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Background The provision of high quality fundamental care in hospitals is a top priority for the NHS. Recent reports and investigations highlight that at times care has fallen below standard. It is unclear what research should be prioritised to improve care. The aim of this work is to involve patients/carers/public, clinicians and other stakeholders to identify issues that are priorities for research which could improve fundamental care in hospital. Methods Patient and public involvement was integral to this project, with a patient leader/service user being a member of the core team who designed and executed this research. After consideration of existing priority setting approaches, we developed an inclusive approach which consisted of six main phases: 1) Development of a conceptual framework of fundamental care, based on reports and literature 2) Consultation with a wide range of stakeholders through a survey, focus groups and interviews 3) Identifying themes from the responses to the consultation phase (76 themes identified) 4) Analysis to identify the 15 topics most frequently cited 5) Prioritisation of the top 15 themes through a half day workshop, which led to a shortlist of five themes 6) Development of the top 5 themes into research areas. Results Three hundred forty stakeholders (29 % of whom were patients/carers/ public) completed the consultation survey. Analysis of the survey responses and of focus groups and interviews led us to identify 15 high scoring themes. We presented these at the prioritisation workshop, attended by 39 participants (23 of whom patients/carers/public). After a voting exercise, the 5 top research priorities which emerged were: nurse staffing; individualised patient care; staff communication; staff attitudes and relationships with patients; and information about care. Conclusions We involved a range of stakeholders in identifying topics for research to improve fundamental care and asked them to prioritise these. The process provided a means of reaching consensus as to the important issues for future research to focus on to improve fundamental care on hospital wards.
Ball, J., Ballinger, C., De Iongh, A., Dall’ora, C., Crowe, S., & Griffiths, P. (2016). Determining priorities for research to improve fundamental care on hospital wards. Research Involvement and Engagement, 2(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40900-016-0045-8
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