The WWL Way
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WWL Shortlisted for HSJ Progressive Research Culture Award

Newsdate: 04 December 2012

We are thrilled to announce that WWL made the shortlist for a national award that recognises the excellence and progress made in their research culture. The Health Service Journal (HSJ) awards recognise the importance that research plays in developing better patient care and rewards those who have made significant progress in their clinical research activity organisation-wide. Over 120 Trusts entered the ‘Progressive Culture’ award, so even though we narrowly missed out winning an award being shortlisted was a great achievement.

At the end of 2009/10, WWL research activity involved just 2% of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) portfolio studies. Recruiting just 30 patients over 12 months, the studies focused on one or two disease areas. To raise the profile of research and drive forward innovation in patient care, the Trust recognised that major changes to the way research was approached at WWL would be needed.

Over the past twelve months huge improvements has been made. An enthusiastic research and development leadership team is now in place, which has led to a more research-focused and innovation-friendly culture amongst staff. It was recognised that staff needed to be fully supported and trained in order to conduct research effectively. Easily accessible and clear processes and policies have been put in place. Presentations on the importance of research were introduced to junior doctors’ training sessions and the Trust began taking part in the quarterly Steering Group for Professional Development Days. Workshops to help staff develop and take forward their ideas on improving research were also arranged.

Christine Birchall, Head of Research and Development said:  “We are delighted to have made the HSJ shortlist, it’s a great way to formally recognise the hard work that all of our staff have put in to drive improvements in our research offering. The new approaches we’ve made have had very positive results and staff and patients now feel more engaged with both the idea and the practice of medical research. Patients also now have access to new drugs that are not routinely available as a result of more commercial trials in place and this has greatly enhanced their feeling of wellness.”

Patient recruitment for clinical trials stands at 615 2011/12 and 55% of the Trusts studies are now registered on the NIHR portfolio; a huge improvement from 2009/10. Patients have also begun to self-refer via their Consultant, which shows how attitudes towards research have changed.

WWL is now recognised as a Trust that carries out cutting-edge medical research, whose patients and staff are at the forefront of developing new treatments and methodology which will ultimately result in better patient outcomes.