The philosophy of our research in Critical Care is integration of research into clinical practice and the patient care pathway. This is achieved by having a research team (medical and nursing) who are clinically experienced within the specialty and who are integrated into the multidisciplinary teams and critical care units at sites.

Within the clinical area, the role of the research staff includes education and support of trial interventions. The research medical and nursing staff work alongside the clinical bedside staff to undertake most of the trial work and/or to support the bedside staff in doing so, thus ensuring patient and trial safety. Good communication is essential. Early communication regarding all trials to ensure collaboration and good feasibility is followed up with continuous communication and training.

Trials undertaken across Dorset reflect the specialities and workload of each individual site, following consideration of feasibility. A balanced portfolio of care-intervention trials, and lower intensity data collection trials, allows good trial management and recruitment.

The success of embedding research into the critical care departments has been due to integration and clinical teams embracing research. The results of completed trials are discussed and clinical care updated to best practice, thus staff can see the value in participation and being part of developing and improving patient care.