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OUH completes team to support nurse, midwife and AHP research

This article is more than one year old.

Oxford University Hospitals has completed the appointment of roles to support nurses, midwives and allied health professionals (NMAHPs) to develop their careers in research.

The new appointments include a Deputy Director of Nursing and Midwifery Research and Innovation, four divisional NMAHP research leads and a lead for nursing, midwifery and allied health professional clinical research delivery.

"We're delighted to have made these important research leadership appointments. They represent a decisive step towards strengthening our research infrastructure that will support research delivery and research capability and capacity building by NMAHPs across the Trust," said OUH Chief Nursing Officer Sam Foster.

"We are determined to give NMAHPs across the Trust the means to develop their career in research, because this will result in better care for our patients. These new roles will provide the support and guidance required to make it happen."

The new appointments are:

Dr Louise Strickland
Deputy Director of Nursing and Midwifery Research and Innovation

Dr Sarah Vollam
NMAHP research lead, Medicine, Rehabilitation and Cardiac Division

Dr Clair Merriman
NMAHP research lead, Surgery, Women's and Oncology Division

Dr Sheera Sutherland
NMAHP research lead, Clinical Support Services and Corporate Divisions 

Dr Louise Stayt
NMAHP research lead, Neurosciences, Orthopaedics, Trauma, Specialist Surgery, Children's and Neonates Division 

Sandie Wellman
Lead for NMAHP Clinical Research Delivery

Prof Helen Walthall, OUH Director of Nursing and Midwifery Research and Innovation, said: "I'm really excited to have this team in place - it's an infrastructure that will cover all aspects of research delivery and development. All the people we've appointed have a strong track record in research and are fantastic role models for aspiring NMAHP researchers."

"We want nurses, midwives and allied health professionals, who have so much face-to-face contact with patients, to have the opportunity to embark on a research career and to drive the day-to-day improvements that will result in better clinical care."

The Deputy Director role, which officially begins in January 2023, is being funded by the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), and the BRC's Clinical Academic Pathway is being used as a template for developing a similar pathway for NMAHPs at OUH.

The four Divisional research leads will split their time between OUH and the Oxford Institute of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Research (OxINMAHR) at Oxford Brookes University. These posts were created following an agreement for OUH to fund the appointment of the four new clinical academic roles by OxINMAHR.

They will support the development of an evidence-based workforce, help to establish and implement the clinical academic pathway and embed research capability within the OUH workforce.

They will also deliver research educational programmes, lead internship and fellowship applications, submit collaborative grant bids, and supervise research students.

The role of the Clinical Research Delivery Lead is to bring together the research teams that are funded by the NIHR and commercial partners. The person appointed to that role, Sandie Wellman, said: "I am delighted to be the first person to hold this post. My aim is to raise the profile of clinical research delivery staff, develop a career pathway for them and bring support and guidance to these already amazing teams. Working closely with OUH's Research and Development and clinical teams, our aim is to ensure that as many patients as possible, in as many clinical areas as possible, are offered the opportunity to take part in research.

"The increase in NMAHPs research is very exciting. Delivering high quality clinical trials is important for our patients both now and in the future, and it is vital that our research delivery teams are seen as an important part of the OUH workforce."

Read more about Dr Louise Strickland, OUH's first clinical academic nurse researcher.

Read more about Sheera Sutherland.

Pictured: Catherine Borg