Enhancing the NHS-academia interface

The Academy of Medical Sciences has launched its report exploring how the interface between academia and the NHS can be enhanced to improve the health and wealth of the UK.

Status: Implementation

The UK’s world-leading biomedical and health research sector has contributed to major advances in patient care, as well as to the wealth of the nation. Patients want opportunities to be involved in research and there is increasing evidence that those treated in research-active healthcare settings have better outcomes and receive better care.

However, NHS staff increasingly lack the capacity to engage with research, and the number of clinical academics – research leads operating at the interface between academia and the NHS – is declining. This widening gap between the NHS and academia is preventing the research expertise and capability within the NHS from reaching its full potential.

It is imperative that these issues are addressed to accelerate the translation of research into patient benefit and better population health, and to increase the appeal of the UK as a global hub for life sciences.

The Academy’s report, ‘Transforming health through innovation: Integrating the NHS and academia’, explores these issues further. It calls for the support of leaders across the biomedical research landscape – both in academia, the NHS and beyond – to achieve six key outcomes that will be essential to enhance the interface between the NHS and the UK’s academic biomedical and health research sector:

  1. Creating a healthcare system that truly values research.
  2. Fully integrating research teams across academia and the NHS.
  3. Providing dedicated research time for research-active NHS staff.
  4. Ensuring undergraduate curricula equip healthcare staff with the skills to engage with research.
  5. Incorporating flexibility into postgraduate training pathways.
  6. Streamlining research through joint research and development offices.

Implementing our vision will require appropriate funding and resources, as well as the support of leaders and collective effort from stakeholders across the biomedical research landscape.

The full report, summary and supporting case studies are available to download on the right-hand side of this page.

Further information is also available in our associated news article.

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