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Building Heath Research Capacity: The Impact of a United Kingdom Collaborative Programme

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

Article number7
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/10/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice
Issue number4
Number of pages19
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Purpose: Strengthening research capacity (RC) amongst health professionals has both organisational and individual benefits. It can increase the quality of research and support the transfer of evidence into practice and policy. However there is little evidence on what works to develop and strengthen RC. This paper contributes to the evidence base by reporting findings from an evaluation of a programme that aimed to build capacity to use and do research amongst NHS and local authority organisations and their staff in a large English research partnership organisation. Methods: The evaluation used multiple qualitative methods including semi-structured interviews, focus groups and workshops (n=131 respondents including public advisers, university, NHS, and local government partners). Results: The RC building programme provided a range of development opportunities for NHS and local authority staff resulting in increased confidence and skills to undertake, participate in, and use research. Additionally, positive influences on organisational practice and collaborative working were reported. Conversely, challenges to developing research capacity were also identified as were the importance of resources, senior level buy-in, and the relevance of research topic to practice in facilitating participation in the programme. Conclusion: Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care North West Coast’s (CLAHRC-NWC) RC building programme differed from conventional approaches giving less emphasis to formal teaching and more to experiential learning and focusing on both individual capacities and supporting organisations to integrate RC building into staff development programmes. The findings demonstrate that providing opportunities for staff in NHS and local authority organisations to develop research knowledge and skills alongside an infrastructure that supports and encourages their participation in research can have positive impacts on research capacity and organisational research culture. The potential for generalising this approach to other organisational contexts is discussed.