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UK Palliative trainees Research Collaborative (UK-PRC): the first 5 years – 0–100 study sites
  1. Donna Wakefield1,2,
  2. Simon Noah Etkind3,
  3. Lucy Bemand-Qureshi4,5,
  4. Anna Sutherland6,
  5. Jonathan Koffman7,
  6. Felicity Dewhurst8,9,
  7. Simon Noble10 and
  8. Charlotte Chamberlain11
  9. On behalf of the UKPRC
  1. 1North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, Stockton-Upon-Tees, UK
  2. 2Alice House Hospice, Hartlepool, UK
  3. 3Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK
  4. 4Redbridge Macmillan Specialist Community Palliative Care Team, London, UK
  5. 5Barking Havering and Redbridge Hospitals NHS Trust, Romford, UK
  6. 6Strathcarron Hospice, Denny, UK
  7. 7Hull York Medical School, Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre, Hull, UK
  8. 8Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  9. 9St Oswald's Hospice, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK
  10. 10Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Centre, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
  11. 11University of Bristol Faculty of Health Sciences, Bristol, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Donna Wakefield, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, Stockton-Upon-Tees TS19 8PE, UK; donna.wakefield1{at}


Objectives Palliative care research suffers from underfunding and a workforce spread across multiple settings leading to a lack of large-scale studies. To facilitate multisite research and audit we set up the UK Palliative trainees Research Collaborative (UKPRC), the first national trainee-led audit and research collaborative in palliative care. Here, we critically review the progress and potential of the UKPRC since its inception in 2016, identifying key challenges and facilitators. Members of the UKPRC steering committee collaborated to write this reflection, reviewing existing evidence regarding trainee-led research collaboratives.

Findings The UKPRC has representation from 16/19 UK training regions. Projects are run by a core team; local collaborators collect data at each site. The collaborative is supported by academic leads and newly qualified consultants to develop a culture of continuous improvement in practice. We have conducted four national projects to date, including an audit covering 119 sites. Facilitators for our work include a focus on inclusivity and national representation; support from recently qualified consultants to ensure continuity; and taking a pragmatic approach, focusing initially on straightforward projects to build momentum. Challenges include the step from national audit to multisite, patient-facing research and maintaining continuity in a membership with high turnover.

Conclusions There is potential to change practice through large scale data collection via the trainee-led collaborative model. Collaboration is especially important in a small specialty with limited resources. The UKPRC has demonstrated ‘proof of concept’ and has the potential to support and sustain a culture where research can flourish within palliative care.

  • Education and training
  • Cancer
  • End of life care
  • Hospice care

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  • DW and SNE are joint first authors.

  • Twitter @DonnaWakefield_

  • Collaborators on behalf of UKPRC.

  • Contributors All contributed and agreed to the final version of the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Author note Twitter : @UK_PRC