The publication "Research in palliative care: can hospices afford not to be involved", was presented at the 2013 Hospice UK (then Help the Hospices) Conference. Staff from the hospice who attended the conference returned inspired and determined to achieve the status 'research active hospice'. The journey from there to here has been a positive experience of learning and conquering the challenges encountered.
In becoming research active, we wanted to ensure we contribute to the evidence base underpinning palliative care provision nationally and locally to guarantee patients and their families receive the optimum care available.
A multi professional research group was established which developed a strategic approach. A proposal was produced and presented to the senior management team (SMT) outlining why research was vital in the organisation and including the group's strategy to move through the three levels outlined in the research framework for hospices.
SMT were overwhelmingly supportive of the hospice becoming research active and research was made part of the organisational strategy. Over the first year the hospice has:
Undertaken active recruitment into National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) portfolio and non-portfolio studies
Evolved a research policy
Addressed research governance
Developed journal clubs for clinical teams
Engaged clinical staff in research through specific research education.
Successfully recruited a research nurse, developing the role within the hospice environment.
In a very short time, we now consider ourselves to be a research active hospice, working at level 2 of the research framework and aiming to achieve level 3 in the future. Our achievements have been made possible through gaining the support of the whole organisation and the development of the research nurse role.
In our experience, participating in clinical research has enhanced multi-professional working and promoted innovation in clinical practice.
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