Intended for healthcare professionals


The Stern review of the Research Excellence Framework

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: (Published 15 August 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4413

The Stern Review of the Research Excellence Framework: District General Hospitals are a wealthy source of Healthcare Research and Teaching.

I have found the article of Professor Hobbs very helpful. Having worked in a District General Hospital for the last 19 years, I wish to share with the readers a number of observations that I have made.

Although REF and TEF in relation to healthcare appear to mainly apply to the big centres -- i.e. the main Teaching and University Hospitals -- the role of the smaller hospitals should not be under-estimated in promoting research and training. The resource in promoting and managing research in such hospitals is much more modest and needs to be enhanced not only to support research and innovation but also to complement teaching that is already taking place in a much more tangible manner in these hospitals.

It is interesting that every single consultant who is being interviewed at a consultant advisory committee in the NHS has and will always be asked about their contribution and vision of education and research yet when they're appointed they become so overwhelmed with the demands of the service that research then becomes forgotten and appears to be regarded as an expensive luxury.

Competing interests: No competing interests

29 August 2016
Walid Al-Wali
Consultant Medical Microbiologist/Director for Infection Prevention and Control,former Medical Director (2001-2011).
The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust
Moorgate Road, Oakwood, Rotherham S60 2UD, UK