Research and evaluation — what’s that got to do with me? Well, potentially quite a lot! If you want to improve the services you provide, either by interpreting and applying existing evidence or by conducting your own evaluations, then you will need to understand the principles of the research process.
If you are considering applying for professional recognition through the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Faculty, or if your career aspirations include becoming a consultant pharmacist, then you will want to demonstrate that you can use, understand and conduct research within your practice.
The “Enhancing patient care through research” stream at the Annual Conference has several new features this year. First, as well as the oral presentation sessions, those who have submitted posters will have the opportunity to take part in oral poster sessions to highlight their work.
Second, the posters will be arranged in themes, so related topics are presented alongside each other to provide greater opportunities for people with similar interests to discuss their ideas.
Third, we are running a workshop to help demystify this area of practice. Entitled “Research in practice — how to get started”, the workshop will look at some of the barriers (both real and perceived) to undertaking research and how to overcome them, and aims to illustrate that you are probably already doing some aspects of research and evaluation. It will also help you to identify further sources of support and offer some tips on writing conference abstracts and other material for publication.
Following its success last year, we will also repeat our practice innovation showcase, with posters highlighting innovative service developments.
As in previous years, there will be oral presentations from researchers and practitioners who have conducted research and evaluation in various topical areas. We have four themed oral sessions at this conference, focusing on:
- Challenges in integrated care
- Improving patient safety through innovation
- Professional role development
- Community pharmacy in the century
We will also hear from this year’s winner of the Pharmacy Research UK Award, who will give a brief lecture to showcase their area of work.
You can expect debate and discussion among researchers of all backgrounds
Pharmacists have a long history of supporting research, particularly clinical trials pharmacists in hospitals. Those in academia also lead their own programmes of research, however, there are now more opportunities than ever for pharmacists in different settings to also get involved in leading their own research.
In particular, the clinical academic training programme run by the National Institute for Health Research and Health Education England is now open to pharmacists, which means they are eligible to apply for clinical doctoral research fellowships and masters in clinical research, with salary and tuition fees provided by the funding.
If you are an experienced researcher, you can expect debate and discussion among researchers of all backgrounds around shared research interests. And if you are interested in getting some research and evaluation onto your CV, then this Conference stream should help you realise that it isn’t so difficult.
Bryony Dean Franklin
is chairing the stream “Enhancing patient care through research” at this year’s
Annual Conference in Birmingham on 7–8 September 2014.