Background/context Although children’s hospices have been present in the UK since the 1980s, there had been very little research undertaken about the population of children who may need these and other children’s palliative care services.
Aim Two senior members of the clinical team at Martin House Children’s Hospice were very keen for Martin House to become a research active organisation.
Approach used Martin House Children’s Hospice partnered with the Paediatric Epidemiology Group at the University of Leeds in 2008. Martin House provided funding and members of the Hospice staff are active members of the research team and this partnership still remains in place in 2015. This combination of clinical and research expertise have proved a powerful combination and the research group has completed several research projects.
Outcomes Hard outcomes: Within Martin House a Research subgroup of the Board of Trustees has been developed which reports to the main board. This subgroup has also developed a research strategy for the hospice.
The traditional academic outputs to date are: 10 journal papers in peer review journals, 5 external grants totalling ~£400,000, >20 conference abstract presentations, 10 invited presentations at national and international conferences. Other outputs include the citing of the evidence from these research studies in high profile policy documentation.
The impact of this partnership goes beyond these hard, measurable outcomes. There has been increased awareness and understanding of the importance of research within the hospice from the trustees to the care team. The academic team have benefitted from the clinical knowledge and contacts and other collaborations have developed.
Conclusions Martin House is now a research active organisation and the evidence base for children’s palliative care is beginning to grow as a result of this research partnership.
The benefits of a partnership model go beyond the commissioning/call for research model of funding research.
Application to hospice practice Other hospice (s) could use this model to become research active organisations
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