Research and development programme begins to biteBMJ 1997; 314 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.314.7079.461l (Published 15 February 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:461
Professor John Swales, director of the NHS research and development programme, tells Hilary Bower that the programme is starting to produce change in clinical practice but there is still a long way to go.
Professor John Swales, director of the NHS research and development programme for England and Wales, has a criterion for the programme's success that might puzzle high flyers of the research world. He wants the programme to be “almost overlooked.”
It should be such an integral, automatic part of the whole system that those who are making the decisions and all those who are carrying out the research simply assume its existence as part of the woodwork,” he explained. But despite growth of “dramatic rapidity,” Professor Swales, who succeeded Professor Sir Michael Peckham last year, said that much is still needed to achieve this deceptively modest goal.
In six years the NHS research and development programme has grown into a complex being. Ten national programmes designed to organise research in areas such as cardiovascular disease, mother and child health, and health technology are now in place, as is the UK Cochrane Centre, the NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination in York, …