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The production and scale of implementation of evidence based innovation in a range of clinical domains through an Impact Acceleration Unit


The research is conducted as a part of the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) West Midlands which is a five-year initiative (2019-2024) with a mission to create lasting and effective partnerships across health and social care organisations, and universities (Birmingham, Keele and Warwick) in order to improve care services across the West Midlands.

Within NIHR ARC WM the thematic research programme titled Implementation Science and Organisational Studies (ISOS) led by Professor Graeme Currie (Warwick Business School, University of Warwick) draws upon organisation science as a necessary component of service delivery/implementation science and is intended to accelerate the translation of clinical evidence into frontline care.

Policy and Practice Partners:


Co-Funding partners:


Aims and Objectives:

The purpose of the research project is examining structures, processes and effects of IAU as promoting, implementing and scaling up evidence-based innovation in collaboration with its regional partners and service users. We are looking at how IAU regional partners are bringing in knowledge to innovate and the processes to scale up.

In particular the research objectives can be summarized as follows:

  • To investigate structures and processes through which evidence-based innovation is developed, implemented, sustained and scaled up in healthcare services.
  • To map the network of people involved in developing, implementing, sustaining and scaling up an innovation.
  • To understand how the different players interact developing, implementing, sustaining and scaling up the innovation, and what’s the IAU role in it is.
  • To understand how the Impact Accelerator Unit is working in supporting the innovation implementation.
  • To understand how the knowledge to innovate and to scale up the innovation is brought through the IAU.
  • To understand what are the barriers and facilitators to the knowledge brokering role in innovation implementation.



This qualitative research study will be based on a multiple case study (Langley, 1999, Stake, 1995) with the purpose of inductive theory building, aimed at building theory on “how” and “why” social phenomena, such as the development, implementation, use and diffusion of innovations (Yin, 2014). The inductive theory building will recursively cycle through the case data, emerging theory and existing literature.


Data collection:

  1. Semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders from the domains where evidence based innovation is being implemented through the IAU. Interviewees will represent clinicians, managers and public contributors in their role within IAU at Keele University.
  2. Non­participant observation of events regarding the development and implementation of clinical evidence into practice, e.g. meetings held by IAU regional partners and between the healthcare providers and IAU involved in the innovation implementation.
  3. Analysis of documents regarding development and implementation of evidence-based innovation. This might include, e.g., internal reports, workshop presentations, educational materials, guideline/template to support decision making.

Main Results:

TBA, the project has recently started, results will follow in due course.



TBA, the project has recently started, results will follow in due course.


Implications for Implementation:

The importance of effective translation of clinical evidence into clinical practice to improve the treatment outcomes of healthcare delivery and increase its economic efficiency, has been recognized by researchers and practitioners in healthcare settings. Yet, in highly professionalized settings with strong jurisdictional boundaries, that are led and influenced by multiple powerful stakeholders, timely and scaled-up implementation of innovations needs to be facilitated by organizational structures that enable efficient communication, knowledge brokering, and coordination of value. In the proposed research we aim to theorize the production and scale of implementation of evidence based innovation in a range of clinical domains through an Impact Acceleration Unit (IAU), with understanding the role of the Impact Acceleration Unit at Keele University and its involvement with health care providers in facilitating implementation and innovation in selected clinical domains.