RESEARCHERS at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have been recognised in the Clinical Research Network (CRN) Wessex Awards for their outstanding collaborative working for a research study.

The awards ran by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) saw nominees from across Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and Isle of Wight gather in Southampton to celebrate how their innovative research is helping to improve patient care.

The team from won the outstanding collaborative working award for the way a study on the ReSPECT process was seamlessly mobilised across all three hospitals run by the trust in Winchester, Andover and Basingstoke.

Research was conducted about ReSPECT, which was implemented across Hampshire Hospitals in 2017 as one of the first trusts in the UK to adopt the process, to look at how, when and why treatment plans are made and the effects they have on patient care.

The ReSPECT (Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment) process is a nationally agreed tool which supports discussions about planning care and treatment in the event of an emergency. ReSPECT records clinical recommendations about care and treatment that could help to achieve the outcome that person would want, including wishes about receiving care or being admitted to hospital, following discussions between the patient, their loved ones and a health professional. This individualised plan can be changed at any time, and involves patients in their own care.

Whilst other Trust’s which have adopted the ReSPECT process were conducting this over a period of time with dedicated staff supporting the data collection, Hampshire hospitals adopted an approach to recruit all the patients needed for the study on a single day using teams from a variety of disciplines. Overall, an incredible 688 patients were screened and 626 patients were recruited to the study.

Members of staff including junior doctors, ward clerks, senior managers and more were all instrumental in delivering this important research and training was delivered to enable staff across the organisation to easily contribute to this important work.

Sarah Clarke, research & development manager, said: “Without the involvement and support of each of these different staff groups, the study would not have been a success, so it’s fantastic this has been recognised. Choosing to think ‘outside the box’ and deliver this in a different way with the collaboration of our Trust colleagues allowed us to successfully complete this study, and I am so proud of how everyone worked together as one team to deliver the results.”

Alex Whitfield, chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals, added: “Research and collaboration are both incredibly important in our Trust and it is fantastic to see these two principles working hand in hand. Studies like the ReSPECT Study are hugely important so that we can continue to deliver the best possible care to our patients. I am exceptionally proud of our research team and all of the other staff across 37 wards in our hospitals who were involved in delivering this study, and getting the recognition they so clearly deserve.”

The research and development project team receiving their award from Issy Reading, the Deputy Director of NIHR Research Design Service South Central