Success stories

Our success stories are case studies of initiatives that successfully engaged people in research and promoted research within organisations. Some of these success stories are easily replicable, and some are supposed to inspire people to try to implement their own innovative reforms that may not have been tried before. 

Generating a research culture

Staff at Nottingham University Hospitals describe how they encourage clinical staff to become research aware and active.

Kingston Hospital: From a good hospital to a hospital that’s good at research

In 2014, Kingston was rated as a CHKS top 40 hospital and top amongst the five most efficient, but rated ‘worst performing research trust' out of 12 in the South London Clinical Research Network (CRN). This was largely due to a lack of infrastructure, and a hospital and staff that were not prepared for research. 

Since 2014, Kingston Hospital has implemented reforms and initiatives that have overcame a lot of these barriers. 

Read more: Kingston Hospital: From a good hospital to a hospital that's good at research

How engagement and collaboration has generated enthusiasm for research in the West Midlands

In 2014, the Supportive and Palliative Care Research team of the West Midlands Clinical Research Network and St. Richard’s Hospice, Worcester embarked on a 'Research Ready' pilot. The pilot helped the West Midlands Clinical Research Network to discover new ways of working, to develop its own model of support for non-NHS organisations, and to access a previously unused research population. 

The success of this pilot illustrates how engagement and collaboration can generate enthusiasm for research, and empower organisations to embrace the changes required to become research active. 

Read more: How engagement and collaboration has generated enthusiasm for research in the West Midlands

Changing the mindset of a trust to embed a research culture

Andrew Harewood, Head of Research and Clinical Effectiveness at Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, says "In order to engage staff (in research), we need to change the mindset of the organisation overall and embed research into the organisation at all levels."

In the film below, Andrew explains how non-research clinicians are interested in quality improvement but are put off by the term research. To overcome this the trust put on an annual 'Quality improvement, research and innovation conference' which has generated a new enthusiasm for research in the trust. 

Engaging with non-research NHS care staff and managers: A midwife engagement initiative

The research midwives in Newcastle had identified that, despite their best efforts, out of hours recruitment to studies was never optimal. Over a period of 12 months, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust piloted an initiative that meant that a research midwife was present for the delivery suite handovers at the beginning and end of each day. This enabled the research midwife to remind doctors and midwives about the studies, and to identify the women who were potentially eligible. It also allowed the research midwife to explain the recruitment process on a one to one basis, which gave staff the confidence to recruit in emergency situations.

This initiative increased the confidence of staff, and increased recruitment to studies. Read this success story here - Engaging with non-research NHS care staff and managers: A midwife engagement initiative

Integrating research into clinical care

Staff at Nottingham University Hospitals describe some of the ways they integrate research into clinical care.

Newcastle bone and joint tissue collection, theatre engagement

The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust musculoskeletal department collects bone and joint tissue samples from patients undergoing hip or knee replacement surgery as part of ongoing research within the musculoskeletal department. Patients are recruited for this trial on the day of surgery, so this initiative engaged with surgical staff to improve their knowledge and training to make them more comfortable in recruiting patients and signposting them to the research. 

This initiative improved efficiency, as well as the quality of the samples received, whilst reducing the number of missed samples.

Read more: Engaging with non-research NHS care staff and managers: Newcastle bone and joint tissue collection, theatre engagement

Newcastle Early Arthritis Clinic: Better together - research and clinical teams

The Newcastle Early Arthritis clinic provides rapid access to assessment and treatment for patients referred with suspected inflammatory arthritis as this is known to give them the best possible chance of achieving disease remission. They also gain awareness of their condition and are given the opportunity to participate in research by recruitment into the Early Arthritis Cohort and other studies. 

This initiative saw the service become fully integrated, which increased the capacity for research and led to even better treatment for patients.

Read more: Newcastle Early Arthritis Clinic: Research and Clinical Teams - Better Together 

Research Champions Initiative in a Children’s Research Unit

In early 2015, the children’s research team at  the Great North Children’s Hospital identified that staff working within busy clinical areas often struggled to engage with research. An initiative was developed to identify research ‘champions’ in each of the clinical areas. 

There is now a 'research champion' in every clinical area in the Great North Children’s Hospital, along with regular meetings on research. The Children's Hospital's induction now has a regular slot on research, which is helping to embed research within the organisation at all levels. 

Read more: Engaging with non-research NHS care staff and managers: Research Champions Initiative in a Children’s Research Unit

Expanding awareness of recruitment to research

Helen Hanson, Senior Research Nurse at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, explains how an initiative to make clinicians more aware of recruitment to research worked, and how it succeeded. 

Research for patient benefit

 Staff at Nottingham University Hospitals describe the benefit to patients of being a research active trust.

Becoming a research active clinician

Staff at Nottingham University Hospitals describe how they became research active

Why getting involved in research can help your development, and make a difference with patient care

Gemma McCalmont, specialist Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) nurse, explains why she got involved in research and how she engaged her colleagues with research in the video success story below:

Integrating research into routine nursing care 

Mark Hammonds, Senior Charge Nurse, Coronary Care Unit at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, explains how he got involved in research and how he engaged his colleagues in research in the video success story below: