Our vision for research in the NHS – Association of Medical Research Charities – 15 May 2013

Posted on May 20, 2013. Filed under: Research | Tags: , |

Our vision for research in the NHS – Association of Medical Research Charities – 15 May 2013

Healthcare professionals recognise value of NHS supporting medical research

“But they are less sure of their own role in improving patient care through research

Results of a survey of healthcare professionals released today (15 May), commissioned by some of the UK’s leading medical research charities*, highlight the practical challenges to be overcome if the NHS is to become an innovative research organisation driving improvements  in patient care.

The survey carried out by ComRes with 392 GPs, hospital doctors and nurses, showed universal agreement among them that the NHS should support research into treatments for patients. However 91% of those surveyed identified barriers they had experienced to taking part in research – including lack of time (62%), funding (30%), practical support (27%) and difficulties navigating regulation (24%) were among the reasons given.

And although a majority of GPs believed it is very important for the NHS to support research into treatments for their patients, only 22% felt it was very important for them to be personally involved. Lack of time was a key issue for GPs, with nearly three quarters (73%) naming it as the biggest barrier to preventing them from getting involved in research.  As the majority of NHS contact with patients is made in general practice, GPs can play a vital role in engaging patients in research, conducting innovative research themselves and facilitating research though commissioning.

Among all health professionals, around a fifth (18%) felt they did not have the necessary skills to get involved in research and some reported a lack of confidence in talking about research with their patients, with a third of nurses (31%) and GPs (34%) not very or not at all confident. And whilst many resources exist for clinicians about medical research and how to be involved, a fifth of healthcare professionals (20%) did not use any of the tailored information resources available.

Patients can be part of the solution here. We know from other studies** that the public are keen to be involved in research, yet the majority (53%) of health professionals told us that they are asked by their patients about research opportunities less than once a year, if at all.”

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