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Case study: Setting up a Trust Research Council

Research Sister Subie Wurie shares the Trust's experience

In November 2022, research staff at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust started their exciting journey towards setting up their own Shared Decision-Making platform for direct
care staff to network, share ideas and be involved in decision making.

Twelve months later, the Research Council has become an established part of UHCW Research & Development.

Research Sister Subie Wurie, Chair of the Research Council, describes this unique experience and the
impact the Council has had so far: “We were inspired by the internationally acclaimed Pathway to Excellence® designation awarded to the Trust. The Pathway to Excellence® programme is a framework for nursing and midwifery excellence, focused on creating and sustaining a positive practice environment for UHCW staff.

"The initial response to the Research Council from staff was fantastic. We had interest from both clinical and non-clinical staff and swiftly arranged the first of our now monthly Research Council meetings."

Our Lead Nurse for Research, Nic Aldridge, is the Research Council Sponsor. This means he supports the Council from a management perspective, meeting regularly with Subie as the Council Chair for updates and to offer support.

In addition, every six weeks the Chairs or Deputy Chairs from each Shared Decision-Making Council attend the Nursing, Midwifery & Allied Health Professionals (NMAHP) Leadership Council Meeting.

This is chaired by the UHCW Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) and provides an excellent opportunity to provide an update from the Research Council and discuss any issues, whilst gaining valuable advice from the CNO and other Councils.

The first thing the Council wanted to tackle was improving the visibility of research within the Trust, to further grow involvement and help staff and patients to better understand the wide-ranging benefits research can offer.

Subie adds: "In May this year, we hosted our first Research in Your Area event which brought together clinical delivery research teams and researchers from different specialties to showcase a variety of research. Open to all UHCW staff and students, the event included several interactive stands and provided the opportunity for UHCW staff to talk to research teams, researchers, patients who have taken part in research and UHCW Patient Research Champions.

"The Research in Your Area event provided a fantastic opportunity for us to speak to UHCW staff about research and to advise them how they can get involved. We’re looking forward to holding our second event in November.

"In addition to this event, we have also conducted a Trust-wide survey which was designed to measure staff engagement with research. This baseline data has allowed us to identify any areas for improvement.

"We’re really excited to see what the future brings for the Research Council. We’re already planning to visit wards and clinical areas over the next few months to speak to colleagues about research. And there will be opportunities for staff in clinical areas to become ‘Research Ambassadors’ for their specialties providing an important link between patients, relatives and staff with research.

"The Research Council will continue to provide an important forum for staff to create partnerships and make important decisions about clinical practice, staff development and research.”

Find out about UHCW’s Pathway To Excellence ®