Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Break on through to The Other Side

If you've ever tried contacting the relevant research and development office at your local NHS Trust, you'll know the frustrations of trying to get the name of someone to call. Yesterday I tried to track down the contact details of the Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust Research and Development Department. Their website was very welcoming and positive, proclaiming that the Trust was 'committed to ongoing research and development to seek out new ways of improving health and healthcare.'

Great. But who do I call?

They suggested the switchboard. Hmm. If you've ever tried calling the switchboard of a small organisation (not pointing any fingers, BA), let alone a sprawling behemoth like an NHS Trust, you'll know that's a non-starter.

However, help is at hand. Nicole Palmer, the Ethics & Governance Officer here at Kent, is a past master at cutting through the complexities of NHS structures, and suggested that I should start with the NHS R&D Forum. This is a network for those involved in managing and supporting R&D in health and social care, and aims to (whisper it) facilitate interaction, and share best practice. Better still they have a list of the contact details of every R&D dept of every NHS Trust in the country.

Swoon! So you no longer need to bang your head against the wall as you're put on hold by the switchboard operator. Thanks very much to Nicole for this top tip.

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