I was attracted to the AHP fellowship as it offered me a unique opportunity to develop my research skills in a friendly and supportive environment, and work with experts in medication safety. The fellowship gave me the chance to dedicate a whole year to concentrate on developing my research skills away from the demands of regular NHS clinical duties.
Working on the project has helped to expand my professional networks. I have not only gained valuable insights into questionnaire development and validation but also gained experience of leading on a research project. I also successfully completed a Masters in Clinical Research alongside undertaking my research project.
There were added benefits of a Biomedical Research Centre fellowship such as attending the various courses and educational events run by the Biomedical Research Centre aswell as opportunites to present my research at national and international conferences. The staff were, and continue to be, very supportive. They are more than happy to sign-post you to academic and clinical experts and also send regular updates of funding sources, events and opportunities to be involved with external projects.
When I was planning an event to showcase medicines safety research, I was put in touch with the Public Engagement team, who helped me to plan the whole event. I also sought advice when I was submitting a poster abstract to an NIHR trainees meeting. I believe that the advice offered helped me to win the first prize for the poster competition.
Since completing my fellowship, I have continued to be involved with the Biomedical Research Centre. I was invited to be on the interview panel to select the next round of AHP research fellows and had the opportunity to submit a research proposal for this cohort.
Being part of the Biomedical Research Centre ‘family’ has been an extremely rewarding experience for me and I would strongly recommend this route to anyone wanting to actively participate in and gain better insights into research in the NHS.
The use of medicines is the most frequent of all health care interventions. A medication safety programme needs to encompass a broad array of changes in procedures, teams and training in order to improve safety across a whole system. This requires knowledge of human factors, establishing an integrated well-organised strategic medication safety plan and creating a culture of safety. A better understanding of the safety culture specifically related to medicines is therefore crucial.
As no medication safety culture assessment instrument currently exists, the purpose of this study was to develop a Medication Safety Culture questionnaire; and to demonstrate the psychometric properties of the newly developed questionnaire.