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NIHR creates role to boost nurse involvement in research



Professor Ruth Endacott has been appointed the first director for nursing and midwifery at the UK’s largest funder of health and care research.

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) created the role to provide professional leadership to nurses and midwives carrying out research for or funded by the government agency. The post is also aimed at encouraging nurses and midwives to take part in research.

Professor Endacott, who will start at the NIHR in May, is currently senior professor of clinical nursing at the University of Plymouth and professor of clinical nursing at Monash University in Australia.

On her appointment, she said Covid-19 studies have shown ‘the amazing work that research nurses and midwives do every day’ but added ‘we need to work out where investment is needed to firmly embed research as the business of every nurse and midwife’.

She continued: ‘This role provides an opportunity to develop the next stages of research strategy for the nurses and midwives who work for, or are supported by, NIHR and to spearhead equality of opportunity across NHS Trusts of different size and resources.’

As part of the rule, Professor Endacott will be responsible for promoting nursing and midwifery within NIHR and more broadly. She will highlight the difference nurses and midwives can make to health outcomes through research to encourage more in the professions to take part.

Professor Endacott is also deputy panel chair for the Health Education England/NIHR Clinical Doctorate Research Fellow Scheme and an external assessor for multiple grant programmes, including for NIHR.

She is a registered nurse and has an MA in research methodology and a PhD in medical science.

Dr Louise Wood, director of science research and evidence at the Department of Health and Social Care and NIHR co-lead, said: ‘Ruth’s senior academic and clinical experience will be invaluable as we continue to engage all healthcare professions in research, celebrating and championing the contribution of nurses and midwives.’