Research in 2017

Dr Imran Rafi, Chair of the RCGP Clinical Innovation and Research Centre

In 2017 the research programme at the RCGP has celebrated supporting our research-engaged members, working closely with other organisations and academic departments.

Research has been core to the values of the RCGP and its members since it was founded in 1952. RCGP members deliver the key research that underpins professional practice; drive the priorities/questions for primary care research agenda; and deliver service improvement through implementation of research findings. As an organisation, we recognise the importance of research in advancing the quality of care for patients, and we see our role as championing, facilitating, upskilling, and celebrating research.

In 2017 a new Research Strategy was approved for the RCGP which reflects our ongoing commitment to research - driving improvements in general practice and across primary care. This strategy identifies the priorities for the College, including a) upskilling GPs and practices to take part in research b) facilitating high quality research in primary care and c) celebrating research in primary care.

We have made great steps towards advancing these goals, and below are some of the highlights from this year:

We launched Research Ready® Advanced – the second phase to the RCGP Research Ready programme which upskills GP practices to take part in research projects. Research Ready Advanced is aimed at practices that have demonstrable experience of taking part in complex and/or commercial trials. The next three years have year on year improvements planned for Research Ready Universal and Research Ready Advanced, informed by the users of the programme.

We started a new programme to support the dissemination of research findings relevant to primary care through the Impact from Research programme. The RCGP are supporting high quality research proposals that are going to impact the way in which care is delivered in primary care. This initiative was launched this year and the next three years are going to see the dissemination work gain momentum and create real impact from recent evidence based research for our members.

We awarded the annual Scientific Foundation Board (SFB) Research Grants in November. These Research Grants of up to £20,000 enable high quality research in primary care and support researchers, especially those early in their career, to become established.

As well as research grants, 2017 was also a year of celebration of research through the various Research Awards which were presented. We celebrated outstanding early career researchers through the Yvonne Carter Award (presented jointly with the Society for Academic Primary Care); exceptional research papers through the Research Paper of the Year Awards; and individuals and GP practices that have shown commitment to research through the RCGP / NIHR CRN Awards. The RCGP is committed to highlighting examples of brilliant pieces of work and the individuals behind them.

2017 is a landmark anniversary for the RCGP Research and Surveillance Centre (RSC) – the centre was established in 1957, and this year has been producing weekly surveillance reports for 50 years. This is an amazing achievement and an incredibly rich resource for the College and its members.

I'd like to thank everyone that has contributed the successes of the Research programme this year. Next year holds even more exciting opportunities, with a real focus on supporting GPs to develop the skills necessary for research, and celebrating those individuals that continue to do ground breaking work that has an impact on every person who receives care in the UK.

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