Nurses, midwives and allied health professionals (NMAHPs) at Newcastle Hospitals are to benefit from an unprecedented, multi-million pound award from Newcastle Hospitals Charity.
The major grant will see the imminent introduction of an exclusive new Institute, dedicated to the progression of research talent amongst their NMAHPs and offers a new, innovative avenue to drive forward professional research.
As well as providing greater access to dedicated funding, the Institute will support staff throughout, enabling substantial flexibility and autonomy as they establish and spearhead research alongside their clinical practice, bringing about huge benefits for both patients and colleagues.
“This incredibly generous grant is fantastic news and will help us drive forward our innovative vision to introduce a unique Research Institute, harnessing the potential of our growing research active community,” explains Executive Chief Nurse, Maurya Cushlow.
“Having access to targeted support, relevant expertise and dedicated funding, means our NMAHPs can benefit from a truly unique springboard, helping them develop and launch their research ambitions.”
Finite source of funding
There is a finite source of funding for research and limited flexible opportunities to develop research alongside clinical practice for NMAHPs. Whilst Newcastle has a reputation for attracting national research funding and fellowships, success is not always guaranteed.
Thanks to this major award from Newcastle Hospitals Charity, Newcastle’s new NMAHP Research Development Institute will support hundreds more staff to turn their research ideas and aspirations into reality, reducing the well-established challenges associated with developing clinical academic careers.
The award, over the next five years, will provide a range of dedicated clinical academic fellowships from pre- to post-doctoral and will address a range of less visible complexities associated with making space for research within busy clinical roles.
Not only will this new funding source provide greater security, it will provide increased flexibility and more options for NMAHPs in addition to the current prestigious national opportunities available.
Jill Baker is a Non-Executive Director of the Trust and chairs its Charity Committee. She says: “The Charity is here to help our hospitals to go further by providing financial support for innovative healthcare, education and research initiatives, especially where other funding opportunities are limited. Keeping Newcastle at the forefront of global healthcare innovation and research is a key part of this, and we want to open up research opportunities to as wide a range of the Trust’s staff as possible.
“This grant will open the door for a huge number of our NMAHPs to benefit from and contribute to a wide range of patient-focused research initiatives, the effects of which will be felt locally, nationally, and globally for years to come.”
“Making Research Matter”
Newcastle’s announcement comes hot on the heels of the launch of the Chief Nursing Officer for England, Ruth May’s “Making Research Matter” plan and the Health Education England Allied Health Professions’ Research and Innovation Strategy for England.
Both strategies set out clear national ambitions to enable research active cultures and develop capacity and capability, empowering NMAHPs to lead and embed research within their clinical practice.
Linda Tinkler leads the Nursing, Midwifery and AHP Research capacity building agenda at Newcastle Hospitals. She says “Our work in recent years has been focused entirely on listening to our NMAHPs, then seeking to develop and put in place the structures and support required to address their research capacity building needs.
“This much welcomed investment is a true demonstration of the commitment to this agenda and will enable us to support so many NMAHPs to make their ambitions a reality.”
Established track record
Newcastle Hospitals has an established track record of leading ground-breaking clinical research and is a nationally recognised leader in the development and delivery of National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) portfolio studies, and NMAHP clinical academic careers.
The generation of research by NMAHPs is vital in advancing, informing and improving clinical and professional practice and policy, offering direct benefits to patients whilst shaping decision making. Newcastle’s new Researcher Development Institute provides huge potential to build on this further, and will contribute to continuous growth in research capacity.
Joint Clinical Academic Professor of Nursing, Annette Hand, adds “This is such an exciting time for any NMAHP who wishes to be more engaged with research.
This funding award not only links clearly to the national direction of travel, it is reflective of other relevant work streams across the Trust, from our Research Strategy, launched in 2021, to our forthcoming NMAHP strategy, incorporating a dedicated research focus.”