Background There is a welcome and appropriate movement, encouraged by Hospice UK, towards increasing the role of research in palliative and end of life care.
Aim To enable Hospice Isle of Man to reposition as a Research Active Hospice.
Methods A survey was undertaken to ascertain the current level of research interest and awareness in Hospice Isle of Man.
Results to date The survey was completed by 25 staff and 45 volunteers. The majority (88%) of clinical staff had some research training but most had no recent opportunity to engage in research; over 70% agreed that research added value to their daily work but only 40% were confident in their critical appraisal skills. As a result further training e.g. in critical appraisal skills within journal clubs is being initiated. Amongst the volunteers 22% were identified to have research skills but very few were actively engaged in research. These volunteers will be invited to participate in future projects. Funding from the Scholl Foundation and the Manx Lottery Trust has enabled research staff to be recruited and has facilitated protected time for some clinical staff to participate in research with peer support and skill sharing in, for example, developing outcome measurements, appropriate analyses and interpretation of data and considering how the value of routine data can be improved. Initial uncertainty about the role of research and researchers is gradually being replaced with appreciation of their support in enhancing research awareness and activity among staff.
Conclusion Hospice Isle of Man had a low level of research activity however a step-change has been achieved by utilising existing skills and interests of the clinical staff. Key drivers were obtaining funding for protected research time for key clinical staff and employing experienced researchers to support and complement the clinical staff to develop an active research culture.
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