Research Design and Conduct Service (RDCS)

RDCS SE Wales: Year In Review Supporting Research Capacity Development In Wales

Supporting Staff In The NHS And Social Care In Wales To Develop Their Own Research

The Research Design and Conduct Service (RDCS) South East Wales is part of the All Wales RDCS and supports staff working within the National Health Service and social care to develop high quality research funding proposals.The RDCS is funded by Welsh Government through Health and Care Research Wales. Here our Director, Sue Channon, reflects on a varied and productive 12 months from April 2017 to March 2018.

In April 2017, we said goodbye to Mark Kelson who moved to Exeter University and I took on the Director role from Kerry Hood. By October 2017 we had our new team formed, all working part time in the RDCS; Philip Pallmann (Deputy Director RDCS SE Wales and Consultant), Kim Smallman, Claire Nollett (Consultants), Mark Odgers (administration) and Richard Haggerty (Communications Officer).

RDCS Run Events

We delivered three events for health and social care practitioners: In May 2017, we ran the “Early Ideas” event to introduce some of the basic aspects of developing a research question from an idea to a proposal. The September 2017 event focused on different aspects of making a research funding application. In November 2017, we ran a three-day writing retreat, attended by 16 delegates from 5 NHS–led teams.

Presenting And Attending Events Nationally

Throughout the year, we attended a range of events to raise awareness of the consulting service available, meet delegates and answer questions: The Health Board R&D conferences (Cardiff and Vale UHB & Aneurin Bevan UHB in June, Cwm Taf UHB in November) the Health and Care Research Wales Annual Event, Cardiff and Vale Nursing and Midwifery conference, the opening of the Paediatric Clinical Research Facility in September 2017 and the Wales School for Social Care Conference in February 2018. We worked with different specialties, responding to their requests for information and support to enable research capacity building. This included presenting our service at the Cardiff and Vale Orthopaedic Directorate meeting and providing a group research consultation session to the Welsh Blood Service.

A Busy 12 Months

We received a total of 103 requests for support from individual practitioners in Health and Social Care of which 91 were employees of the six Health Boards for which we provide the RDCS lead. From those requests for support 22 individuals have gone on to submit a research funding application. We are waiting to hear about seven applications that have made it to the final stage of the Health and Care Research Wales Research for Patient and Public Benefit and Social Care Grant schemes. In the year from April 2017 to March 2018 we heard about six applications that were successful totalling £1,493,090. These ranged from applications for relatively small pots of funding e.g. from the Intensive Care Foundation to substantial funding from the NIHR Health Technology Assessment funding stream.