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Local NHS trust funds vital research secondments

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Lincolnshire’s mental health and learning disabilities trust has been successful in its bid for regional funding to further support clinical research in Lincolnshire.

The research team at Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT) bid for the money, with the aim of funding two nurses in early career researcher secondments, flexible roles for those who want to take their first steps into research. The aim is that staff in these secondment positions would gain a thorough understanding of how to run research projects in the NHS and lead research into practice.

More than 26 applications from organisations across the region went forward to the innovation fund of the Clinical Research Network (CRN) East Midlands, with LPFT’s bid being just one of a handful of those successful. 

The two Lincolnshire nurses taking their first steps into research are Marie Rawdon, Nurse Specialist for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in Grantham, and Karen Ward, Nurse in the Rochford Unit, a specialist assessment and treatment unit in Boston for older adults experiencing complex mental health related problems.

Marie is funded for two days a week, with one of these days spent with the Lincoln Institute for Health (LIH). Her review will be based on body image disturbance in adolescents and she will be supported in this work by Professor Martin Tovee, University of Lincoln and Dr Amulya Nadkarni, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, LPFT. Marie will also work with the LPFT research team learning how they deliver studies across Lincolnshire. Marie has already taken a lead on a clinical study and is busy recruiting staff in the Trust to take part.

Marie said:

For me, research is the foundation of everything we do. Every best outcome for patient care is based on evidence from research. I’m so excited to have the opportunity to join the research team, and I hope to inspire as many people as possible to engage in research activities.

Karen is funded for one day a week, also working at the LIH completing systematic review training and working on her review to go forward for publication. Karen’s review will be based on National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) standards for mental health in care homes; Karen will be supported during her secondment by Professor Mo Ray, University of Lincoln, Dr Ban Al-Kaissy and Dr Vijayendra Waykar, Consultant Psychiatrists, LPFT.

Karen said:

I have always enjoyed studying but I also like to be on the frontline, providing care at the Rochford Unit. This secondment has given me a great opportunity for professional development while remaining in my clinical area. I hope that my research can be applied threefold; to benefit service users, acknowledge the great care of LPFT staff and create financial savings for the Trust. As a nurse continual learning and professional developments are essential.

The Trust’s Research Coordinator, Tracy McCranor said:

I am delighted that we have been successful in our application for CRN EM Innovation Funding. Clinical research is a vital part of the NHS as it enables us to continue to improve current and future healthcare for our patients. Our staff are really interested in clinical academic development and this funding offers a chance to build research capacity.

It is a great example of working together to bring opportunities to the Trust – sincere thanks to the University of Lincoln, Lincoln Institute for Health and Clinical Research Network East Midlands for supporting us.

To find out more about the Trust’s research work, visit www.lpft.nhs.uk/research or follow their research team on Twitter @LPFTResearch.

Marie Rawdon and Karen Ward