Local nurses and midwives will be encouraged to get involved in potentially life-changing NHS research, thanks to a new role for senior Yeovil Hospital nurse.

Yeovil Hospital’s Consultant Nurse for Older People, Janine Valentine has been selected to join a team to work with the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) on their new 70@70 Research Leader programme, a new nurse and midwifery research initiative.

70 people with clinical backgrounds from around various Trusts in the UK were recruited onto the three-year project to help encourage and empower nurses and midwives to partake in more research opportunities.

There is an appetite for greater research opportunities amongst nurses and midwives and Janine hopes the initiative will shed light on the barriers stopping nurses and midwives from pursuing research opportunities, ensure resources are easier to access and enable the research culture to grow.

Janine said: “Yeovil Hospital’s nurses and midwives are healthcare experts, with a great many years of experience between them. By involving them in research opportunities that develop new treatments and approaches to care, we can unleash this wealth of talent, helping them to grow in their field while improving care for our patients.

“With the support of the National Institute of Health Research, I’ll be aiming to empower colleagues, developing a research active culture within the trust which will increasingly bring new research opportunities. I want to ensure they are able to make the best use of the wide range of support and resources within the trust including our amazing research and development team and our excellent library, which we’re so fortunate to have within our hospital.”

Shelagh Meldrum, Yeovil Hospital’s Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Nurse, supported Janine in applying to take part in the project. Shelagh said: “Encouraging midwives and nurses to be involved with clinical research opportunities is a huge step within the medical profession, offering not just career development but also better patient care on a national scale. I am pleased that one of our most experienced nurses is leading the way.”

Further expectations are that the initiative will help spark a national culture change for nurses and midwives, helping to progress healthcare and build better relationships between research and the clinical environment with growing innovators within the field.

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