Laura Houten is CityCares's Clinical Research Practitioner. The aim of her role is to increase the research capacity and capability of the CityCare workforce by providing training and support to staff and proactively seeking studies to be a part of. 

Tell us about a stand-out moment, something you are proud of?

I have recently started working in a brand-new role in CityCare as a Clinical Research Practitioner, which is funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research Clinical Research Network East Midlands (NIHR CRN EM). 

It is a very exciting new role which will contribute to the new corporate strategy by enabling and empowering people within CityCare to participate in research and therefore improve the services we provide.

Tell us something that your team has achieved?

Since I started my role at the end of April, I have been looking for studies that CityCare teams can participate in, working with people on new projects, and designing a new training programme for CityCare staff. Another part of my role has been recruiting care homes to the Falls in Care Homes Implementation (FinCH Imp) study – which is a large national study run by Professor Pip Logan, following on from the biggest UK study in care homes; FinCH. This aims to find out how best the Action Falls Checklist (previously known as the Guide to Action tool) can be used in care homes to reduce falls. It has been a great opportunity to be actively involved in a large research study and has given me practical experience that I can now use to guide others who wish to be involved in research projects.


Tell us something you’ve learned or improved on

So far, I have learned a lot about the processes for completing research in clinical practice, the wide variety of support that the NIHR CRN can offer, the projects already ongoing within CityCare, and many other things. I continue learning more every day and hope to be able to share this learning with others in the organisation

Tell us something you’ve found challenging

I know from working clinically that it can be really difficult to engage in research because there is often very little time, so I recognise that this is the case for a lot of staff across the organisation. However, research is really important in making sure that the services we provide are the best they can be so that our patients gain the maximum benefit. I hope to work on encouraging more staff to get involved with research and reassure people that research and evidence-based practice is for everyone – it is not only for “academic” people or those with a PhD. The best project ideas often come from those areas of practice that frustrate us and we recognise the need to change, which everyone is able to do. 

Along with the Clinical Effectiveness Lead, I am putting together a training programme for Clinical Audit, Research, and Evaluation (CARE), which will be delivered through live and recorded sessions.

Find out more about how CityCare supports clinical research below 

Date published: 29 June 2022