Health professionals working across North West London gathered at an event to showcase and celebrate research careers and projects.
The North West London Research Symposium took place last week at Imperial’s South Kensington Campus. The annual event was aimed at nurses, midwives, allied health professions, pharmacists and healthcare scientists who are research active or interested in a research or clinical academic career.
The keynote speaker at the event was Professor Anne-Maree Keenan, Chair of Applied Health Research at NIHR Leeds Musculoskeletal Biomedical Unit (LMBRU), and a podiatrist, who spoke about how patients and the public benefit from research carried out by a wider range of clinical staff.
More than 100 delegates attended the symposium to present their research, learn more about how to pursue a research career, get advice on funding and see examples of successful research projects carried out by peers in their areas.
Dr Caroline Alexander, Lead Clinical Academic for Therapies at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, hosted the event and spoke about the importance of research in clinical practice and career development.
Sarah Collins, NIHR Clinical Doctoral Research Fellow and Specialist Dietitian at the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, outlined the reasons she wanted to do research and how it has help improve her understanding of the needs of her patients.
Esmita Charani, Senior Lead Pharmacist at the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit at Imperial College London, also discussed the challenges she faced during her research career and how she overcame them. She also gave advice on the best ways to secure funding for research projects and how she plans on using her research findings in a clinical setting.
Dr Caroline Alexander, said:
“This event was an opportunity for us to showcase and celebrate research projects and opportunities. It is widely known that research leads to better clinical outcomes and it is important that we have a wide range of healthcare staff engaging in research. There are lots of unanswered questions in patient healthcare and research is a way of challenging our way of thinking so that we can help our patients better.”
Professor Jeremy Levy, Director of the Imperial Clinical Academic Training Office (CATO), added:
“Through this event we have been able to highlight the depth and breadth of research carried out by our wider clinical staff and the impact this is having on improving patient care. I hope our delegates were inspired by the event and will consider a research or clinical academic career.”
Delegates also had the opportunity to hear about the types of research projects that are funded at NIHR and institutional level such as a study to explore and understand the discharge decision making of elderly patients in an acute hospital setting. Workshops included an introduction to health economics and cost effectiveness, systematics reviews and preparing a fellowship application.
The event was organised by the Clinical Academic Training Office (CATO) which delivers training and education opportunities for clinical staff as part of the Imperial College Academic Health Science Centre.
Providing education and training opportunities for clinical staff is a key mission of Imperial AHSC, a joint initiative between Imperial College London, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. It aims to transform healthcare by turning scientific discoveries into medical advances to benefit local, national and global populations in as fast a timeframe as possible.