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Increasing engagement with evidence in healthcare: A case study in capacity building

Sabey, Abigail; Bray, Isabelle


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Issy Bray
Associate Professor in Public Health (Epidemiology)


The National Institute for Health Research funded the Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care, for the West of England (CLAHRC West) in January 2014, to run for 5 years. CLAHRC West seeks to develop and expand health-related research capacity in the area; to do this our objective is to promote the development of skills in understanding, using and producing evidence for the health, social care and commissioning workforce. We set out to target a wide range of professional groups and sectors, especially those with limited access to training.

An initial scoping exercise established the gaps and needs of the workforce in research skills training. Based on this we developed an interprofessional education programme. We have analysed a database capturing the courses delivered and applicant details to describe the sectors and professional groups reached, geographical differences in engagement and how participants have evaluated the learning.

Over 18 months we have delivered 32 courses to over 300 staff. The programme offered courses relating to standard research and evidence skills, including finding the evidence, critical appraisal, questionnaire design and service evaluation. In addition the programme included some cutting edge topics such as genomics and social return on investment. Our training has successfully engaged staff from a wide range of staff groups including healthcare professionals in acute and community settings and in public health. We reached staff from diverse sectors including local authorities and the voluntary sector. The training is reaching all areas of the geographical patch covered by CLAHRC West. The average overall rating for the courses ranged between 3 (good) and 4 (excellent) on a 4-point scale evaluating content and delivery (average across courses 3.6%).

CLAHRC West is taking an innovative approach to increase capacity and capability in research. It has delivered a unique range of courses and reached a wide range of professions and sectors. Through taking a flexible and collaborative approach we have addressed the training needs identified. There is work to be done on improving the reach of the programme at the edges of the geographical area.


Sabey, A., & Bray, I. (2017, June). Increasing engagement with evidence in healthcare: A case study in capacity building. Presented at Evidence Live 2017, Oxford, England

Presentation Conference Type Speech
Conference Name Evidence Live 2017
Conference Location Oxford, England.
Start Date Jun 20, 2017
End Date Jun 21, 2017
Acceptance Date Apr 1, 2017
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Public URL
Additional Information Title of Conference or Conference Proceedings : Evidence Live 2017