At UCLH, many of our healthcare professionals conduct practice-related research, evidence-based practice developments and quality improvement projects, which impact on patient care. Some staff present and publish their work externally but there is always a delay between completing work and achieving these external publications and presentations. So, our latest endeavour is to launch an internal UCLH journal, which will lead to much earlier and wider dissemination within the Trust, with potential for further practice developments, collaborations and a wider impact on patient care. We have an enthusiastic editorial board and we are working on material: short articles about current research, quality improvement and evidence-based practice developments, case reports and summaries of new evidence-based guidelines. Our journal will also celebrate UCLH staff achievements: master’s degree/PhD completions with dissertation/thesis topics, research funding application success, fellowships/scholarship awards, professional recognition awards and UCLH staff external publications. We are really excited about our new venture, which will raise the profile of nurse, midwife and AHP-led research in the Trust and inspire other staff to engage in research more.
One of the ways that we raise the profile of research activity at UCLH is our annual Research in Clinical Practice conference, which we held yesterday. We started with a marketplace tour of poster presenters – these increase visibility of our nurse and midwife led research in the Trust and there was a great buzz with lots of enthusiastic discussions. I was delighted that a UCLH nurse and a midwife who both completed PhDs in 2016 presented their research to the conference. Both conducted mixed methods studies and their results will lead to further research and care improvements. We ran two sets of workshops covering research skills, research careers, research ethics and governance, publishing and patient and public involvement. The Florence Nightingale Foundation stand and other exhibitors were popular and we offered research surgeries too. The feedback slips were full of enthusiasm for the conference so all our efforts feel worthwhile.
This is my last blog as I will leave my Florence Nightingale Foundation chair post at the end of April. I have worked with wonderful and inspiring colleagues at London South Bank University, UCLH, UCL and the Florence Nightingale Foundation – I will miss you all! I was privileged to be the first FNF Chair in post but I was soon joined by other Chairs, thus forming a UK-wide network. Whilst we have varied research interests, we all share a passion for nursing/midwifery and for research, and we are all committed to supporting and inspiring others to engage in research that will impact on patient care. I will finish by thanking Prof Elizabeth Robb, LSBU Deans (Prof Judith Ellis and then Prof Warren Turner) and UCLH Chief Nurses (Prof Katherine Fenton and then Flo Panel-Coates) for making the post happen and their ongoing support for this unique role. I won’t be that far away – I will be at the Open University, working on nursing education and research with a new set of colleagues.