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Training in research competencies: a strategy for neonatology
  1. Gopi Menon1,
  2. Mark A Turner2,
  3. Amanda L Ogilvy-Stuart3,
  4. Anne Greenough4
  1. 1Department of Neonatology, Simpson Centre for Reproductive Health, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  2. 2Division of Perinatal Reproductive Medicine, Neonatal Medical Unit, Liverpool Women's Hospital, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
  3. 3Addenbrookes NHS Trust, Neonatal Unit, Neonatal Unit, Rosie Hospital, Cambridge, UK
  4. 4Division of Asthma, Allergy and Lung Biology, Kings College Hospital, Kings College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Gopi Menon, Department of Neonatology, Simpson Centre for Reproductive Health, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, 51 Little France Crescent, Old Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh EH16 4SA, UK; gopi.menon{at}

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The report ‘Turning the tide’ highlighted the need to increase the capacity for clinical research in child health.1 The increase in training posts funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) will slow the fall in academic consultant positions.2 The rapid growth in clinical trials in neonatology (figure 1), however, means that all neonatal professionals need to have the necessary awareness and skills. Research involvement within a clinical service should be considered a sign of healthcare quality.3

Figure 1

Time trend in published clinical trials in neonatology.

With the separation of academic and clinical specialist training, most trainees have little involvement in research4 and proposed changes could make this worse.5 The paediatric curriculum does include research skills that are currently being refined and linked to assessment of competencies by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH). There is, however, no easily accessible training, and it is thus not surprising that trainees lack confidence in this area.1

Nurses are the primary source of information for parents of babies in neonatal units6 and are thus potentially important advocates for research. Nurse training curricula include no research competencies, although the specific roles of the clinical research nurse and nurse researcher have recently been defined.7

The British Association of Perinatal Medicine (BAPM) is developing Basic Research Skills Training for all neonatal professionals with input from the NIHR Neonatal Clinical Studies Group and the RCPCH with a curriculum mapped …

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  • Twitter Follow Gopi Menon at @gopi_menon

  • Contributors GM wrote the article. All authors were involved as part of the Steering Group that developed and delivered the Research Skills Training and contributed to the editing of the article.

  • Funding The Neonatal Society and the Academic Paediatrics Association helped with funding for the training day. The following commercial organisations also contributed funding: SLE, Alexion, Chiesi, Fisher & Paykel and Draeger.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement Further details of the training materials and the programme for the Training Day can be obtained from GM.