A recent report by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), ‘ Benefiting from the research effect’, sets out the advantages to the NHS of encouraging clinicians to participate in research and how NHS Trusts can engender a strong research culture. This follows on from similar campaigns by the National Institute for Health Research, the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges & Faculties in Scotland.
Patients in research-active institutions have better outcomes and are more likely to benefit from earlier access to new treatments, technologies and approaches.
For more complex conditions, such as brain tumours, participation in research can provide patients with a sense of purpose, empowerment and pride.
For senior doctors, whilst the NHS Consultant Contract allocates dedicated time to undertake research, many clinicians cite a range of barriers, including time constraints and financial pressures, that prevent them from carrying this out. We know that neurosurgeons, in particular, are facing increased workloads from not only a rising incidence of primary and secondary brain tumours but also work in a specialism that sees them perform surgery for a range of disorders. For them, protected time for clinical research is essential.
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