Background The importance of undertaking clinical research has been reaffirmed by 95% of the public in a national survey (NIHR CRN, 2014). Yet, independent hospices often face challenges to conduct research partly due to different governance structures and procedures outside NHS organisations (Perkins et al., 2014). The Commission into the Future of Hospice Care highlighted the importance of research in hospices recommending how research could be implemented, including introduction of staff with ‘research’ in job titles and partnerships with universities (Payne et?al., 2013).
Aims Five hospices within one region in England have begun implementing research through appointing a research facilitator and a research practitioner. They aim to
facilitate collaboration between organisations
enhance research awareness among staff
support and develop new research projects within hospices
engage in others’ research.
Method The research posts have reached beyond their hospices. One belongs to the regional NIHR CRN and another has a formal link with a local university. In 2015, a local palliative care research group was set up, invited clinicians and academics to develop research and other related activity collaboratively. Both research facilitator and practitioner are members and facilitators of the group.
Results Reviewing the research strategy of the hospices has been initial work to reflect and standardise the research practices across hospices. Abundant information on research training, funding opportunities and research studies has also been widely shared amongst hospices. Excitingly, an upcoming annual local research day, the research group and research posts have allowed hospices to work collectively.
Conclusion Work within and between hospices is a stimulating opportunity to include wider pool of patients in research, extending the audience to comprehend the importance of research and increasing the evidence base for developing palliative care services. It is exhilarating to see research continuing to flourish across the region.
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