Published on: 28 June 2019

The formal launch of the South Tyneside and Sunderland Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals (NMAHP) Research Partnership took place June 26th 2019.  Set up in 2018, the Partnership aims to create a sustainable framework for building NMAHP research capacity and capability across the healthcare system in South Tyneside and Sunderland.

The Partnership has membership from the South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, the University of Sunderland, Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group and South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group, all of whom are equally represented.

The launch was introduced by Melanie Johnson, Executive Director of Nursing and Allied Health Professions, who outlined the strategy for the next three years, stating ‘the South Tyneside and Sunderland NMAHP Partnership is a trailblazing and innovative approach to developing and supporting NMAHP research capacity and capability. This is an exciting time to be involved in research as an NMAHP and we are looking forward to an exciting future together’

During the event, NMAHP staff presented their inspirational research journeys across Nursing, Podiatry and Radiography. The event was closed with a speech from Ann Fox, Executive Director of Nursing, Quality and Safety, Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group, who said ‘Our purposeful methodology of a collaborative partnership model was our ethos from Day One and is a real unique selling point and the key to our success and sustainability.  As far as we are aware, there is nothing else like our research partnership model anywhere in the country’

The South Tyneside and Sunderland NMAHP Research Partnership brings together a wealth of expertise, knowledge and skills across the University and NHS organisations to support the development of a sustainable NMAHP research infrastructure across the healthcare system.

The National Institute for Health Research’s (NIHR) clinical research infrastructure is changing from being heavily focused on supporting medical careers and research taking place in NHS settings, to one that additionally supports NMAHPs, i.e. non-medical staff to become research active and expanding research taking place in non-NHS settings such as social care. Additionally, there is an increasing emphasis on developing clinical academic careers for NMAHPs, which currently represent less than 1% of this workforce.

Evidence shows research-active organisations have better patient outcomes, and the Health and Social Care Act (2012) states that Clinical Commissioning Groups have a statutory responsibility to promote research on matters relevant to the NHS and to use evidence to improve health services.  The NHS Long Term Plan highlights the use of research and innovation as drivers for outcome improvement and supporting the NMAHP workforce and supports collaborative working across the healthcare system.

The South Tyneside and Sunderland NMAHP Research Partnership is strongly positioned to support and deliver an NMHAP research infrastructure, now and in the future.


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