The first UK conference dedicated to implementation science was launched by NIHR CLAHRC South London on 19 July at King’s College London. It was organised by the Centre for Implementation Science at the CLAHRC and was supported by the UK Implementation Society.
Under the theme ‘Strengthening partnerships between researchers, health professionals and policy makers’, the conference brought together 116 applied-health researchers and policy makers from 16 countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Nigeria, South Africa, Sweden, the UK and USA, to share how best to implement evidence-based practice and clinical research within health and social care.
The conference featured three plenary speakers:
• Helen Cherry, a registered nurse who has worked at a senior level within the NHS, private healthcare and voluntary sector. Helen approached the topic of implementation as a person with a defined disability, a patient and carer, reflecting on the meaning of patient and public involvement and some of the barriers to contributing to translating evidence into practice.
• Dr Kathryn Oliver, associate professor of sociology and public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who explored some of the challenges in conducting collaborative and co-productive research, and the implications for how we use this knowledge.
• Dr Brian Mittman, a senior research scientist at the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research and Evaluation and senior scientist at the VA Centre for Healthcare Innovation, Implementation and Policy at the US Department of Veterans Affairs. In his lecture, Dr Mittman explored the latest innovations in methods for complex healthcare interventions.
There were 31 oral presentations of implementation research grouped under five themes: implementation analyses; advances in implementation methodologies and capabilities; stakeholder and service user engagement; implementation frameworks; and global implementation science.
In addition, there were 40 poster presentations on topics as varied as an economic analysis of interventions on glycaemic control in Type-1 diabetes; evaluating the implementation of an anti-stigma intervention for Mexican psychiatric trainees; understanding the uptake of a fall prevention service; and a review of menu labelling interventions to support healthy food choices.
There were four prizes awarded for the best oral and poster presentations, in association with BMC, the publisher of the journal Implementation Science. They were:
• Best oral presentation: Marie-Therese Schultes, from the University of Vienna and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for her presentation on ‘Competences for implementation science and implementation experts’ sources of expertise’
• Runner up for oral presentation: Felix Gradinger, from Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, Plymouth University for his presentation on ‘Squaring the translational circle: co-producing knowledge for action using a researcher-in-residence model’
• Best poster: Shalini Ahuja, King’s College London and CLAHRC South London for her poster on ‘Meeting reporting needs for integrated mental health care – findings from WHO Atlas 2017’
• Runner up in the poster category: Nicole Votruba, King’s College London and CLAHRC South London for her poster on ‘Evidence to policy: A theory review on frameworks and models for evidence and policy interrelations in mental health’.
Comments from delegates included:
‘Intellectually stimulating, great place to meet new people and share ideas’
‘Great plenary sessions. Especially appreciated the patient voice to open the conference’
‘Good plenaries; well-themed parallel sessions; diverse and international delegates’
‘A nice mix of academic and practice/practitioner perspectives [and a] friendly atmosphere’
‘Good, relevant content and good balance of “thought leadership” and practical tips’
The conference built on the concepts explored in our Implementation Science Masterclass, which is now in its fifth year, and was held on the preceding two-days.
Plenary lecture slides
• Patient and public involvement: What does it really mean? Helen Cherry
• Does co-production improve our research and practice? Kathryn Oliver
Photograph by Jorge Duarte Estavao