Consensus on Research Priorities for Essex & Herts Air Ambulance: A Delphi Study

For which topic were research priorities identified?

air ambulance & emergency medical service

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Europe - United Kingdom

Why was it conducted at all?

Essex & Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT) is a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) charity that provides enhanced pre-hospital critical care to critically ill and injured patients in Essex, Hertfordshire and surrounding areas 24 hours a day, seven days a week. EHAAT is a research active organisation, striving to continually improve patient care and outcomes through evidence-based practice. EHAAT sought to develop a five-year research strategy that aligns with their clinical work streams and organisational priorities, using a bottom up approach to survey all staff members in the organisation.

What was the objective?

to develop a five-year research strategy for Essex & Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT) that aligns with their clinical work streams and organizational priorities

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 5 research questions

How long did the research prioritization take?

No information provided.

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?


How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: Delphi round 1: participants asked to submit up to five research questions that they felt were of greatest importance to EHAAT to advance the care provided to patients, 86 research questions submitted. Step 2: data processing: duplicates removed, resulting in 69 questions. Step 3: Delphi round 2: participants were asked to rate the importance of each question, questions with mean rating of 4 or higher were taken forward. Step 4: Delphi round 3: list of 14 questions, participants asked to rank questions

Which stakeholders took part?

Staff at EHAAT. Delphi round 1: 22 participants: 3 charity staff, 7 pre-hospital care doctors, 5 critical care paramedics, 1 member of the executive team, 2 trustees, 4 staff with roles spanning two areas of the organization. Delphi round 2: 11 participants: 4 pre-hospital care doctors, 1 critical care paramedic, 1 trustee, 2 staff with roles spanning two areas of the organization). Delphi round 3: 12 participants: 3 pre-hospital care doctors, 3 critical care paramedics,4 staff members with roles spanning two areas of the organization.

How were stakeholders recruited?

All staff at EHAAT were invited to participate. This included the Executive Team (N=6), Clinical Team (N=53) and Charity staff (Fundraising and Events, Communications, Finance and Lottery, Support and Retail, N=58). The Charity’s Trustees (N=9) were also invited to take part. A total of 126 people were therefore contacted about the study.

Were stakeholders actively involved or did they just participate?

Stakeholders were mere participants of the research prioritization process; they were not actively involved in the process.