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Nursing research is set for a boost with the appointment of a professor of nursing research at the Department of Health.
David Thompson, professor of nursing at the University of Hull, will soon become the first such professor at the DoH, giving nursing a powerful new voice within the NHS Executive Research and Development Programme.
Each year the NHS Executive spends around Pounds 80 million on research. Only a small proportion of this is currently spent on research into improving nursing provision.
Professor Thompson's role will be part time. His tasks will include setting up a committee to advise the department on priorities for nursing, midwifery and health visiting within its research programme.
He will also be responsible for advising on how the nursing profession might best be encouraged to contribute to, and make full use of, research.
Professor Thompson said the appointment would give nursing a separate voice and make sure it made a contribution and benefitted from DoH research.