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Associate nursing professor at LSBU awarded place on 70@70 leadership programme

Dr Suzanne Bench is one of 70 senior nurses and midwives to be accepted onto the programme, which marks the 70-year anniversary of the NHS
04 June 2019

Dr Suzanne Bench, Associate Professor of Nursing at LSBU, is one of 70 senior nurses and midwives to be accepted onto the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) 70@70 leadership programme, launched on 7 May, in recognition of her contribution to developing UK nursing research.

The 70@70 NIHR Leadership Programme, which marks the 70-year anniversary of the NHS, is aimed at senior nurse and midwife clinical leaders with experience of building a research-led care environment for patients while developing existing practice. The purpose of the programme is to strengthen the research voice and influence of nurses and midwives in NHS provider organisations.

The 70 successful applicants are all senior nurses or midwife clinical leaders, who will champion the promotion of an active and embedded research culture in their respective organisations, while encouraging innovation.

Responding to news of her success, Dr Suzanne Bench said: “The focus of my work has been developing nursing research capacity while working as an academic researcher, at London South Bank University and in a hospital. I firmly believe that, to be the best researcher, you need to be working on the ground in a practice environment.

“Everybody working in the health service should feel that they can contribute in some way and identify better ways of doing things. Doctors already have a research element built into their career structure, but many nurses don’t. This is why my work is so important, as it will help nurses develop their careers and contribute to improving patient outcomes and experience.”

Director of Research at LSBU, Professor Jane Wills said: “This is a great accolade for Suzanne Bench in a highly competitive award and testament to her work in improving critical care and the patient and carer experience.  Her joint appointment with an NHS Trust is an example of how our research priorities can be informed by the needs of our NHS Trust partners. This award will demonstrate the benefits and potential for nurses of being part of a research active culture.”

Clare Meachin, Associate Director of Nursing at the NIHR and 70@70 Programme Director, said: “The response to 70@70 has been amazing. The programme has proved extremely popular and it has been gratifying to see so many nurses and midwives share our excitement for the purpose of 70@70.

“The field was strong and the passion to innovate, improve future care and strengthen the research voice shone through. Many congratulations to our 70 successful applicants who are now raring to go, and for those who didn’t make it this time, your hard work and talent has not gone unnoticed.”

Director of Science, Research & Evidence at the Department of Health and Social Careand key note speaker at the event, Louise Wood, said: “I am delighted to join participants at the inaugural meeting of the 70@70 NIHR Senior Nurse and Midwife Research Leadership Programme. Nurses and midwives are by far the UK’s largest group of health care professionals and it’s vital that patients, the health and care system and NIHR benefit from their knowledge, skills and insights.”

Read more about NIHR’s nursing research programme.