Intended for healthcare professionals


Engaging NHS staff in research

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 17 June 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l4040
  1. Jill Maben, professor of health services research and nursing1,
  2. Angela King, patient advocate and carer2
  1. 1School of Health Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, UK
  2. 2London, UK
  1. Correspondence to: J Maben j.maben{at}

Wider participation is vital to improve patient care

Calls by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) for more research in NHS trusts and the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) decision to award extra points to trusts doing research, seem to signal a new era for research in the NHS.

The RCP statement Delivering Research for All1 says every NHS clinician should be supported to take part in research. Highlighting evidence that research active trusts have better patient outcomes, the college calls for protected time for doctors, nurses, and other clinicians to undertake research. In collaboration with the National Institute for Health Research, the CQC will add questions to the leadership inspection framework for providers (the well led framework) that recognise the role of research in high quality patient care and strengthen the assessment of research activity.23

An increase in research capacity is welcome, but there are serious challenges to implementation. Substantial change, some might say a revolution, will be required in the way research is conducted in the NHS.

A report by RAND …

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