RCHT Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust 
The South West Clinical School in Cornwall is a partnership between the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, Cornwall Partnership Foundation Trust and the University of Plymouth. It exists to promote evidence-based practice, to develop clinically-focused non-medical research programmes that enhances patient care and to grow and nurture clinical academic pathway opportunities and careers.
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 Charitable Funds)
  • pre-doctoral, doctoral and post-doctoral colleagues conducting clinical research
  • master students undertaking Clinical School targeted dissertations
  • hosting international visitors and visiting scholars
  • developing research active interest groups and accredited clinical academic wards and departments
  • developing and delivering researcher development programmes and seminars with clinicians to support evidence-based-practice
  • the dissemination of nursing research findings, including publication support
  • the centre for ‘novice to expert’ researcher mentorship; research grant sourcing and application support and submission, complementing existing resources including the Trust’s Research and Development Department and Cornwall Health Library.

Clinical School Leadership Team

J Shawe & F Underwood

Professor Jill Shawe

Professor of Maternal and Family Health and Co-Director of the South West Clinical School in Cornwall.

Dr Frazer Underwood

Associate Clinical Professor (Honorary)/Consultant Nurse, Associate Director for NMAHP Research Nurse and Co-Director of the South West Clinical School in Cornwall.

Dr Lisa Burrows

Clinical Academic and South West Clinical School in Cornwall Service Manager. 

Dr Helen Lyndon

Clinical Academic, Honorary Clinical Fellow of the South West Clinical School in Cornwall and Member of the Leadership Team.

Linking research with practice

South West Clinical School Journal 

The South West Clinical School Journal was brought to life by the South West Clinical School in Cornwall. 
The online journal is an extension of their staff engagement activity to encourage writing for publication. For a number of years, the team had run a #400Word writing competition, open to all nurses, midwives and allied health professionals. The competition give staff the opportunity to write and locally publish articles that reflected on evidence informed projects they had planned and delivered in practice. 
The first iteration of an electronic journal in 2021, hosted on the Cornwall Health Library’s website, was a way of meeting the challenge of how to disseminate an increasing number of submissions each quarter. This opened up access and readership, and also stimulated others to write for the Journal.
In 2022, ambitions grew and the opportunity to allow these published articles to be better searched and available saw the Journal migrated to be hosted on the University’s Open Access Research Repository – PEARL, where it proudly resides today.
By popular demand, in July 2023, the Journal ceased to be just a Cornwall focused publication. The opportunity to nurture novice talent through journal writing was recognised across the wider South West Clinical School’s region. From September 2023, the Journal is open to all regional Clinical School Nurses, Midwives and Allied Health Professionals to write #400Words for publication.  

Our Chief Nursing Officers Research Fellowship Programme 

Like many of the Clinical Schools in the region, the South West Clinical School in Cornwall has developed, and locally established, an early career research programme targeting junior nurses, midwives and allied health professionals. Their Chief Nursing Officer’s Research Fellowship Programme is open to junior registered NMAHPs working in Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust and Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Fellowships start in September and last for one year. Each Fellow is seconded one-day-a-fortnight to the Clinical School to receive training in the use of the JBI Evidence Implementation Model to implement a local evidence informed change project. During this project they explore research principles, such as the ethics of good research, research methods and techniques and the analysing and reporting of data. During their secondment, each Fellow will gain exposure to research delivery and have the opportunity to participate alongside the research delivery team in practice. 
The final element of the fellowship programme focuses on career development, and Fellows are mentored by a senior clinical academic to explore and receive support to develop their own clinical academic career ambitions after the programme.
The Cornwall Chief Nursing Officer’s Research Fellows then publish their project plans in the South West Clinical School Journal.

Engagement activities and opportunities

  • #400Word writing competition – quarterly prizes awarded for 400 word submission illustrating the translation of evidence-based practice (contact the Clinical School for submission guidelines)
  • Virtual drop-in sessions – designed for non-medical staff to meet the Clinical School team to seek advice and support with clinical academic opportunities. 
  • Research idea support – 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.
  • Joanna Briggs Institute resources and opportunities – the Clinical School is a Clinical Partner of the Univesity’s Collaborating Centre, and as such have a wide range of resources available to staff to access evidence and tools to support implementation of evidence into practice.
  • Virtual writing café – the Clinical School offers bespoke support staff developing academic assignments for publication or to progress #400Word submissions.
  • Seminars and workshops – planned and bespoke opportunities throughout the year (contact the Clinical School of more details).
  • Virtual journal clubs – committed to the development of clinically and academically accredited wards and departments, establishing specialty multidisciplinary journal clubs is a great first step. In partnership with the Cornwall Health Library team, these are facilitated to start with to get them up and running.
  • Prizes and awards – prizes such as the annual travel scholarship, JBI Comprehensive Systemic Review Training prizes and small project scholarships.
All prizes are generously supported by the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust Charitable Fund. For more information on these prizes, please visit their website for more information.

Latest news

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 South West Clinical School in Cornwall 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.
The Joanna Briggs Collaboration logo

Systematic Review Training Prizes and Support Group

The South West Clinical School in Cornwall promotes an annual prize to attract nurses, midwives and allied health professionals interested in systematically exploring the published evidence to find new knowledge and insights into a practice area they are interested in. The prize pays course fees to learn and participation at the annual University’s JBI Systematic Review Training Course.
After course completion, the hard work begins. To help, the Clinical School hosts a monthly online session with prizewinning colleagues from around county, these ‘systematic reviewers’ continue to receive support and coaching to complete systematic or scoping review protocols and with the support of a Specialist Librarian in the Cornwall Health Library their final reviews. A number of published protocols and reviews from the Clinical School in Cornwall can be found at The University of Plymouth Centre for Innovations in Health and Social Care
(L-R) Frazer Underwood, 

Associate Chief Nurse
- Royal Cornwall
Hospitals NHS Trust; Zoe Cooper, Safeguarding Lead Nurse at Royal Cornwall
Hospitals NHS Trust; and Professor Jill Shawe, Director of the University of Plymouth Institute of Health and Community 

Honorary Clinical School Research Fellows

  • Dr Alison James, Associate Professor in Midwifery
  • Ali James, Nurse Lecturer 
  • Alison Bartlett, Associate Director for Mental Health and Learning Disability Nursing and Consultant Nurse 
  • Amie Emmett, Specialist Practitioner 
  • Amy Keates, Midwife 
  • Andrew Cashmore, Nurse Lecturer 
  • Angela Gibbon, Consultant Physiotherapist 
  • Carol Wilson, Occupational Therapist 
  • Caroline Jamison, Associate Head of School – Teaching and Learning 
  • Chloe Dyer, Nurse Lecturer
  • Christine Bloor, Consultant Radiographer
  • Christine Eade, Consultant Radiographer
  • Diane Carpenter, Nurse Lecturer 
  • Donna Fletcher, Nurse Lecturer
  • Emma Lamarti, Dietician
  • Emma Underwood, Lymphedema Specialist (Occupational Therapist)
  • Dr Gary Hodge, Research Fellow
  • Gemma Morshead, Trainee Advanced Practitioner
  • Hazel Cowles, Nurse Lecturer
  • Heather Newton, Consultant Nurse
  • Dr Helen Lyndon, Consultant Nurse
  • Joanne Taylor, Deputy Director of IPAC/Consultant Nurse
  • Julie Wright, Speech and Language Therapist 
  • Karen Cock, Consultant Nurse 
  • Linda Duggan, Nurse Lecturer
  • Lisa Attrill, Nurse Lecturer
  • Dr Lisa Burrows, Lecturer, University of Plymouth 
  • Liz Farrington, Clinical Director and Consultant Nurse 
  • Liz Tremayne-Ward, Occupational Therapist
  • Louisa Forbes, Consultant Nurse
  • Louisa Tompkins, Midwife
  • Louise Dickinson, Deputy Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health and Director of Infection Prevention and Control (Consultant Nurse)
  • Lynne Osborne, Consultant Nurse
  • Mike Wilcock, Senior Pharmacist
  • Neil Powell, Consultant Pharmacist
  • Nicci Aylward-Wotton, Consultant Nurse
  • Rachel Mullins, Midwife
  • Richard Keates, Specialist Physiotherapist
  • Rowen Hicks, Consultant Sonographer
  • Ruth Bishop, Research Practitioner (Occupational Therapist)
  • Sam Newton, Staff Nurse
  • Sam Pearce, Trainee Advanced Practitioner
  • Samuel Edwards, Consultant Nurse
  • Sarah Martyn, Consultant Radiographer
  • Sarah Myers, Nurse Lecturer
  • Sarah-Jane Pedlar, Consultant Midwife
  • Sarah-Lou Skitt, Consultant Nurse
  • Dr Sharon Eustice, Consultant Nurse
  • Sian Goddard, Physiotherapy Lecturer
  • Dr Sophia Hulbert, Specialist Physiotherapist 
  • Sophie Bennett, Therapeutic Radiographer 
  • Sue Widdison, Consultant Radiographer
  • Suzanne Adams, Specialist Practitioner
  • Tamsin Fussel, Consultant Nurse, 
  • Tristan Coombe, Lecturer, University of Plymouth
  • Zoe Cooper, Consultant Nurse 

Honorary Clinical School Research Associates

  • Katy Oak, Knowledge Service Manager
  • Sinead Blowers, Subject Librarian 

Honorary Associate Professors of the Clinical School 

  • Kim O’Keeffe, Chief Nursing Officer 
  • Frazer Underwood, Associate Director of Nursing for Research, Innovation and Improvement and Consultant Nurse in Integrated Services for Older People

Honorary Associate Directors of Nursing and Midwifery

  • Professor Bridie Kent, Professor in Nursing Leadership
  • Professor Jill Shawe, Professor in Maternal and Family Health 
Jill Shawe & Frazer Underwood

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

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