Research is the scientific building block to improve NHS services and improve patient outcomes.
But that doesn’t mean it is just scientists and senior doctors who carry out studies – nurses, midwives and allied health professionals also make a key contribution.
The Northern Care Alliance’s Chair of Nursing Professor Heather Iles-Smith, who has a joint role with the University of Salford, is leading the Trust’s work to develop academic nursing, midwifery and Allied Health Professionals’ career development.
This will provide a springboard for nurses, midwives, Allied Health Professionals, Pharmacists and Healthcare Scientists (NMAPH) to gain the skills and confidence to become research leaders.
Professor Iles-Smith said: “Working with our academic partners, we are developing training opportunities that support a culture in which NMAPHs consider the application of research and innovation to be a core component of all roles, contributing to the development of a culture of continuous improvement. A key ambition is to develop a cadre of academic NMAPHs within the trust.
“The aim is that colleagues have the opportunity to engage with R&I and improvement activity in some way to benefit patient care, whether this be through using robust evidence from R&I to inform practice, involvement in supporting R&I projects, or leading their own programmes of research, innovation and/or improvement.
“Colleagues will be supported to lead on, and participate in, research, innovation and improvement projects that address local as well as national clinical needs.”
Professor Iles-Smith is a Clinical Academic Nurse who has gained significant clinical and research expertise working across a number of NHS Trusts and Universities in the North of England. Working with senior colleagues across the NCA, she has put in place a plan to spot emerging NMAPH talent, mentor and support existing and developing researchers, provide research skills development, and create research career pathways.