The following new initiatives are the result of collaborative working over the past 18 months between NHS Lothian and the three participating universities in CIHR.
The NMAHP Research Framework exists to establish and sustain a Lothian NMAHP research community. It represents collaboration between NHS Lothian and its three principal academic partners for NMAHP research:
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Care, Edinburgh Napier University
School of Health in Social Science, University of Edinburgh
School of Health Sciences, Queen Margaret University
The Framework has been developed following a two-day stakeholder event in November 2009 that involved approximately 100 NMAHPs - researchers, clinical staff and managers. From this a set of underpinning principles was established which will ensure that NMAHP research addresses NHS priorities and leads to direct improvements in patient care. A 12-point vision statement and action plan has been developed. This includes a focus on embedding research awareness and evidence-based practice into all NMAHP roles in the NHS, establishing clinical academic research career pathways at all levels, increasing the number of collaborative research studies and strengthening the influence that NMAHP researchers bring to wider decision-making, policy and practice development.
The CARC Scheme has been developed by the same partners and forms one strand of the Research Framework. It is the first scheme of its kind in Scotland and links into a national framework for clinical academic (research) careers that is being developed by NHS Education for Scotland (NES). Five years of funding has been secured from NHS Lothian R&D Office, the three universities and NES and this will lead to the creation of 6 x 0.5 wte new posts in 3 demonstration sites. Each demonstration site will have 2 posts - one will be an established researcher working at post-doctoral level and the second will involve registration for a 5 year part-time PhD (tuition fees funded). The posts will be half time clinical and half time research (only the research elements are newly funded) and embedded within NHS Lothian. Postholders will be required to focus on research issues that are a priority for NHS Lothian and which link in with academic expertise represented by the research groups within the partner universities. The aim is not only to develop research career opportunities but also to enhance the research culture for the service so that research is seen as integral to practice and leads to patient benefits. Applications will be invited following the launch on May 6th and it is hoped that the appointments will be made in the autumn.