They say the more you know, the more uncertain you become, and I'm becoming very uncertain about how to set up an embedded research programme.
A few years ago it was all so easy. I found an NHS partner who wanted a pragmatic evaluation, a researcher who wanted to make a difference, and a bit of money. I then put them all together and if everything clicked then stuff happened. And that stuff was exciting enough for a few of us to want to write about it in scientific journals.
I recently took part in the Embedded Research co-design workshop that aimed at drawing on people's experiences of planning, managing, delivering embedded researcher initiatives. It brought together people from across the UK with experience of a range of embedded researcher initiatives. The key question we were asked to keep hold of throughout the workshop was: What do you wish you had known at the start of your embedded researcher work?
Here, I'll reflect on how I would now answer that question following on from the workshop.
During the recent webinar on an embedded researcher network, I listened to the speakers' experiences of embedded research with a mixture of anticipation and curiosity. Aware of the NIHR funded study that Vicky Ward is involved in, I was eager to hear details of what had emerged in the scoping review.
It was interesting to hear the criteria used to define embedded research: trained researchers, creating knowledge in a health setting for the benefit of the host and spending part of the working week in a health service.
I am rarely enticed by social movements that take place in a virtual space. I never succumbed to the Ice Bucket Challenge, I have yet to use #metoo (or any hashtags for that matter) and the title has to be absolutely irresistible to get me to click on a TED video link.
I simply don't get excited by the virtual in the same way that I do by the physical. However much I support and agree with these movements, I simply never find myself swept into them online as I do on the streets.
I have so far blamed this lukewarm online enthusiasm on my age. I'm too old for that stuff. And I would have continued in this vein had it not been for the Embedded Research project's webinar on creating an embedded researcher network.
As one of the four lay representatives for the Embedded Research project, I want to share some thoughts about some of the Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) issues that are coming up in the initial part of the project.
We had a pretty good idea that Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) would not feature very much in the lives of embedded researchers and this proved to be the case from the literature researches and the preliminary data gathering.