Views needed to shape future of community nursing research

Tuesday, 01 December 2020

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Community nurses from across the nation are launching a new project to give patients, carers and healthcare professionals the opportunity to have their say about the future of community nursing research.

The James Lind Alliance (JLA) Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) aims to gather, rank and prioritise views from all people involved in or affected by community nursing.

The project is being led and run by a group of National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) 70@70 senior nurse research leaders from NHS Trusts across England, including Dr Cathy Henshall, Senior Nursing Research Fellow at Oxford Brookes University and the Head of Research Delivery at Oxford Health NHS Trust. The NIHR 70@70 programme was set up in 2019 with the aim of strengthening the research voice and influence of nurses and midwives in health and social care settings.

“We’re hoping not only to encourage the views of community nurses, the people they care for and their families and carers, but also for community nurses themselves to become more involved in research,” said Dr Cathy Henshall.

Community nursing plays vital role outside hospitals

Community nursing teams work with patients and their families in places ranging from clinics and health centres, to residential care and patients’ homes. They are important in helping the NHS meet the needs of elderly, disabled or vulnerable patients who may not be able to visit hospital. 

As well as providing and monitoring ongoing care, community nurses also play an important role in advising and educating patients - for example, about illness and disease prevention - and provide support for them in social care and welfare programmes. As such, the potential breadth of research around community nursing that could be done is vast, and this project aims to generate a ‘top ten’ list of priorities.

Dr Henshall added: “Generating this list of priorities will give funders, trusts, nurses and academic centres the steering they need to really get to grips with research and the future of community nursing.”

Surveys are now open

“The first step of the process is to gather the unique views and thoughts about what research needs to be done from a wide range of people involved in or affected by community nursing,” said Suzannah Kinsella, PSP Steering Group Chair and JLA Adviser.

“And today, we’re announcing the launch of our first two surveys; one for patients, carers and interested members of the public, and one for community nurses and other community-based healthcare professionals.”

Both surveys are open now and be accessed online at www.arc-oxtv.nihr.ac.uk/communitynursingPSP

Dr Paula Wray, Senior Manager of the NIHR ARC Oxford and Thames Valley said: “The NIHR ARC Oxford and Thames Valley is already supporting the project with a view to helping disseminate its findings among health researchers.

‘We hope to secure funding to deliver new research based on the outcomes of this project in the near future and encourage our partners across the nation to do so as well.”

More information about the James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership project can be found at  www.arc-oxtv.nihr.ac.uk/communitynursingPSP