Tweetfest, Learning and Collaboration

This is my second in a series of three blogs (@ClaireW_UK) and in my first I mentioned that I had completed my MSc nursing Studies (through which NHSP provided funding for my Florence Nightingale Foundation Research Scholarship @FNightingaleF). I am delighted to say that my dissertation study article has now been accepted for publication (my first publication as Mrs Whitehouse, as I was married in January 2016) in the Nursing Standard (date tbc).

Wedding photo.PNG

#WhyWeDoResearch Tweetfest

At the end of my last blog we were entering the realms of International Clinical Trials Day and I told you about the #whywedoresearch twitter campaign ( ), & specifically about hosting the world’s first research tweetfest.

Tweetfest advert FINAL.png

Over the past 18 months I have begun to understood the power of SoMe, however I don’t think I truly appreciated the power of #whywedoresearch until tweetfest happened. We joined forces with the fantastic @wenurses team who are well known in the SoMe arena & from whom we have learnt a lot over the years. They provided some statistics and wordclouds from the five days of tweetfest.

WeNurses Stats of ICTD week

The engagement and support from #whywedoresearch followers across the world was and is something I just can’t put into words. We’ve even had a couple of #whywedoresearch voices shared by NASA…


The over-arching themes raised within tweetfest were;

  1. Patient and public involvement in research
  2. Education and support
  3. Geographical collaboration and use of SoMe
  4. Children and Young People in Research


A huge number of participants during the week were patient and public followers…in my opinion, SoMe has got to be the way to go for easy engagement and involvement with everyone in the future; why wouldn’t we as researchers engage with this platform? We’d be mad not to.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all patents, participants & volunteers who have ever been involved in research, and also the fabulous chat leads for their efforts. Since tweetfest our overall numbers of impressions on #whywedoresearch has rocketed & really do show the incredible reach and voices!

Overall stats

Michael Keeling (my right-hand #whywedoresearch colleague) & I filmed a thank you video, you can watch this here

Believe it or not, this was just one week in the past month and was outside of my professional role as #whywedoresearch is a voluntary endeavour, so alongside this I was working full time, it was busy…busy & exhausting but brilliant and exhilarating!

On site at JPUH

  • Cancer service

My main focus in the past few weeks has been supporting our cancer research service as we have recently taken over this area with a stand-alone service. We now have a fantastic team of four staff; Senior Clinical Research Nurse for Cancer (Lucinda), Clinical Trial Practitioner for Haematology (Corbin), Clinical Research Support Officer (Jackie) & a new Data Manager who is joining the team this week.

  • Health Research Authority changes

Those of you involve in research will be aware that there is now a new approvals process in place which commenced in April of this year. Our R&D Department (led by Jo Lucas, Research Management Co-ordinator) have been working fantastically hard to develop templates and all sorts for us to use in support of this process. I had previously created a gold-standard flow-chart alongside Helen Nutt (Clinical Research Nurse) which described the process from expressing an interest in a study, all the way through to undertaking the first patient visit. This required revisions following the approval changes therefore Jo and I met last week to look at how we could incorporate the changes to our old flow-chart and are now booking training with the team to ensure communication of the approach we will use from now on.

  • Paediatrics

I’ve been working on some paediatric and neonatal trials the past couple of weeks and it’s been a fantastic learning experience. Our paediatric research nurse, Ally, is brilliant and all her files were ready and waiting for me so that I could see every visit requirement – fantastic robust research supported by fantastic teams without a doubt. We have a number of paediatric diabetes and obesity trials @JPUHResearch & offering these to families on Ally’s behalf has been a pleasure. Two sets of parents in the neonatal unit volunteered consent for a Vitamin K study and one for the ELFIN study – having chatted with them, it certainly seems that altruism is a big thought in their decision about participating in research. You’ll be pleased to know, all babies are doing well.

Advanced Research in Practice (ARIP)

The ARIP course was designed and is delivered by experienced research nurses within CRN:Eastern (with a core steering group of myself (@ClaireW_UK – @JPUHResearch), Esther Thomas (@079esther – @NIHRCRNEastern), Jon Hassler-Hurst (@DiabResNurseJon – @IpswichHosp) & Debbie Campbell (@debbcam66 – ColchesterNHSFT). We were joined by a fifth facilitator this year, @adelecooper310 – @NNUHResearch).


It is hosted as a three-day residential event with the purpose of supporting nurses, midwives and other research delivery personnel who are working towards, or have recently entered, team leader positions. Facilitated sessions focus on the RCN Research Nurse Competencies covering four domains: background and political influence, research ethics and legislation, application and promotion of the principles and practice of valid informed consent, applying knowledge and skills to facilitate efficient, safe and participants focused clinical research.

This year’s course can be viewed using #ARIP16 and here’s a shot of the wonderful participants following a fabulous session by Christine Allen, CEO, @JamesPagetNHS (@callen_jpuh)

ARIP Group photo.PNG

This is one of my favourite courses of the year! Every year participants surprise and delight those of us who are facilitating. It puts people outside of their comfort zones and supports them to challenge & influence, as well as having really good fun! Of course we ask delegates to complete formal feedback forms however we also ask for one take-away point from each participant at close-of-play on day three…we captured these on a flip chat & they are hugely powerful – this is why I love this course!

Flip chart

Blog 3

Next month will be my final blog for NHS P & I haven’t decided what it’s focus will be yet…every day in this job is different and lots of amazing things happen all the time so I think I will wait and see…then surprise you…

About the author

NHS Professionals administrator

NHS Professionals manages the temporary staffing needs of around 66 NHS Trusts across England. An integral part of the NHS, it aims to reduce Trusts’ spending on flexible workers without compromising quality, by providing greater transparency of demand and supplying bank staff at the best possible rate. Its bank of more than 40,000 flexible workers comprises general and specialist nurses, doctors, midwives, admin/clerical , allied health professionals, healthcare scientists, support services among other healthcare professionals.

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