Dr Sarah Robinson is the Implementation Lead at ARC East of England and the Director of Delivery at Health Innovation East. In addition, Sarah leads the ARC East of England implementation fellowship. In this blog, Sarah shares her thoughts on how you can benefit from the implementation fellowship.
To begin with, what is implementation?
Implementation is the process of embedding evidence-based change management techniques to improve outcomes for patients, our communities, and the health and social care sectors. It can be challenging to incorporate the findings or methods from a research project into everyday practice due to a number of factors. To overcome this, Health Innovation East and ARC East of England work in partnership to implement research more easily across the East of England by helping researchers and innovators navigate complex healthcare systems and by supporting healthcare providers to embrace innovation into practice.
ARC East of England Implementation fellowship
The Implementation fellowship is a 12-month programme aimed at enabling health and care professionals to develop knowledge and skills to implement evidence-based improvements that aim to make an impact in their organisation and their role. This programme offers backfill funding by the ARC for one day a week for a year (to a maximum of £12,500), which ensures that you have dedicated time every week to undertake your project, attend workshops, and participate in action learning sets.
It is essential to consider implementation early in any research project and any change management project, so I would suggest that prior to applying for the fellowship, consider what the challenge is that you are trying to answer to benefit your organisation and patient outcomes. Who are the key stakeholders you will need support from, and what strategic policies support this change?
"I am really pleased to be leading this programme and being able to see the direct benefits that the Implementation fellowship has had on people’s careers, from building confidence to questioning processes and thinking of more effective methods to improve outcomes for patients."
Why should you apply to the ARC East of England implementation fellowship programme?
Learning from experts in their fields
This year, we have been able to deliver an exciting and informative range of seminars to our current fellows. Leaders in their respective fields have aimed to de-mystify the theories, models, and frameworks of implementation science while emphasising the importance of understanding the context in which you are looking to implement your research. Based on feedback from current fellows, we are building a series for 2024 that will enable you to effectively embed theory into your project or organisation. Fellows will have protected time to bridge the learning into their own projects alongside peers.
“The session was useful and relaxed. Use of project planning tools was timely and relevant. Provision of the pack in advance was helpful.”
Supported throughout the programme
We offer a range of support approaches for fellows that are flexible and reflective of your needs. Our aim is to make your time as an implementation fellow as effective, interesting, and enjoyable as possible. Typically, we set up regular online catch-ups and facilitate peer sessions. The sessions may cover project planning, risk management, and stakeholder management, and you will learn from people who have undertaken similar implementation projects.
“Having fortnightly supervision with two advisors from Health Innovation East has been great. I have benefited from their different perspectives...there has been a mixture of practical advice, gentle challenge and encouragement. Outside of the planned, virtual meetings, e-mail support has been responsive.”
Connected to a varied network
Working with Health Innovation East allows you to have access to a diverse team of over 60 clinical and non-clinical experts with extensive experience across health, academia, and science. Being connected to these extensive regional, national, and international networks will enable Fellows to reach the right people earlier and learn from the experts in their fields.
“I have had opportunities to connect with others. For example, the Patient and Participation lead provided some excellent resources and advice regarding the involvement of people with lived experience in my project.”
I would love to hear from people who are motivated to bring about change in their places of work to bring about positive change for their colleagues and/or patients and individuals they work with. If you are interested in applying for an implementation fellowship, contact the ARC EoE Office (ARCOffice@cpft.nhs.uk) who will put you in contact with one of the team members at Health Innovation East. They will be able to discuss your proposed project with you.
The deadline for applications is Thursday 30 November 2023.
For more information, please read ‘ARC Research and Implementation Fellowships.’