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R&D advice surgeries: do staff value them?

Following The Culyer Report into research and development (R&D) activities in the NHS, the Quality, Evaluation and Development (QED) Department of WakeŽ eld and Pontefract CommunityHealth NHS Trust (WPCHT; now part of the South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust – SWYT) started offering advice surgeries to trust staff in 1995. These surgeries provide guidance on many aspects of research (and audit)and have proved increasingly relevant, with clinical governance requiring NHS trusts to evaluate services.Similar surgeries have also been provided to NHS trusts by university departments.The focus of this article is R&D advice surgeries provided to WPCHT staff, reporting on an evaluation completed in March 2002. We examined records of the surgeries in the previous Ž financial year and conducted telephone interviews with 28 staff who had attended advice surgeries related to research projects in this period. Our main Žfindings are that attendees valued advice surgeries,and that they catered to a wide range of  professionals,on a wide range of research topics. The evaluation also identiŽ ed areas for improvement,namely increased advertising, and ? exibility of time and location. We conclude that advice surgeries provide an effective way of increasingresearch awareness in trusts and contribute well to the clinical governance agenda.Comparisons are also made with similar surgeries partially funded by the NHSE and offered to NHS Trusts in the North East of England by the Nuffield Institute (University of Leeds) and the University of Teesside.


Chris Leach

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