Capturing the Real Impact of Clinical Academics in Practice




clinical academic research careers, impact in practice, metrics of transformational change in practice


The Clinical Academic Careers Framework proposes an over-arching structure to develop the clinical academic workforce whose activities have patient benefit within a clear UK programme. Traditionally this has centred on professionals from medicine and dentistry, but in the last ten years has developed into a more inclusive career framework for non-medical health professions which includes Nurses, Midwives and Allied Health Professionals (NMAHPs) and Healthcare Scientists (HCSs) that provide NHS services. As such, it is reported that clinical academic NMAHPs and HCSs can contribute to the generation and translation of new knowledge to help improve outcomes and experiences for patients. In this article, we explore key issues relating to the impact of clinical academic NMAHPs and HCSs on clinical practice in a UK context, as well as some measurements of impact, including the value and limitations of currently used metrics (such as Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs). We report that measuring the learning in practice of this novel role will need to include smart metrics alongside a person-centred approach. We share four national case studies, all of which are drawn from clinical academic researchers from different UK settings to show the real variety and differences in roles. We argue that this is the key both to learning in practice about this role, and to witnessing the real differences clinical academics make.


Better Care Fund. (2015). How to understand and measure impact. NHS.

Bramley, L., Manning, J., & Cooper, J. (2018). Engaging and developing frontline clinical nurses to drive care excellence: Evaluating the Chief Nurse Excellence in Care Junior Fellowship initiative. Journal of Research in Nursing, 23(8), 678–689.

Carrick-Sen, D., Richardson, A., Moore, A., & Dolan, S. (2016). Transforming healthcare through clinical academic roles in nursing, midwifery and allied health professions: A practical resource for healthcare provider organisations.

Carter, T., Walker, G. M., Aubeeluck, A., & Manning, J. C. (2019). Assessment tools of immediate risk of self-harm and suicide in children and young people: A scoping review. Journal of Child Health Care, 23(2), 178–199.

Hagan, J. (2018). Nurse satisfaction with opportunities to engage in research. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 40(2), 209–221.

Manning, J. C., Bean, D., Coad, J., Blake, I., Bingham, V., Cooper, J., Carter, T., Turner, A., Hendron, E., Michail, M., Rychwalska Brown, L., Wood, D., & Latter, K. (2015). Evaluating quality and impact of acute paediatric inpatient care: Defining the domains for a Person Centred Outcome Measure (PCOM) in children and young people admitted with self-harm or eating disorders. Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Manning, J. C., Carter, T., Latif, A., Horsley, A., Cooper, J., Armstrong, M., Crew, J., Wood, D., Callaghan, P., & Wharrad, H. (2017). ‘Our Care through Our Eyes’. Impact of a co-produced digital educational programme on nurses’ knowledge, confidence and attitudes in providing care for children and young people who have self-harmed: A mixed-methods study in the UK. BMJ Open, 7(4), e014750.

Manning, J. C., Walker, G. M., Carter, T., Aubeeluck, A., Witchell, M., & Coad, J. (2018). Children and Young People-Mental Health Safety Assessment Tool (CYP-MH SAT) study: Protocol for the development and psychometric evaluation of an assessment tool to identify immediate risk of self-harm and suicide in children and young people (10-19 years) in acute paediatric hospital settings. BMJ Open, 8(4), e020964.

Mills, E. (2018). UK midwives' knowledge and understanding of female genital mutilation. MIDIRS Midwifery Digest, 28(4), 491–496.

National Institute of Health Research. (2017). NIHR Annual report: Improving the health and wealth of the nation through research.

Trueland, J. (2015, November 18). Birth of a new breed: Interview with Dave Jones. The Health Service Journal, 2-3.

Westwood, G., Fader, M., Roberts, L., Green, S. M., Prieto, J., & Bayliss-Pratt, L. (2013). How clinical academics are transforming patient care. Health Service Journal, 123(6368), 28–29.




How to Cite

Coad, J. E., Manning, J. C., Mills, E., Semple, C., Johnston, B., & McMahon, A. (2019). Capturing the Real Impact of Clinical Academics in Practice. International Journal of Practice-Based Learning in Health and Social Care, 7(2), 47–56.