25 11 2019


Raising Research Awareness in a Research Active Trust

Written by Caroline McMahon

Patient & Public Involvement Lead, NIHR Cambridge CRF

November 2019

The Cambridge Biomedical Campus is one of the largest in the UK, with multiple research organizations co-located next to Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH) which hosts the NIHR Cambridge Clinical Research Facility, Biomedical Research Centre and other NIHR infrastructure.

The trust has over 1000 active research studies with 360 of them active in the CRF.

In 2018 the Cambridge CRF participated in the UKCRF Network Research Awareness Survey. The purpose of the survey was to find out just how ‘aware’ patients, public and staff are.

Our results showed that 43% of staff did not know how to sign post patients to take part in research.

Table 1. UKCRFN Research Awareness Survey results for NHS staff across the UK

Raising Research Awareness

We took our results to the trust Medical Director and made a case for including clinical research in staff induction.  We now have slides included in corporate induction and are working on a research flyer to be inserted into all new employee starter packs, and lift artwork to promote research.

The UKCRF Network PPI Group are currently collecting local documents, slides and examples of approaches that are being used to raise staff’s awareness of research. The resources will be shared on the Network Hub and will help the PPI Group develop a research awareness checklist for research active NHS Trusts.  If you would like to contribute to this project please contact the UKCRFN Operations Team.