Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust Clinical School

The Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust Clinical School is a partnership between the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust and the University of Plymouth. It exists to promote evidence-based practice and to grow and nurture clinically-focused non-medical research that enhances patient care.

Our objectives are to:

  • Increase research capacity, skills, and outputs within nursing, midwifery and allied health professions.
  • Increase evidence-based practice activity, enhancing the translation of evidence into practice.
  • Strengthen the position of the patient as the focal point for care – putting the patient at the heart of the Clinical School’s activity.

The Clinical School supports and conducts a wide range of activities that include:

  • the Alumni Clinical Research Grant Scheme
  • funded scholarships (supported by Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust Charitable Funds)
  • doctoral candidates conducting clinical research
  • master students undertaking Clinical School targeted dissertations
  • hosting international visitors and visiting scholars
  • developing research interest groups
  • developing and delivering programmes and seminars with clinicians to support evidence-based-practice
  • the dissemination of nursing research findings
  • the centre for ‘novice to expert’ researcher mentorship; research grant sourcing and application support and submission, complementing existing resources including the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust’s Research and Development Department.

Clinical School Leads

Professor Jill Shawe

Professor of Women's Health and Joint Director of the RCHT Clinical School

Frazer Underwood

Consultant Nurse/Associate Chief Nurse and Joint Director of the RCHT Clinical School

Professor Bridie Kent

Executive Dean, Faculty of Health and Human Sciences, University of Plymouth.

Honorary Clinical School Fellows

  • Zoe Cooper, Consultant Nurse
  • Louise Dickinson, Consultant Nurse/Associate Chief Nurse
  • Liz Farrington, Consultant Nurse
  • Sian Goddard, Physiotherapist
  • Emma Lamarti, Dietitian
  • Heather Newton, Consultant Nurse
  • Emma Underwood, Occupational Therapist

Honorary Clinical School Associate Professor

  • Kim O’Keeffe, Chief Nurse

Honorary Clinical School Associates

  • Lisa Burrows, Senior Research Nurse, Cornwall Partnership Trust
  • Tristan Coombe, Lecturer, University of Plymouth

Linking research with practice

Work with us

Monthly drop-in sessions – designed for non-medical staff to meet the Clinical School team. The sessions are advertised via the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust's One+All staff bulletin and are held on the first Thursday of the month, 12:00-14:00 in The Ingredients Restaurant at the Royal Cornwall Hospital. No appointment is necessary.

Submitting a research idea – use the online form to submit a research idea and it will be reviewed by the research and development team. You will be contacted by the Clinical School team to explore your idea further.

Individual meetings and bespoke drop-ins – contact the Clinical School team for bespoke meetings.

Prizes available

  • Annual Travel Scholarship
  • Quarterly #400Words writing competition
  • JBI Systematic Review Training Prize
  • Small project scholarships
All prizes are generously supported by the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust Charitable Fund. For more information on these prizes, please visit the Royal Cornwall Hospital NHS Trust.

Clinical partner status awarded to Cornwall's Acute Hospital Trust

The University of Plymouth's Joanna Briggs Institute Centre of Clinical Excellence has awarded the Clinical School at Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust clinical partner status. This acknowledges the work clinical colleagues, affiliated to the Clinical School, have undertaken in systematic review activities to-date and their commitment share new knowledge and promote evidence based practice activities through workshops and implementation reviews. This formal partnership will further grow networking and researching activities between academic and clinical staff to benefit patients and service users.

Systematic Review Training Prize Winner

The Clinical School at Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust offered a prize to stimulate interest and activity around systematic reviews.

Zoe Cooper, Consultant Nurse for Safeguarding won the 2018 Clinical School JBI Systematic Review Prize. Zoe will be trained and supported to lead a JBI review. She will be looking at the impact of recent legislative changes in domestic abuse policy on older people.

South West Clinical Schools

The South West Clinical Schools are a collaboration between the University of Plymouth and the NHS, working with nurses, midwives, and allied health professionals at all stages of their clinical and academic development.

Our work with local health services has identified the urgent need to capture improvements in patient and family outcomes, as well as ensure that existing evidence is used to best develop the research led by non-medical health professionals. To meet these needs, we have invested in clinical schools, which are professorial-led centres, in five of our local NHS trusts. The main focus for the clinical schools is to encourage health professionals to look at their practice, challenge current thinking, try out new ideas and work out ways to measure what they're doing.

Find out more about the South West Clinical Schools