeing.

Aims

  • To develop and support the workforce to become research active and innovative.
  • To deliver a system that enables physicians to do research as part of improving care.
  • To drive new collaborative ways for physicians to accelerate research for patient and public benefit.

Principles

In support of research, we will act in line with the following principles:

  • Research is defined in its broadest sense to capture the systematic investigation into health and care that establishes facts and reaches new conclusions.
  • Research access for clinicians and patients needs to be equitable across the UK to ensure that all hospitals benefit from the research effect.
  • Research needs to extend across multidisciplinary health and care teams and have patient and public engagement.
  • Research direction will be informed by clinical needs and aligned with the research ambitions of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

Priorities

To develop and support the workforce to become research active and innovative

We will do this by:

  • Establishing a clinician researcher credential and encouraging participation in clinical research networks
  • Providing resources and funding awards to promote and celebrate research activity
  • Understanding and addressing the barriers deterring RCP members from participating in research, especially in relation to equality, diversity and inclusion.

To deliver a system that enables physicians to do research as part of improving care

We will do this by:

  • Increasing clinical time for research by influencing job planning, guidance on advisory appointment committees and criteria in excellence awards
  • Working in partnerships to model/pilot ways for trusts to protect time for research that benefits patients and improve funding opportunities
  • Ensuring patients feel empowered to support clinicians integrating research into care.

To drive new collaborative ways for physicians to accelerate research for patient and public benefit

We will do this by:

  • Promoting opportunities to grow and translate evidence with partners in the health and innovation sectors
  • Building alliances to jointly tackle existing and urgent health and care challenges, such as health inequalities and multimorbidity
  • Sharing learning and best practice with NHS trusts on integrating research and clinical care.

If you would like to discuss the strategy or research survey findings further, please contact policy@rcplondon.ac.uk.

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