The Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) has appointed four Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals (NMAHPs) to take part in a pilot programme to develop their research skills and knowledge.
Each appointee will spend five months working on a digital health research project in a BRC research theme. They will support research into the use of remote consultations and contribute to a Trust-wide evaluation of remote clinics at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH).
The NMAHPs will also receive training and support from a team of experienced mentors to help them develop their own research skills and knowledge to ensure they are in a position to be able to apply for further funding. The longer-term aims of the programme, which was awarded NIHR Research Capability Funding, are to develop a critical mass of NMAHP researchers in Oxford who will be able to act as research champions in clinical practice, and to support NMAHP practitioners to start on the clinical academic pathway.
The four NMAHP fellows are:
- Raluca Wagner is a nurse working on the Adult Intensive Care Unit (AICU). Raluca has a passion for research, having conducted a usability study as part of her MSc nursing degree, which was awarded an exceptional 100%. Raluca’s drive to incorporate research into practice has helped her work with the AICU in developing a new link role, Research Ambassador. In this role, Raluca organises and facilitates monthly Journal Clubs and assists the team in any quality improvements or research projects on the unit.
- Emilia Bartram is a senior physiotherapist working in neurological rehabilitation at the Oxford Centre for Enablement. She has championed the development of therapy support workers and has undertaken a number of quality improvement projects, most recently looking into upper limb oedema management.
- Nicola Fernandez is a senior dietician working in renal services at the Churchill Hospital. She has completed an MSc by research and is passionate about the role of nutrition in haemodialysis (HD). Nicky undertook an observational study looking at factors affecting hand grip strength during the course of HD.
- Joanna Snowball is a senior dietician working in the cystic fibrosis service at the John Radcliffe Hospital. Jo is champion of quality improvement and has recently completed training with the OUH QI Hub. In 2019, Jo was awarded the prestigious title of OUH AHP of the year.
The programme is jointly led by Dr Helen Walthall, Director of Nursing and Midwifery Research and Innovation at OUH, and Prof Sarah Rowland-Jones, Academic Lead for Education and Training within the Oxford BRC. It is additionally supported by Prof Trish Greenhalgh, international expert in remote consultations and BRC Theme Lead for Partnerships for Health, Wealth and Innovation, and Megan Morys-Carter, Director of Oxfordshire’s health and care digital transformation catalyst, TheHill.
Dr Helen Walthall said, “I am delighted to be working with the new fellows. We hope that this programme will play a key role in developing NMAHP research capability and capacity across Oxford as well as expanding NMAHP clinical academic career opportunities within the BRC.”