Tag Archives: Research and development

National survey of local innovation and research needs of the NHS

What does this mean for libraries?

  • Libraries can actively look to disseminate information about national or local research and innovation projects to their users / organisation through current awareness services, literature searches or in specific focused events or activities to raise awareness.
  • This could be an opportunity to establish links with local research & development departments to establish which subject areas are of interest so current awareness services or bulletins addressing those topics can be provided; and raise awareness within the research and development team of the library’s ability to assist with literature searches, access to information databases, and searches for grey literature.
  • Libraries could host research coffee mornings or similar as meeting opportunities for researchers and those interested in innovation in their organisation to meet up and discuss potential projects, and lessons learned from failed projects.
  • Libraries could find out about their local regional Academic Health Science Network and disseminate to their organisation / service users information about what projects the research network is currently running.

Source: AHSN (Academic Health Science Network)

Link to main document

Date of publication: April 2019

Summary of driver:

This report summarises the national findings from a survey to identify local NHS innovation and research needs in England.

The views of local health stakeholders, including clinical leaders, managers and directors, within each AHSN (Academic Health Science Network) were sought.

There were some differences in regional priorities, but common themes emerged that reflected wider challenges facing the NHS and align with the NHS Long Term Plan.

These include a need for innovation and research addressing:

  • workforce challenges
  • delivering mental health services and providing care for patients with mental health needs
  • integrating services to provide effective care for patients with complex needs – including multi-morbidity and frailty.
  • research into the needs for specific patient groups – people with mental health conditions, older people and socially-isolated people.
  • using digital and artificial intelligence technology.

The survey also asked about respondents’ ability to access innovation and research in their region and confidence in implementing it.

The survey identified where research existed in the respondents’ priority areas, using it and implementing the research were identified as potential problems.

Improvements in communication and dissemination of information were identified as improvements needed to raise awareness of research and innovation; whilst sharing knowledge was identified as important for improving the application of innovation and research.

A framework for mental health research

What does this mean for libraries? 

  • Opportunities to link in with our colleagues undertaking research
  • Supporting researchers – providing information / research skills training to help identify high quality clinical research, promoting relevant journals / research publications, circulating eTOC alerts and current awareness services (e.g. evidence update bulletins).


Source: Department of Health

Link to main document 

Date of publication: December 2017

Summary of driver: This framework provides a collective view of how mental health research should develop in the UK over the next decade. It sets out a structure to improve co-ordination and strengthen the focus on areas where mental health research is likely to translate into significant health benefit. It is a response to a recommendation in the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health report that the Department of Health lead on the development of a 10-year strategy for mental health research.

NHS England Research Plan

Impact on library policy/practice:

Library and Knowledge Services are specifically mentioned in the Research Plan. Firstly, NHS England will work in a supporting role with NHS LKS in the development of communities of practice and enabling the translation of evidence into practice (p. 17).

Secondly, NHS England will work with HEE to support NHS LKS to ensure best evidence underpins research, and that researchers can freely access LKS, including training in advanced search and information handling skills (p. 17).

Information skills training is something that NHS libraries are already offering, though it may be necessary to promote our ability to provide more advanced training to researchers, or to review what other training we can offer to researchers. Whilst researchers in many NHS trusts will have access to LKS, there may be other organisations such as CCGs where there is limited access, and it may be necessary to put an SLA in place; this driver could be used as an argument that organisations need to ensure their researchers have access to libraries and the necessary information skills training.

The development of communities of practice is a new area for libraries, especially across organisational boundaries, but there are initiatives such as the KnowledgeShare service that are already enabling this where organisations subscribe, and NHS Education for Scotland have national systems in place such as People Connect. At a local level, there is an example in the KfH Knowledge Management Toolkit of the development of communities of practice using the Intranet within Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust. Part of our role may also be to signpost to existing communities of practice.

There may also be a role for libraries as part of the PPI agenda to promote recruitment into local research, and the Research Plan specifically mentions improving public access to research opportunities and recruitment (p. 15).

There are some more ideas on how libraries can support research on a blog post on the KfH blog.

Overall, this document makes clear the importance of research and its use in the NHS and could be used by NHS LKS to push to be more fully involved in the research agenda in the NHS.

Source: NHS England

Link to main document

Publication format: PDF

Date of publication: April 2017

Summary of driver:

NHS England is mandated by the Department of Health to promote and support research in NHS organisations, whether funded commercially or non-commercially. This plan sets out NHS England’s strategic approach to research and how it links with work across Government, including the Industrial Strategy.

It recognises that research is vital to provide the evidence to transform care and improve outcomes.

There are three main areas of focus:

  • Driving the direction of research by ensuring commissioned research addresses the needs of the NHS. Part of this will include defining what research is needed. A Research Needs Panel has already been created.
  • Contributing to creating an environment that fosters research and innovation by supporting commissioners, CSUs, AHSNs, and national programmes to facilitate research in the NHS. It will also include supporting the recruitment of patients into trials, and the allocation of funding for Genomic Medicine Centres.
  • Supporting the use of evidence in decision making, and translating research into practice by using a range of ways to share good practice such as partnership working, networks and guidance. A ‘research and use of evidence self-assessment’ tool for CCGs has already been produced.

Key features of driver:

The document lists all of the partners that NHS England will work with to promote and support research, and in some cases gives a brief description of the role they play in research.

A part of the strategy is to develop the genomic medicines service, with the aim of sequencing 100,000 human genomes by the end of 2018, and developing a genomic medicine laboratory infrastructure. Initially the focus is on cancers and rare inherited diseases.

There will be work to promote patient and public participation in research, such as recruitment to clinical trials, by contributing to NHS Choices and the UK Clinical Trials Gateway.

Primary audience: Chief executives and accountable officers of NHS organisations, national bodies with an interest in healthcare research, higher education institutions.

Date last updated: July 2017

Due for review: July 2018

Group member responsible: JC

Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRCs)

Also known as CLAHRCs

Source: National Institute for Healthcare Research

Link to main document 

Publication format: Web page includes links to a number of regional CLAHRCs

Date of publication: 20th January 2016 (last update)

Summary of driver: CLAHRCs are collaborations of NHS providers, NHS commissioners, universities, other relevant local organisations and Academic Health Science Networks. There are 13 regional CLAHRCs whose primary focus is chronic disease and public health, and they conduct research and translate into improved patient outcomes.

Key features of driver: The aims of the NIHR CLAHRCs are to:

  • Create a distributed model for the conduct and application of applied health research
  • Create and embed approaches to research and its dissemination
  • Increase the country’s capacity to conduct high quality applied health research focused on the needs of patients, particularly targeted at chronic disease and public health interventions
  • Improve patient outcomes locally and across the wider NHS
  • Contribute to the country’s growth by working with the life sciences industry.

£124 million has been allocated to 13 new Collaborations for a five-year period from 1 January 2014, funding allocation and key areas of research are listed on the main web page. The 13 CLARCs are listed below, each offer varied opportunities to network:

Primary audience: Researchers in NHS, Public Health and Universities

Impact on library policy/practice: Opportunities to link in with our colleagues undertaking research

Date last updated: 19th February 2016

Due for review: 19th February 2017

Group member responsible: Tracey Pratchett

Research and Development Strategy (Draft) 2013 – 2018

Title: Research and Development Strategy (Draft) 2013 – 2018

Source: NHS England

Link to main document

Publication format: PDF

Date of publication: Dec 2013

Summary of driver: The NHS England research strategy supports the goals set out in the NHS England business plan (NHS England 2013); supporting and developing the commissioning system to improve quality and outcomes. It seeks to develop a culture in the NHS that values and promotes research and engages staff and patients in research activities for improved healthcare outcomes.

Key features of driver:

Key Objectives:

• Working closely with Department of Health (DH) and National Institute for Health and Research (NIHR) to coordinate research into commissioning health services;

• Develop an evidence base to support effective decision making by commissioning groups;

• Enable NHS England and commissioning staff to undertake and implement research in order to help improve the quality of care and treatment in the NHS;

• Encourage patients to take part in research and to be considered when setting priorities for research;

• Better inform the public on current research and outcomes from completed research;

• Maximise outcomes from research to stimulate innovation, improve income generation, develop knowledge and achieve impact.

Key Priorities:

• Promote non-commercial and commercial research in the NHS that have the greatest impact on outcomes;

• Engage with clinical leaders across all professions, with academia, industry, and with non clinical researchers in health and social care;

• Support the NHS Outcomes Framework 2014-15 and innovative practice as outlined in Innovation, Health and Wealth, Accelerating Adoption and Diffusion in the NHS (2011)

• Develop a patient engagement and involvement in research strategy

Primary audience: NIHR, Health Research Authority, Clinical Commissioning leads, NHS Trusts.

Impact on library policy/practice:

• Opportunity to engage with clinical commissioning groups and encourage evidence-based decision making – for example, outsourcing library services to CCGs/CSUs where appropriate;

• Responsibility to support the dissemination of clinical research outcomes to wider stakeholders, including patient groups;

• Responsibility to disseminate NICE guidelines and other high quality research to clinical teams and managers to help foster research awareness, translation of research evidence into practice and the rapid adoption of innovation within local NHS Trusts.

• Good practice to identify clinical and non-clinical priorities within the Trust and provide evidence update services to assist teams / managers with health service planning (e.g. pathway re-design), clinical improvement, commissioning plans and health systems design;

• Good practice to support effective knowledge transfer pathways /systems within local Trusts by ensuring that the library service has clear relationships with key departments and effective reporting channels e.g. Chief Knowledge Officer, Team Knowledge Officers and library representative attends relevant department meetings e.g. Education, Learning and Development, Research and Development, Clinical Governance, Informatics.

Date last updated: 14/07/2014

Due for review: July 2015

Group member responsible: ME

Increasing research and innovation in health and social care

Title of driver: Increasing research and innovation in health and social care

Source:  Department of Health

Link to main document 

Publication format: HTML (Webpage)

Date of publication: 25 March 2013

Summary of driver:  Department of Health (DH) policy document outlining plans to encourage leading-edge health research across NHS England and increased use of innovative approaches and technologies in healthcare to improve quality and the effectiveness of NHS patient care.

Evidence-based decision making will be applied across Public Health and Social Care. By supporting strategies that are proven to work, improvements in productivity, value for money and the quality of NHS health services can be achieved.

Key features of driver:

  • DH will continue to provide large scale funding into health and social care research programmes through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). Additional funding made available by Medical Research Councils and Small Business Research Initiatives.
  • From April 2013 Public Health England (PHE) will collate evidence and advise NHS services and Councils on effective initiatives to target public health problems e.g. excessive drinking, smoking and obesity.

Primary audience: NHS research providers (including: NIHR Clinical Research Network, NHS Trusts), NHS research partners (HE and private sector), Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), NHS social care providers, NHS Commissioning Board / Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG)

Impact on library policy/practice: Whilst not directly applicable to NHS library services, the policy provides an opportunity for libraries to work collaboratively with colleagues in the following areas:

  • Public health initiatives e.g. NHS Health Awareness Events throughout the year – highlighting innovative research which supports NHS / public health objectives such as: smoking cessation or awareness of obesity and its link to type II diabetes.
  • Supporting NHS healthcare researchers – providing information / research skills training to help identify high quality clinical research, promoting relevant journals / research publications, circulating eTOC alerts and current awareness services (e.g. evidence update bulletins).
  • Supporting clinical audit teams and clinical policy makers – literature searching and critical appraisal to enable effective review of current protocols and targeted monitoring of NICE technology appraisals and health technology assessments. This can help to inform changes to clinical practice and introduction of new drugs or healthcare devices.
  • Strategic positioning – aligning the strategic aim and objectives of the library service with Trust priorities and the research and development programme. This can help direct business and financial planning to support research and innovative practice within NHS Trusts.
  • Working with healthcare staff in their departments and remotely via outreach and clinical librarian initiatives, to assist access to NICE Clinical Guidelines and other reliable evidence. This can support professionals to remain up-to-date with clinical developments and best practice.

Date last updated: 24/12/2013

Due for review: December 2014

Group member responsible: ME

Academic health science networks

Title: Academic health science networks: request for expressions of interest to create AHSNs

Source: Department of Health

Link to main document

Links to DH policy Increasing research and innovation in health and social care

Publication format: PDF

Date of publication: June 2012

Summary of driver: This document sets out the draft designation and establishment process and seeks expressions of interest to create Academic Health Science Networks. These will provide a systematic delivery mechanism for the local NHS, universities, public health and social care to work with industry to transform the identification, adoption and spread of proven innovations and best practice.

Key features of driver: The AHSN will build on existing collaborations to deliver the following:

  • Ensuring and supporting the adoption and spread of the nationally designated innovations (the high impact innovations and the designated “push” technologies); and identifying other innovations that the AHSN decides to prioritise for rapid diffusion;
  • Leading local work in the NHS on innovation and its role in supporting the delivery of high quality cost-effective health care, thus enabling partners in the AHSN to help each other to improve and account for their adoption and implementation of innovation and best practice to their partners and peers;
  • Supporting knowledge exchange networks to provide for rapid evaluation and early adoption of new innovations under tight surveillance and monitoring;
  • Delivering research together, through the NIHR clinical research networks, to time and target;
  • Supporting industry research using NIHR model agreements and processes
  • Pump priming innovation projects, similar to the Regional Innovation Fund;
  • Running Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) and similar competitions for innovations from industry, especially small and medium enterprises;
  • Applying improvement science and the change model1 being developed by the NHS Commissioning Board to raise the standards and quality of NHS services across the network;
  • Providing consistent advice on intellectual property management to the local NHS and universities together;
  • Identifying and supporting the development, testing and commercialisation of ideas that have the potential to become best practice;
  • Work with procurement teams to support systematic adoption and spread across the AHSN partners;

Six core functions and levers (page 10):

  • Research participation
  • Translating research and learning into practice
  • Education and training
  • Service improvement
  • Information
  • Wealth creation

Primary audience: All NHS Trusts; Higher Education; Industry; 

Impact on library policy/practice: Providing CPD (literature searching, training, current awareness) for staff in the the sector; Signposting opportunities for research and funding from outside the organisation; Supporting staff with research projects and writing for publication; Libraries in the NHS should contact their local AHSNs to provide support and highlight services available.

“Education must ensure that our future practitioners know how to access evidence, use evidence and contribute to the national research enterprise.” page 12

Case studies / Local service profile examples mapping to this driver: None as of 21.8.12

Date last updated: 5.10.2103

Due for review: Apri 2014

Group member responsible: Updated by TP