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Research Dissemination Workshop

“Improving the capabilities of NHS organisations to use evidence”

A research dissemination event on Wednesday 18 May 2016 at Scarman Conference Centre, University of Warwick


At this one-day national event we reported the major results of a two year NIHR, Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) Programme funded research project “Improving the capabilities of NHS organisations to use evidence”.

This project focusses on what forms of evidence are used by commissioning groups when making service improvements, when evidence is used and how, with a view to improving organizational capabilities for evidence-based decisions.

Presenters at the workshop included Professor Matthew Cripps, National Director NHS Right Care and members of the WBS project team including Principal Investigator Professor Jacky Swan, Professor Davide Nicolini, Dr Rachel Manning and Dr Emmanouil Gkeredakis.

The audience was comprised of academics, researchers and representatives from a number of NHS organisations including CLAHRCs, AHSNs, NHS Commissioning Policy Unit, Clinical Commissioning Groups and Support Units, and NHS Foundation Trusts.

Summary of the event

In his thought-provoking keynote address Professor Cripps used a number of case studies and examples to illustrate how the Rightcare approach can help to make decisions more evidence based and have a direct, measurable impact on healthcare outcomes.

The project team presented examples from observations of how evidence is used in commissioning decisions and then discussed the capabilities that allow NHS organizations to better use evidence in their decision making. There was also an outline of how NICE approaches the production of evidence and a session during which the participants were invited to discuss and feedback on a preliminary toolkit designed by the team to help NHS organisations to use evidence.

In the afternoon we were joined by WBS colleagues Dr Yaru Chen and Professor Tina Kiefer who introduced their own, related, research and invited participants to help them test a self-development tool they have developed to help Clinical Commissioning Groups assess and improve their decision-making capability.


The project team thought the event was extremely useful and were very grateful for some valuable contributions and suggestions from the participants which will help us with the final stages of this project and with the rest of our dissemination activity.

Some of the comments left after the event were:

“interesting and informative agenda; good range of speakers and presentations” (anon)

“great event; really made me think more widely about evidence and research and I may come back for a further discussion once I’ve had time to reflect” (NHS England)

“very well presented; good format; good timing” (anon)

“the speakers were excellent; this research should be disseminated nationally” (anon)

“enjoyable, informative day; most of the day had direct relevance to our work as an AHSN and provided useful food for thought” (WM AHSN)

“very interesting, high quality study; needs to be widely disseminated” (anon)

“I felt the workshop was particularly powerful as it had a large representation from the user-group the research was aimed at” (WMG)

“really interesting presentations… followed each other well and provided an interesting range of perspectives; good balance of participants and really well organised” (GM CLAHRC)

Next steps

The project team will now produce the final report which will be submitted by the end of June. We have also secured funding from ESRC impact acceleration grant to help develop user-friendly learning resources on improving capabilities to use evidence.

We are also continuing to work on the findings from this project with collaborators from CLAHRC West Midlands & Health Education England and if you have any ideas about further collaboration we would love to hear from you.

If you would like to find out more then please contact

img_3434.jpg Discussion groups

This project was funded by the National Institute for Health Research HS&DR (project number 12/5002/20)
The views and opinions expressed therein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the HS&DR, NIHR, NHS or the Department of Health