Implementation is a core NIHR ARC function. It plays a vital role in supporting the translation and implementation of research evidence into practice.

To make sure that KSS ARC’s research is relevant and implementable, we have co-developed our themes with key stakeholders. These themes are recognised as priority areas of need within the region’s health and social care system. In addition, the views and thoughts of those accessing or delivering health and social care services will also be placed at the heart of our research. This will ensure that KSS ARC’s research activities addresses the needs of our populations, including hard to reach groups, across Kent Surrey and Sussex.

The Kent, Surrey and Sussex Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) supports the Implementation focus of the ARC KSS, and Des Holden , Implementation Lead at ARC KSS and Medical Director at KSS AHSN, leads this function. The ARC KSS implementation team also includes four core Theme Implementation Managers:

Becky Sharp - Social Care
Becca Randall - Children and Young People’s Mental Health
Sam Fraser - Primary and Community Services
Kath Sykes - Living Well with Dementia

The aim of the ARC KSS Implementation function and its team is to:

  • Use people’s (users of services and frontline staff) stories to develop research questions that address locally recognised needs. This will improve implementation of our research findings by making them meaningful to, and embedded in, the needs of our population.
  • Work with system leaders and budget holders from the start to align priorities and need, engaging leaders in the work we produce.
  • Understand relevant research, studies, projects, innovative practice, existing models of care and their evidence base - what works, and what good looks like locally, nationally, and internationally.
  • Feedback and disseminate our findings to provide challenge and inform ARC research activities locally and nationally.
  • Prioritise a number of key research outcomes (evidence-based interventions) and actively support their implementation.
  • Support local researchers to disseminate findings and information from activities that meet ARC criteria of co-design, robust research methodology, and evidence of impact.
  • Improve health and social care outcomes to the public through implementing and integrating research activity, outcomes, and new models of care that:
    • are recognised by end users as needs and priorities and co-produced with them
    • improve quality and safety
    • are evidence-based
    • reduce unwarranted variation
    • are cost effective and sustainable.

 Download the NIHR ARC KSS Implementation Strategy


Interview with Des Holden, Implementation Lead, NIHR ARC KSS

To find out more about getting evidence into practice and the ARC KSS implementation approach Dr Rowena Merritt, Research Fellow in the Centre for Health Services Studies at the University of Kent, talked to Dr Des Holden about why ARC KSS is so focussed on implementation, what his vision for ARC KSS is for the next five years and what he thinks they will accomplish. 

Read the full interview here.

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