Pharmacy Research Wales And All Wales Research Design And Conduct Service (RDCS) Event
On the 14th June 2018 Pharmacy Research Wales joined forces with the Research Design and Conduct Service (RDCS) to deliver the first All Wales Pharmacy research ideas study day for the Health Board Pharmacy Research Leads and Pharmacy researchers. Fifteen Pharmacists from seven Health Boards met with members of the three Research Design and Conduct Services (South East, South West, North & Mid Wales) for a study day focussing on the development of practitioner-led Pharmacy research, building capacity for research funding applications.
Sarah Hiom Welcome
Sarah Hiom, All Wales Specialist Pharmacist – R&D, welcomed everyone and set the day in context: She described how, following the 2015 Pharmacy Research Wales 5-year strategy document “A Pathway to leadership in multi-disciplinary health and care research”, one of the tasks of the Research Strategy Implementation Group (RSIG) is to engage with organisations whose role it is to build research capacity. Alongside other research capacity and capability building activities such as encouraging Pharmacists to apply for funding through the RCBC first into research schemes, and looking to develop funded PhD opportunities, RSIG contacted the Research Design and Conduct Service (RDCS) to discuss collaborative working. These discussions led to this shared event aimed at giving practitioner pharmacists time, space and support to work on research ideas potentially suitable for funding.
A Healthier Wales
Berwyn Owen, Chief Pharmacist at Betsi Cadwaladr UHB, who video-conferenced in from Bangor, underlined the importance of research, its position at the heart of the journey from data to professional judgment and the fit with Pharmacy Wales priorities. He encouraged everyone to read the new Welsh government report “A Healthier Wales” which sets out the priorities for health and social care going forward.
Delyth James, Principal Lecturer in Health Psychology at Cardiff Metropolitan University, rounded off the introduction by talking about the journey from practitioner to researcher and highlighted 10 key messages as part of that journey including starting small, engaging with academic colleagues early in the development of your ideas, building a track record, the importance of working relationships and working with colleagues from other disciplines.
Role of the Research Design and Conduct Service (RDCS)
Sue Channon, Director of RDCS South East Wales, outlined the role of the RDCS, providing advice to Health and Social Care practitioners who are looking to submit research funding applications and she also described some of the infrastructure including the role of Clinical Trials Units across Wales. The RDCS consultants introduced themselves; Rachel Evans (RDCS North and Mid Wales), Claire O’Neill (RDCS South West Wales) Claire Nollett and Philip Pallmann (RDCS South East Wales). Sue then described her route from full time NHS Clinical Psychologist to her role now in the RDCS and Centre for Trials Research at Cardiff University, using her experience to illustrate the different ways in which it is possible for allied health professionals to develop funded research activity alongside an NHS job.
Presenting Research Ideas
Having set the scene, the work on research ideas began: Each Health Board team presented their research idea that they wanted to work on and then across two facilitated sessions each idea was explored and developed in discussion with their local RDCS consultants, with other practitioners joining the discussions that they felt they had most to contribute to or learn from. There was real diversity in the ideas presented including engaging the public about the provision of pharmacy services, the impact of prescribing medication in adult Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), the role of the Pharmacist in various settings including primary care, nursing practices in care homes and the effectiveness of repeat prescribing. The teams concluded their work by developing an action plan based on the consultation and setting themselves some priorities to take their ideas forward.
There was a great energy in the group and the written feedback provided at the end of the day was overwhelmingly positive with an average satisfaction rating of 9/10. The main aspects of the day people felt had been most helpful were the RDCS consultations, having focused time to discuss ideas, networking and developing a supportive pharmacy research community and general information about funding. Feedback on the types of activities the Pharmacists would find most helpful in the future included similar research study days, following up and consolidating the ideas discussed, more information about funding and the practicalities of writing an application with some worked through examples. Each team had an action plan to take their ideas forward so it will be good to follow up on these and the feedback from the day will also help the RSIG plan for their future activities.