Tagged / AUKUH

BU’s Clinical Academic Doctorates; an example of good practice in new official guidance

The Association of UK University Hospitals (AUKUH) has today released new guidance, Transforming healthcare through clinical academic roles in nursing, midwifery and allied health professions: A practical resource for healthcare provider organisations

The guide is aimed at NHS organisational leads with the responsibility for developing and embedding clinical academic roles for nursing, midwifery and allied health professions. Clinical academics serve as a crucial connection between the NHS and universities, working to train future generations of healthcare workers while engaging in research which can improve outcomes for patients and help increase efficiency.

The guide contains practical information, case studies and templates. One of the case studies highlighted is BU’s innovative clinical academic doctorates. The pragmatic four-year clinical doctorate model enables midwives and nurses to remain in practice while conducting a piece of research to meet clinical priorities. The four-year clinical doctorate is a joint development involving academics at Bournemouth University and clinical colleagues at NHS trusts. The doctorate is structured to enable students to spend two days a week in clinical practice and three days conducting research. All research projects are jointly developed to meet an identified clinical need.

The model originated for midwives in Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, where we have eight fellows, and has now been adopted by the Isle of Wight NHS Trust, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Poole Hospitals NHS Trust and Dorset County Hospitals NHS Trust (Way et al., 2016). The model is also being extended to other disciplines, with our first nurse fellow at Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Trust.


Professor Debbie Carrick-Sen, Co-Chair of the group which produced the guidance, says:

‘Creating this resource has required a significant amount of collaboration from colleagues across healthcare and we are truly grateful to them. The energy that has gone into it is a huge credit to the professions involved. Through this guidance they have the means to share their immense successes, learn from each other and ultimately work to the benefit of patient care.

‘The guidance will be the starting point. We have established a network of organisational leads with the responsibility for its development and for using it to implement clinical academic roles across the UK. This gives us a fantastic opportunity to begin a nationwide dialogue and to transform health and social care in the UK.’


Way S, van Teijlingen E, HundleyV, Westwood G, Walton G, Wiggins D, Colbourne D, Richardson C, Wixted D, Mylod D (2016) Dr Know. Midwives, 19, 66-67.