Background The need for research is a priority area in palliative care. An evidence based approach is needed to address the inevitable challenges in a population that will require supportive care towards the end of their lives (Gomes & Higginson, 2008). It is important we continue to develop and evaluate ways of improving the care of people with terminal illness.
Aims Secondment of two local members of staff has allowed our hospice to benefit from an onsite research team. This has given patients, relatives and staff the opportunity to participate in research. We aim to improve care for our patients and hope to provide a foundation for future research projects within the hospice setting.
Method Secondment of staff was achieved using local and national funding, allowing a doctor and nurse to commence the role of clinical research fellow. They were provided with training and mentorship to ensure good understanding of their roles prior to recruitment of patients. A training programme was developed for staff and research update events were instigated, giving staff educational opportunities and freedom to voice their questions and concerns.
Results There is developing evidence which demonstrates that patients are keen to be involved in palliative care research (Henderson et al., 2005; Nwosu et al., 2013), which we have observed with our data collection to date. We hope to build and advance the evidence base.
Conclusion Development of the local research roles provides an excellent foundation to build upon, enabling future research projects to be conducted within the hospice setting. We hope that this will encourage other professionals in palliative care to consider participating in research. We hope researchers, funders and policy makers will be encouraged as participation in research will help to identify, and address, patient-centred priorities at the end-of-life (Nwosu, 2013). Investment in palliative care research is required to generate the evidence which will improve the care delivered to patients at the end-of-life (Sleeman et al., 2012).