More pressure to create time for NHS research

The Academy supports the launch of a new report by Cancer Research UK that endorses key recommendations made in the Academy’s 2020 report on integrating the NHS and academia by further underlining the importance of giving NHS staff time and space to do research.

The new report by Cancer Research UK (CRUK) looks at the barriers that stop NHS staff from undertaking research and outlines steps to address these obstacles.

The Academy’s Vice President (Clinical), Professor Paul Stewart FMedSci, who represented the Academy on the steering group for CRUK’s project, says: “We’re delighted to see these targeted recommendations from Cancer Research UK re-emphasising the importance of the Academy’s work on enabling research in the NHS. With a strong evidence-base that research and innovation enhances quality of care and improved patient outcomes, the Academy has long championed the role of clinical academics and other NHS staff in engaging in groundbreaking research. We know that healthcare workers are keen to contribute more to research to help patients both now and in the future. We strongly support the report’s recommendations.”

CRUK’s work outlines a number of recommendations, that build on the findings of the Academy’s report, to support NHS staff to undertake research, including:

  • Implementing fully funded pilot programmes that offer a proportion of health service staff contracts that include dedicated time for research.
  • Developing a coordinated set of metrics to capture NHS research engagement and impact, and embedding research into strategies for staff recruitment, retention and workforce development planning.
  • Establishing integrated research offices between local NHS R&D Offices and universities to facilitate the exchange of research expertise and build research capacity.
  • Providing opportunities for students to undertake research projects in clinical settings, as well as secondments for staff to work across the NHS and academia.

Enhancing research activity in healthcare settings is a key priority for the Academy. We continue to work across the healthcare sector to promote and incentivise clinical research in the NHS.

To read our 2020 report and associated materials, see our integrating the NHS and academia policy page.

Read CRUK’s full report, Creating time for research.

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