Making the best of both worlds

This article reflects the conversations in the breakout group on this topic at the Recently Appointed Consultants symposium on Monday 22 February 2016.


It is well-recognised that investment in clinical research leads to improved quality of care, better outcomes and more cost-effective treatments. Patients expect to be offered the opportunity to take part in high quality research and access to the latest treatment modalities and medicines. Clinicians who are research active are more attuned to the latest ideas and therapeutic strategies and are better placed to translate research findings into benefits for patients. 

Clinical research is a key performance indicator but challenges exist in some new consultant job plans in identifying protected research time. For those who are new to research, fellowships are available on a competitive basis funded by NHS Research Scotland. For those who already have a research portfolio, time may be protected through researcher support funding. Further details can be obtained from the Research and Development departments located within health boards and trusts. The main aim of these departments is to support researchers through all the phases of research, through training and the provision of resources such as clinical research facilities, imaging platforms, clinical trial pharmacists, help with study design, statistical support, grant and protocol development

Two areas worth particular mention are the Safe Havens located at five area sites across Scotland and the network of biorepositories funded by NHS Research Scotland. These are well placed to help researchers in the key areas of precision medicine and informatics.  


Breakout Group Leader: Professor Julie Brittenden, Research and Development Director, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Professor of Vascular Surgery, University of Glasgow.