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New research impact tool to be trialled in Yorkshire and Humber

Date: 01 June 2018

How can researchers capture and show the impact of their research in NHS organisations?

It is a question with which the research community wrestles on a daily basis.

Now, NHS Trusts working on a joint venture with two NIHR bodies in Yorkshire and Humber are hoping VICTOR holds the key to solving the riddle.

VICTOR - making Visible The Impact of Research - is a resource being developed to allow Trusts to capture and show how research projects at their sites have had an impact. Information will be captured in 6 different key fields:

  • Knowledge generation and exchange
  • Patient and carer experience
  • Service and workforce changes such as changes to guidelines or new staff skills
  • Research profile and capacity building which enables the organisation to be better placed to do more research in future
  • Influence, such as having a reputation for high quality research
  • Economic impact such as cost savings

The project is co-funded by CRN Yorkshire and Humber and the region’s CLAHRC.

Project leads have been working with 10 local NHS trusts to determine how the tool will work and ensure that relevant information is captured and shared in a clear way. 

Judith Holliday, Head of Research and Innovation at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, is a research fellow the project. She explained why it was important to the NHS.

“It can be hard to identify and show the impact of research in an NHS trust,” she said. “Despite the obvious benefits of doing research, such as better quality of care and improved staff recruitment and retention, it’s sometimes difficult to have the right information to share in a clear and understandable way about the difference research can make in a Trust. Particularly when this is set against how busy the NHS is treating patients.

“We have been speaking to colleagues across the region, studied the research impact literature, and we now have some case studies which show how research has made positive differences to patients and the organisation itself at two NHS trusts.”

Those two trusts are Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, with more to case studies to come in trusts across Yorkshire and Humber.

“As well as highlighting the reasons why research is important to the NHS, Victor can be used to inspire researchers and NHS sites about the types of impacts that could be planned into new research studies,” added Judith.

Amanda Tortice, Chief Operating Officer at the CRN Yorkshire and Humber, said: “Impact has to go hand-in-hand when we’re looking at the effectiveness of our research.

“We’re excited by the potential of this project and hope that VICTOR will have the key to making research impact in the NHS more visible.”

Jo Cooke, Capacity Lead at CLAHRC Yorkshire and Humber, added: “It’s been really insightful, and exciting, co-producing the VICTOR tool with senior managers in NHS trusts. It helps to capture where research can make a difference to patients, staff and services, and strengthens the message that research should be core business for the NHS.”

Judith presented the VICTOR project at the 2018 Annual NHS R&D Forum at the Celtic Manor resort in Wales on 14 May.

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    How can VICTOR hold the key to solving the riddle of measuring research impact?
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