A programme to help clinicians in the NHS develop and improve their research skills has been shortlisted for a regional award.
The Research Skills training programme, known as STARS - Supporting the Advancement of Research Skills, is led by Professor Eleanor Bradley, from the University of Worcester, and Dr Tom Kingstone at Keele University and available to staff at Midlands Partnership Foundation NHS Trust, across Staffordshire and Shropshire. It is designed to support clinical colleagues to develop their research awareness, delivery and leadership.
Research in the NHS is vital to provide the evidence to transform services. It is widely accepted that research-active Trusts deliver improved patient outcomes, a better care experience and find it easier to retain staff. All staff working in the NHS are expected to engage with research and to routinely offer patients the opportunity to join research studies.
The programme, which was launched in January 2021, has now been nominated by the Comprehensive Research Network (CRN) West Midlands research awards panel for ‘Innovation Project of the Year’.
“It’s great to have this project recognised in being shortlisted for an award,” said Professor Bradley. “We have worked hard over the last 18 months to develop a course which could adapt to the needs of the clinicians, many of whom have been working on the frontline during the pandemic.
“The programme is delivered completely online and participants can select the sessions that are relevant to them, such as workshops, how to sessions, seminars etc. It has been bringing colleagues from a variety of different roles together in a real multidisciplinary way, to learn together and from each other. By delivering online we’ve also been able to reach those who might not have been able to attend in-person sessions due to location, time or other commitments.”
To-date, 18 workshops and 11 seminars have been delivered as part of STARS; equating to just under 60 hours of live training opportunities. A total of 165 staff members have engaged with these learning events, representing a broad range of health and care professional groups, including psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, podiatrists.
Testimonials from those taking part have praised the course have included “I feel more confident to consider the clinical relevance of the research and whether it indicates a change to practice” and “I was feeling very overwhelmed at the thought of actually delivering a change and felt it was all on my shoulders to deliver it, however, I now believe it is actually sustainable”.
Professor Bradley said she hoped the programme could be extended to more Trusts in the West Midlands in the future.
Winners in the Comprehensive Research Network (CRN) West Midlands research awards will be announced on December 9th at a ceremony in Birmingham.