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Primary care workers will tackle real-world research in first of its kind scheme

A new first of its kind scheme to enable primary care workers to undertake research has been launched at Nottingham Trent University.

Primary care
Professionals in primary care will undertake research tailored to their work

The Doctoral Training Academy in Healthcare and Clinical Practice will provide healthcare professionals in primary care with the opportunity to research a range of real-world healthcare solutions.

Six researchers are embarking on the PhD scheme in its first year – working in roles including General Practice, data science and practice management – with more being recruited on a twice-yearly basis moving forward.

They will research topics tailored to their work, with initial projects looking at the perception of primary care provision for different diseases; the potential for machine learning and artificial intelligence in primary care; and research to enable GPs to be consistent in their clinical decision-making by using practice-based decision-support tools.

The scheme, which will be led through NTU’s Medical Technologies Innovation Facility, is through a partnership with the NHS, via Willows Health, the largest primary care provider in Leicester.

Researchers will be able to do full-time or part-time PhDs supervised by university academics and will undertake research both on campus and within the NHS practices in which they are based.

It will be part-funded by both the university and Willows Health.

Nottingham Trent University’s Professor Philippe Wilson, a co-director of the new scheme with Professor John Hunt, said: “We wanted to address the disparity between primary and secondary care, where there are not necessarily the same opportunities available in engaging with cutting-edge academic work for primary care practitioners as those working in secondary care settings.”

Professor Nigel Wright, NTU’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) said: “This is the first example of such an offer in primary care in the UK and we expect it to make a huge impact on healthcare research and on patients health outcomes. Researchers will undertake multidisciplinary work to explore healthcare solutions with real-world impact.”

Rishabh Prasad, Chairman and Principal GP at Willows Health, said: “We are very excited to be partnering with NTU to deliver this truly transformational initiative within the healthcare system. We will see definite, real-world impact being evident in the NHS within only a matter of years.”

  • Notes for editors

    Press enquiries please contact Dave Rogers, Public Relations Manager, on telephone +44 (0)115 848 8782, or via email.

    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) was named University of the Year 2019 in the Guardian University Awards. The award was based on performance and improvement in the Guardian University Guide, retention of students from low-participation areas and attainment of BME students.

    NTU was also the Times Higher Education University of the Year 2017, and The Times and Sunday Times Modern University of the Year 2018. These awards recognise NTU for its high levels of student satisfaction, its quality of teaching, its engagement with employers, and its overall student experience.

    The university has been rated Gold in the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework – the highest ranking available.

    It is one of the largest UK universities. With over 37,000 students and more than 4,000 staff located across four campuses, the University injects £1.6bn into the UK economy. It has been the largest recruiter of UK undergraduates in each of the last four years. With an international student population of more than 6,000 and an NTU community representing around 160 countries, the University prides itself on its global outlook.

    The university is passionate about creating opportunities and its extensive outreach programme is designed to enable NTU to be a vehicle for social mobility. NTU is among the UK’s top five recruiters of students from disadvantaged backgrounds and was awarded University of the Year in the UK Social Mobility Awards 2019.

Primary care workers will tackle real-world research in first of its kind scheme

Published on 22 June 2021
  • Subject area: Sciences including sport sciences
  • Category: Press office; Research; School of Science and Technology

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