Research is crucially important for the future health of our population and the delivery of excellent healthcare. The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) is encouraging all physicians to get more involved in research and working for research and medical academia to become an integral part of the NHS.
What we are doing
In November 2019, RCP published Benefiting from the ‘research effect’: The case for trusts supporting clinicians to become more research active and innovative, endorsed by 20 other organisations. The document sets out the numerous benefits that trusts and health boards can take advantage of if they support clinicians to become more research active.
- 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.
- 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.
In 2019, RCP published Delivering research for all . This statement, endorsed by 16 other organisations, sets out our view that high-quality research in the NHS is everyone’s responsibility and a core part of clinical care. The statement follows the 2016 RCP report, Research for All, which set out our ambition to ensure that doctors have protected time and flexibility to participate in research, and promote a research active medical workforce.
Championing research culture
Those already involved in research have an equal role to play in providing support to colleagues who want to be more involved. The RCP has published a series of blogs by academics and doctors about the value of research activities.