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New guidance aims to fill gaps in health service research

Posted on December 1st 2016

PenCLAHRC’s Mary Hickson, Professor in Dietetics at Plymouth University, has worked with the Association of UK University Hospitals’ (AUKUH) to develop new guidance for healthcare provider organisations. The guide aims to provide practical advice to develop and sustain the research clinical academic roles of nurses, midwives and allied health professionals.

Professor Hickson said of the guidance:

“This new resource is long awaited and fills a big gap in the advice available to aspiring nursing and AHP clinical academics, as well as NHS Trusts and universities who wish to develop career pathways for these people.”


“The advice is practical and pragmatic and has been developed by a large group of clinical academics with considerable experience in carving out their own careers from scratch, and developing strategies and processes to support clinical academics in their institutions.”

Clinical academics serve as a crucial connection between the NHS and universities, working to train future generations of healthcare workers, whilst engaging in research that can improve outcomes for patients and help increase efficiency.

Nurses, midwives and allied health professions are the foundation of the health service and its day-to-day work. However, there is a lack of tools that clinical academics in these areas have for expanding their existing programmes.

Over 18 months, the AUKUH Clinical Academic Roles Development Group has complied a guide to meet this need, which has been made possible by working closely with organisations from across the sector.

The guide, Transforming healthcare through clinical academic roles in nursing, midwifery and allied health professions: A practical resource for healthcare provider organisations”, contains practical information, case studies and templates, and is aimed at NHS organisational leads along with clinical academics at all stages of development.

The online format means you can dip in and out and pick the items that are of most interest. It also means the working group can continue to up-date and refine the resource in the future.

Professor Debbie Carrick-Sen, Co-Chair of the group which produced the guidance, says:

“Creating this resource has required a significant amount of collaboration from colleagues across healthcare and we are truly grateful to them. The energy that has gone into it is a huge credit to the professions involved. Through this guidance they have the means to share their immense successes, learn from each other and ultimately work to the benefit of patient care.”

If you have a leadership role within your organisation for clinical academic careers (for non-medics) and want to join the newly formed implementation group please contact Kruti Shrotri at the AUKUH via Email

Accompanying resources to the guidance can be found on the AUKUH website.

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