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New Head of Research at Buckinghamshire Healthcare

New head of research at Buckingham Healthcare

In this article, Nicola Bowers, new Head of Research at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, reflects on her career and plans for the role.

At this stage of my career, I am extremely excited to have this opportunity to be the Head of Research at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, to work alongside colleagues to establish the trust as the number one district general hospital for research activity and to promote an innovative culture achieving on the three strategic priorities investing in quality, people and money.

I am proud to have been working clinically within the NHS for the last 25 years. My nursing career started working for Professor Yacoub on the Heart and Lung Transplant Unit at Harefield Hospital. Since I qualified as a registered nurse in 1996, I have moved backwards and forwards between clinical and research roles. I spent an amazing year over the millennium nursing across Australia, gaining insight into indigenous communities whilst working alongside the flying medical team.

I have been married for over 20 years and my two greatest achievements are two beautiful young people, Bethany who is 20 and Alfie who is 16. I enjoy running each morning to plan my day and in my spare time I provide leadership, education and advice for pharmaceutical companies, medical legal advice as a nursing expert and primary care.

Collaborating with local universities and other groups of interest I am a Senior Research Fellow for Buckinghamshire New University and Heart Failure Clinical Researcher for the British Society of Heart Failure.

I believe that clinical research should be a prerequisite and a common thread throughout all health professionals’ job descriptions and the concept included in all student training programmes. This would enable all healthcare providers to apply a holistic approach to patient care, committed to equality, inclusiveness and diversity, help change the research culture and opinions of other healthcare providers, increase research activity and, most importantly, maximise and improve the treatment pathway for all our patients. I believe together as a team; it is possible to establish the NHS as an internationally recognised centre of research excellence.

To learn more about working in research, speak with your R&D team or visit the NIHR website.