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RCP research: Driving collaboration

The RCP seeks to be a facilitator in research collaboration to provide support for physicians and the sector. You can find out more about the work we do through collaborations and how to get involved below.

To drive new collaborative ways for physicians to accelerate research for patient and public benefit we are: 

  • promoting opportunities to grow and translate evidence with partners in the health and innovation sectors 

  • building alliances to jointly tackle existing and urgent health and care challenges, such as health inequalities and multimorbidity 

  • sharing learning and best practice with NHS trusts on integrating research and clinical care. 

Promoting opportunities to grow and translate evidence

Through the work of our quality improvement and audit programmes, NEWS2 tool and the National Guideline Centre,  the RCP plays a direct role in driving research to improve patient care.

Building alliances to tackle urgent health and care challenges

The key benefit of clinical research is that the evidence it generates can be used to tackle urgent healthcare challenges. Through our alliances and partnerships with other organisations, we will be able to drive research that helps to tackle key issues like health inequalities and patients with multiple health conditions. 

Sharing learning and best practice with NHS trusts

There are many excellent examples of NHS trusts taking steps to successfully integrate research with clinical care, but too often this knowledge is not disseminated across the NHS. Part of the RCP’s role in driving research is to facilitate greater knowledge sharing across the NHS, including with UKRD, the NHS R&D Forum, NIHR and academic health science networks, so that more clinicians and leaders within NHS trusts know how they can support the delivery of patient-facing research activity. 

UKRD and NHS R&D Forum 

To support NHS trusts to become more research-active, the RCP works closely with the NHS R&D Forum and UKRD. These organisations represent those leading R&D departments and conducting research in trusts, and our relationship helps us to communicate the challenges facing RCP members who want to undertake research in the NHS, as well as allowing us to understand and communicate best practice across the NHS. 

NIHR Clinical Research Network

The NIHR Clinical Research Network is comprised of 15 local clinical research networks and 30 specialties who coordinate and support the delivery of high-quality research both by geography and therapy area. It provides a range of resources to support staff to be research active, such as specialist training, information systems to manage and report research, patient and public involvement and engagement initiatives. 

  • In November 2019, the RCP brought together clinicians, NHS leaders, patients, NIHR, HEE, funding organisations and medical schools to discuss how to embed research in NHS trusts to improve patient care. Presentations from the day can be viewed, as well as summaries of workshop discussions which considered protected time for clinicians, NHS trust culture and the credibility clinicians feel.