Tag: writing

Acronyms and initialisms abounding

Now we’ve completed our IRAS form and been to REC, its onwards to NIHR CSP and NISCHR PCU. Hopefully the SSI we give to R&D will be OK, and once we’ve been adopted by the CRN and CRC we’ll get help from a CSO or two.

So that’s all clear then, right? Apart from ‘OK’, which I presume needs no introduction, these are acronyms and initialisms associated with the process of applying for approval to conduct research in the NHS, and getting help to recruit participants and generate data once permission has been secured. I could add that, in the case of COCAPP, we’re making these applications because we’re interested in the CPA and CTPs, and that we should probably make links with a CLAHRC, an AHSP and keep in with the RRG. And did I mention the MNM we’ve already started? You don’t know about MNM? Then read the papers coming out of RAMESES.

Of course, in writing all this I am wilfully and rather mischievously seeking to confuse. The point, though, is that words matter. Shortcuts and abbreviations can save the time of people who are already in the know, but can present an impenetrable thicket to the outsider. Perhaps the process of navigating NHS research approvals should be described using only the commonest 1,000 words in the English language.



On not lying-in

I’m not very good at lying-in. Once I’m awake (which, on most mornings, is earlier rather than later) I’m up. It’s then a matter of creeping downstairs to do some soundless chores, before making my mandatory mug of strong coffee and grabbing breakfast. Whilst in the kitchen I’ll have the radio on, tuned (at low volume) to BBC R4, for company. Invariably I’ll then make my way to the computer: the very one I’m sitting in front of now.

This blog is about a week old, and a number of my posts have started life in this pre-dawn window of opportunity. Papers I’ve written for publication have often been chipped away at at a similar time. So far the relationship between my writing-for-this-blog and my writing-for-journal-submission has been one-way, in that I’ve used this space to share ideas rehearsed at greater length in already-published academic articles. Indeed, this was one of my purposes in setting this site up: I wanted to experiment with blogging as a way of promoting work, and as a means of engaging beyond the production of lengthy outputs for paid-for journals.

It now occurs to me that this blog might also become a working space for the development of new ideas, and that the relationship between writing-for-journals and writing-for-the-blog might sometimes run in the opposite direction. This forum will never be a substitute for my academic journal-writing, and I’m not proposing to dump heaps of unmanaged data here (even if I had it!) for some kind of public write-in. But I might bring fledging ideas which I’m in the process of working through in my head.

Which brings me to…

At this year’s Network for Psychiatric Nursing Research conference I gave a talk titled, ‘Past, present and possible future in the system of community mental health care’. I intended this to be a kind of reflective run-through, taking in a decade-and-a-half of research and writing in the field. I wanted to touch lightly over a string of studies and papers I’ve had the good fortune to be involved in, and to knit together something cumulative around the themes of system interrelatedness, complexity and change. I’m not sure I pulled this ambition off in that forum, and in the longer term I’d like to work this all up into a full-blown paper. This space might become a repository of some sort for this type of work-in-progress. We’ll have to see, though, and I’ll need to think through how this might happen.

Unrelatedly: I’ll be opening the Mental Health Nurse Academics UK Vice Chair elections on Monday. My congratulations, too, to Louise Poley (Consultant Nurse in Substance Misuse, Cardiff and Vale UHB) for becoming RCN Wales Nurse of the Year. Lou has done outstanding work improving the health of people who are homeless, collaborating with partners across the statutory and non-statutory sectors.

Now I’m off out for run. Thanks, again, for reading.