Default Header

Research and Evidence Based Practice: Everyone's Responsibility


In NHSScotland, The Healthcare Quality Strategy produced by the Scottish Government, is the national policy for improving the quality of care for the people you care for. It stresses the need for all staff to play their part in improving quality, and focuses on three quality ambitions. These are that healthcare services should be person-centered, safe and effective.  Using research findings, evidence based practice, audit and evaluation in your work, are some of the ways that you can help to improve the quality of care you provide and make an active contribution to meeting the quality ambitions.

Quality Strategy link:

This includes the role of research in contributing to the development of the care provided, development of interventions and treatments and understanding the experience of those receiving and providing healthcare (Griffiths, 2010).

This unit helps you to develop and use your research skills and knowledge in practice. There are activities to help you find the information that you want throughout this unit. However, you might find the Finding the right Research activity 'Top Tips for Literature Searching' particularly useful.  Think about the aspects of your work that are evidence based and used in your workplace and how you learned about them. 

Web Based Activity

One of the best ways to explore why research is important for practice is to find out how it has been used to improve practice.

Firstly, if do not already have it, you will need to register for and Athens password to access journal articles using The Knowledge Network. Click through to the application and complete this to obtain an Athens password.

Then carry out a search for a 2-3 articles to read that either relate to your area of practice or practice or your discipline. You may want to link this activity with the activities in the 'Finding the Right Research' section that will help you find relevant databases. Remember that you may come across articles from other professions that may be relevant. We can all learn from our colleagues and how they approach using research evidence to inform their practice.

Try searching using the following search terms in conjunction with the area of practice you want to look at:

  • evidence based care
  • research based care

You can save your search for using in later activities, for example, the 'Using your Skills' activity in the Developing your Critical Appraisal skills section or activities in other units.

Practice Based Activity A

In your work setting there will be aspects of the work that are either:

  • based on evidence (e.g. guidelines, protocols, pathways)
  • have been changed in response to audit or feedback from the people you care for
  • are being studied as part of research projects or clinical trials
  • historical and have always been done that way

Select one aspect of your work:

  • identify why work is done in this way
  • identify how this work impacts on the people you care for
  • review the evidence to support this way of working and note down your thoughts on this and what changes could be made to improve practice based on the evidence or recommendations that you have looked at

You can use the information you have found and looked at here for the next activity and the 'Looking at how your skills are developing' in the Developing your critical appraisal skills section.

Practice Based Activity B

In the previous activities in this section, you have reviewed the evidence or research into an aspect of your work and the care provided in your work setting. Discuss what you have found and your assessment of this with your mentor, supervisor or a colleague.

You may find the bullet points in the other practice based activity in this unit useful in guiding your discussion.

Regulation Activity

As a registered healthcare professional, you are required by your regulator (HPC or NMC) to use the best available evidence when delivering care.

Review what is expected of you and your discipline by the Nursing and Midwifery Council Code or Health and Care Professions Council Standards of Proficiency.

NMC code

HCPC standards

Reflect on what you have read and how this impacts on your practice. Think about this in terms of safety, effectiveness of the care you provide and how it takes into account the views of the people you care for. Record this for your portfolio. This is an opportunity to look at your practice and to provide evidence that you are meeting your regulatory body requirements.

Portfolio Activity

Portfolio activity

Make a portfolio entry which summarises what you have learned about using evidence in practice and your responsibilities as a registered practitioner.

Make sure you discuss this with your mentor/supervisor.

As well as using this information in your Flying Start portfolio, can you use your examples from practice as evidence for KSF or Nursing and Midwifery Council/Health Professions Council to show that you are developing your skills and are using evidence in your practice?