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Summary of the London Research Champions Event

23rd July 2019

A blog by Sharin Baldwin, Ekaete George and Helen Elliott, iHV Research Champions, on the research event that they organised in London on 3 July 2019.

The three iHV/NIHR Health Visitor Research Champions in London, Sharin Baldwin (HV Research Champion for NW London), Helen Elliott (HV Research Champion for North Thames) & Ekaete George (HV Research Champion for South London) organised a networking event to engage health visitors in research.

The purpose of the event was to bring together representatives from all partner organisations across London to share the joint vision of iHV/NIHR collaboration to establish the role of the research champions. The event aimed to have some discussions on how the Link Research Health Visitors will take the agenda forward in their respective organisations.

Health visitors from across London were invited to this 2-hour event titled ‘Advancing Research within Health Visiting Services’, which took place on 3 July 2019. Attendees came from a range of different NHS organisations across the region and also included a range of professionals other than health visitors who were interested in promoting health visiting research (such as Head of Research & Development, managers etc).

The morning started with a presentation by James Lyddiard (Chief Operating Officer, CRN South London). James provided an overview of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) (including their responsibility in supporting research studies in England, their infrastructures and their high-level objectives) and how health visitors could get involved to enable achievement of the targets, and supported with research.

Ekaete George provided an overview of the role of the iHV/NIHR HV Research Champion and the iHV Research Strategy. Group work followed the outline, which was facilitated by Sharin Baldwin to find out from the attendees how they saw themselves getting involved with research and what support they would like from their research champions. Also, the group discussed how they would take the role forward in their respective organisations.

 

The event concluded with Helen Elliott navigating through the NIHR website, identifying training and support resources available, as well as demonstrating how to locate and become involved in relevant NIHR portfolio studies.

Event feedback

The feedback was extremely positive, with 100% of participants feeling that the event was useful in raising their awareness about health visiting research and that they learnt something new.

Specifically, learning relating to the following areas were highlighted as being the most useful:

  • The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), including the structure
  • The role of the research champion
  • The available training, support and resources
  • How to get involved with research
  • How to get other health visitors involved
  • Networking with other professionals/ organisations

Next steps

  • It was agreed that all the attendees would act as HV research links for their own organisation so that we can disseminate information to the wider HV workforce through them. The HV research links will be the main point of contact with their local HV Research Champion and be involved in actively promoting research in their areas.
  • A group email will be set up for regular communication, and two London-wide meetings will be arranged with the HV research links, per year.
  • CRN South London has offered the use of their venue at Guy’s Hospital, which will be used for these meetings going forward.
  • The issues identified by attendees and the support requested has been summarised below and will be followed up by the Research Champions in future communication with the HV Research Links.

Acknowledgements:

We would like to thank the CRN South London team for their support in helping us set up this event and for the lovely lunch provided. We are also grateful for their offer of ongoing support with our future meetings in London.

Sharin Baldwin, Ekaete George and Helen Elliott, iHV Research Champions