Research opportunities for Black and Asian Minority Ethnic staff who work at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust have been significantly boosted thanks to a successful funding bid of £72,000.
Dr Hesham Abdalla, the trust’s Clinical Lead for Quality Improvement, worked with its Faculty of Research and Education (FORCE) to make the bid to the West Midlands Clinical Research Network (CRN) and securing up to £72,000 in innovation funding.
Dr Abdalla, who is a Consultant Paediatrician and Director of Postgraduate Medical Education, made the case to develop the use of Hexitime – a time banking, online skill exchange which focuses on how colleagues can help each other by sharing skills and offering mentor support.
Dr Abdalla explained that the funding would open up more doors for Black and Asian Minority Ethnic staff as well as those within a wide range of roles who may have considered research opportunities out of their reach.
He said: “The CRN panel saw our idea as “truly innovative and very exciting” and at the final stage interview Professor Jeremy Kirk in particular commented on how this could impact research culture in Walsall.
“This was a really positive and encouraging response to our ambition and we’re thrilled to be awarded this funding which will help us to work with colleagues who can no doubt help to make a real difference to the lives of our patients with their existing skills and knowledge which will be enhanced by additional support for experts in many other fields.”
Dr Marie Lewis, Walsall Healthcare’s Associate Director for Research and Professional Development, added: “Team FORCE is excited about the additional opportunities this creates to improve awareness and accessibility of clinical research for all members of staff as well as for the wider Walsall community.
“The last 12 months have been extremely successful for research and development with a number of major clinical trials and studies under way and this is further good news to take us through 2021.”
Hexitime focuses on its members’ assets and what they can offer to others. Everyone’s donated hour is valued equally and often, it is the smallest offers that make the biggest difference. Offers can range from a mentoring conversation with an experienced manager to help with developing infographics to communicate complex messages. All are hugely valuable to the right person at the right time.