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Research Partnerships

One of the key strands of our strategy is to work in partnership with patients, colleagues and communities. Our Community Research Partnerships are committed to working alongside organisations who would like to enable their clients, students, residents or services users to research or learn more about it.


Collaborating with our communities

As a key part of the local community, we have developed a number of partnerships with local organisations.

The aim of these partnerships is to offer more people the chance to take part in health and social care research, promoting the message that health care and research is all around us and not just available when you go to your local hospital. By taking the opportunity to get involved in a research project to local people where they live, work, play or study can make research more accessible and increase the number of people who are able to take part. 

The partnerships enables local organisations to offer these opportunities to the people they work. We work with partners to find research studies that might suit their residents, students and clients. Once a suitable study has been identified we take care of the necessary checks and approvals, and help to coordinate when and how the study will be carried out. Our partnerships give organisations the confidence to promote research that is safe and ethical and is delivered by an experienced research team.

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Care Home Research Partnership (CHRP)

The Solent Care Home Research Partnership is one of our community research partnership streams. We work alongside local care homes in Portsmouth, Southampton, and the surrounding areas, to offer residents the opportunity to take part in research. We are currently expanding this model to include local care agencies that visit patients in their own homes.

Any local care home or agency can be involved if they have an interest in research and evidence-based practice. The Academy team identifies studies that might be of interest to local care homes or agencies, together we review the studies, and assess whether they are doable and whether clients would find them interesting.

If everyone is happy we undertake all of the necessary governance, ethical, and regulatory checks to ensure the research is safe. We then provide experienced staff to come into the home and deliver the study alongside care home/agency staff. Each study is different and may require different amounts of involvement but generally, we are there to help as much as we can.

As part of the partnership we can also offer training to local staff around evidence-based practice and we ensure we feedback the results of studies to care home/agency teams. Teams may also like to be further involved in the research process by contributing to new and forthcoming research ideas. We can help build partnerships with clinical academics or with our university partners.

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Working with patients and the public

One of our core aims as an Academy is to work in partnership with those that use our come into contact with either ourselves or our services.

The group that work within the Academy are called Side-by-Side; this is a partnership with a dedicated group of individuals that give a patient and public perspective to our work. The group meet regularly to help make sure everything that the team do has a patient and public perspective embedded at the heart of it.

Side-by-Side participants
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University and Higher Education partnerships

We work with a number of Universities to offer a wide variety of research opportunities to patients in the local area. Our partnerships allow us to assist in the development of new research projects and work alongside our academic partners to design the most relevant research for our services and communities.


Examples of this partnership working are:

  • We have a Clinical Academic Pathway which offers joint posts with research training and clinical practice. We deliver this in partnership with a range of Universities.

  • A collaboration with the Centre for Sexual Health Research which is working in particular on access and diversity in the delivery of sexual health services.

  • University of Portsmouth - support for carers in the prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers.

  • University of Bournemouth - community participatory research.

  • We are developing a formal collaboration with UCL RREAL (Rapid Research, Evaluation and Appraisal Lab) to extend use of methods suited to community settings. 

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Community and Outreach groups

We work with a large range of community groups in Portsmouth, Southampton and the surrounding areas, offering people the opportunity to be involved in research.

These are often groups who meet because of a specific medical conditions such as Multiple sclerosis support groups or local meetings of the Alzheimers society or National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society. Our research nurses or physios can attend the group and talk to people about what research projects are happening locally and how they can get involved.

People may also like to get involved in research in other ways such as helping to develop new research ideas, working with some of our university partners and clinical academics to get funding for research or working with the academy team's patient partnership network Side-by-Side.

We are really keen to work with more community groups including those that don't have anything to do with a specific health condition but would like to find out more about taking part or getting involved in health and social care research.

Currently we have a formal research partnership with HIVE Portsmouth with a joint post to increase access to research, including looking into wider health and social issues, and evaluating services to improve their quality.

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Younger persons

As part of our CommunityResearch Partnership scheme we have been working with local schools, pre-schools, nurseries and family hubs to widen the opportunities for local people to get involved in research.  

We are currently working with primary, Junior and secondary schools across the local area on an study investigating the antibiotic resistance of bacteria commonly carried in our mouths and noses. The Solent research team carries out all of the research activities and the schools promote the study to their parents and children. As part of the collaboration the academic team from the University of Southampton have delivered bespoke lessons around research and microbiology.

A similar study is being carried out in partnership with pre-schools, nurseries and children’s community groups across Portsmouth and Southampton investigating the impact of the meningitis vaccination programme.

As part of the partnership we also offer lessons or teaching sessions about research, or sessions specific to the science behind the study we are working on. The partnerships we build are bespoke and we are happy to tailor them to the needs of each organisation. We are keen to work with any organisations supporting young people to offer them the chance to take part in research.

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Dental partnership

The University of Portsmouth’s Dental Academy (UPDA) is working alongside us to offer the patients attending their busy dental practice the opportunity to be involved in research. This may be research specific to dentistry as well as other health and social care research.

Alongside the UPDA we work together to find research studies which might fit well within their practice. We undertake the necessary governance and regulatory checks and our jointly supported research dental therapists/nurses carry out the study.

We are hoping to extent this model to other local dental practices who have an interest in being involved with research. If you would like to find out more or talk to us about being involved please get in touch.

We are also working collaboratively with the UPDA to develop home grown ideas working with university researchers aiming to successfully achieve funding for research which may improve the oral health of children and people suffering with dementia.

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Community Participatory Research / Peer Researchers

To make research more relevant and accessible for those living in our communities, we are developing a network of peer researcher colleagues across Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight. 

Who are peer researchers?

The people that know best what their communities need are those who live within them. Peer research is driven and undertaken by people who have lived experience of the issues being studied. 


What do they do?

Peer researchers have a small amount of research training and then lead small projects on an area of interest to them, sometimes within a core theme. They will then be equal partners in research design, the development of the most appropriate research methods and tools – they often collect the data and analyse it and can use their findings to drive change and improvements. 


We also work alongside peer researchers in some of our research and evaluation work – they will carry out interviews and data collection. This allows for much greater insight and also extends inclusion and diversity in research. 


Work to date

We currently have 19 peer researchers, some undergoing training, some delivering projects and some acting as mentors. The first cohort of peer researchers combined their work into a graphic illustration of themes around access to research. 


We are working in partnership with the Young Foundation and the University of Bournemouth’s Centre for the Seldom Heard Voice to learn how to develop peer research networks 

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