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The RCP has responded to CRUK’s 2023 Survey of the UK Clinical Research Workforce

Professor Ramesh Arasaradnam, RCP academic vice president, said:

CRUK’s report further highlights the significant barriers to research facing our medical workforce. It is clear that the demands facing staff, as well as a culture which does not effectively enable research participation, is preventing some of our nation’s brightest minds from contributing to medical advances which can improve patient care and service delivery.

“This week’s report builds upon the findings of the RCP’s 2022 annual census. They showed that almost 40% of respondents who didn’t take part in research said they wanted to but could not due to a lack of time within job plans, barriers to research within their NHS organisation, uncertainty about how to take research proposals forward, and a lack of confidence.

“The RCP is strongly supportive of protected time for research within job plans and we welcome the CRUK’s recommendation to foster a culture where research is embedded into clinical practice, as opposed to being seen as a distraction from care delivery. We must see trusts and integrated care systems encourage strong links at a leadership level to promote research integration within clinical settings, and encourage NHSE to better engage with stakeholders to promote opportunities for doctors, medical students and other health and care professionals to engage with research.

“I believe we will see greater staff retention and patient care improvement by creating an environment where staff can flourish professionally and actively contribute to their respective fields of interest, while finding solutions to the problems we face.”