The NIHR Incubator for Emergency Care

Author: Rick Body / Editor: Govind Oliver / Code: HAP29 / Published: 06/02/2020

In 2017 the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) published its Training Review. In that document, the NIHR proposed that, to build research capacity in key areas, it would develop a small number of networking structures, to be called “NIHR Incubators”. The Incubators would support capacity building and multidisciplinary career development in priority areas with a low critical mass of clinical academics.

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) successfully applied to set up an NIHR Incubator for Emergency Care, which was launched at Octavia House in June 2019.

The NIHR Incubators have been commissioned by the NIHR Academy (which was previously called the NIHR Trainees Coordinating Centre) to provide support multidisciplinary career development, led by experts in the relevant fields. To date, the NIHR Academy has set up seven incubators: in primary care, social care, public health, health data science, emergency care, nursing and midwifery and mental health.

You can read more about the NIHR Incubator scheme here.

The NIHR Incubator for Emergency Care (EC) is being led by RCEM, in partnership with the College of Paramedics and the National Ambulance Research Steering Group. It is truly multidisciplinary in nature, supporting doctors, nurses, paramedics, other allied health professionals and those undertaking EC research in related disciplines and professions (including, but not restricted to: methodologists, engineers, mathematicians, social scientists).

The members of the EC Incubator Steering Group include:

Professor Rick Body – Chair of the NIHR Incubator for Emergency Care

Professor Jason Smith – Chair of the RCEM Research Committee

Professor Heather Jarman – Nursing Lead

Professor Julia Williams – Paramedic Lead; Research Lead for the College of Paramedics and representative for the National Ambulance Research Steering Group

Dr Damian Roland – Chair of PERUKI (Paediatric Emergency Research in the UK and Ireland)

Dr Ceri Battle – Allied Health Professional Lead (Physiotherapy)

Professor Sue Mason – Chair of the Urgent and Emergency Care Theme for the NIHR Applied Research Centres (ARCs)

Professor Steve Smye – Cluster Lead at the NIHR Clinical Research Network

Marti Rolph – Lay Representative

Karen Fernando – NIHR Academy

Charlotte Minter – NIHR Academy

Mutsa Gurupira – NIHR Academy

For the purpose of the NIHR Incubator, ’emergency care’ is defined, in accordance with the International Federation of Emergency Medicine definition (1991) as:

“A field of practice based on the knowledge and skills required for the prevention, diagnosis and management of acute and urgent aspects of illness and injury affecting all age groups with a full spectrum of undifferentiated physical and behavioural disorders. It further encompasses an understanding of the development of pre-hospital and in-hospital medical systems and the skills necessary for this development.”

The NIHR Incubator for EC will support academic training within the field of EC, under the governance and direction of the NIHR Academy. The Incubator therefore aims: to stimulate and inspire those working or aspiring to work in this field to pursue academic careers; and to enhance opportunity for those pursuing academic careers in this field by signposting to training opportunities, and by providing and signposting to opportunities for mentorship.

Specific objectives of the Incubator include:

  • Unite existing resources and national networks to produce one coherent national training strategy tailored to the needs of health professionals and academics working in specialties and disciplines relevant to emergency care
  • Develop regional hubs that are committed to supporting inter-disciplinary training in Emergency Care
  • Provide an annual meeting for all members of the NIHR Academy working in emergency care
  • Create bespoke training resources, tailored to the needs of those working in emergency care
  • Develop a registry of relevant training opportunities
  • Develop a training and mentorship scheme designed to support the academic development of all of those pursuing academic careers in emergency care, from undergraduate to consultant
  • To support research active NHS consultants to maintain and build on their research activity

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