Today the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) published its case report Benefiting from the ‘research effect’, setting out how NHS trusts can better support clinicians to become research active, and the huge benefits this will deliver for patients, trusts and staff.
The report is part of the RCP's Delivering Research for all project to support access to research opportunities across the UK for all clinicians and patients. The British Pharmacological Society is one of 20 organisations endorsing the report.
The report notes:
- The impetus for more research in the NHS has never been greater. Research-active trusts boost outcomes for patients, and the Care Quality Commission includes clinical research activity in trust inspections.
- Doctors hugely value research as an important part of their job but are hampered by a lack of protected time for patient-facing research. Participation in research is inked with better morale among staff and improved retention and recruitment.
- There is large regional variation in research activity. Smaller and rural hospitals must also be encouraged to become more research active and benefit from the research effect.
- Embedding protected time must be a key priority. Maintaining medical research funding, involving patients in research design, improving R&D departments and access to research skills are also vital
The report corresponds with the British Pharmacological Society's support for embedding research in the NHS.
In a recent response to the House of Lords ageing inquiry, the Society noted:
The current inquiry rightly recognises the importance of research in addressing healthy ageing. To realise this potential, embedding a culture of research across the NHS must be a priority; this needs a specific focus on research into the issues facing the increasing elderly population. There must be a clear focus on building research capacity in the NHS, to ensure a ‘research ready’ and ‘research active’ workforce.
As part of the Clinical Pharmacology Skills Alliance, the Society made the case for research in the CPSA response to the Health and Social Care Committee inquiry on Budget and NHS long-term plan, saying:
We support the Royal College of Physician’s statement on ”delivering research for all”. Collaborative work on prioritisation of research activities as a key activity across all NHS organisations is needed to improve the lives of patients in the short and longer term [...] Healthcare professionals must have access to education and training structures to support research, and research should be embedded in the culture of the NHS workforce.
 Royal College of Physicians (2019). Delivering research for all: expectations and aspirations for the NHS in England. Available at: https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/guidelines-policy/delivering-research-all-expectations-and-aspirations-nhs-england