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15 August 2017

Leader of improvement research institute next to new Papworth Hospital meets staff

The leader of the new national improvement research institute being created next to the new Papworth Hospital in Cambridge has met with staff to explain how they will benefit.

The Cambridge University-run institute aims to focus on improvement schemes and will develop evidence on a massive scale across the NHS about what works to improve patient care.

Mary Dixon-Woods, RAND Professor of Health Services Research and Wellcome Trust Investigator at the University of Cambridge, who will lead the institute, spoke to staff at Papworth Hospital after securing a £40m investment for the facility from The Health Foundation.  

Professor Dixon-Woods said: “Too often, quality improvement occurs without proper evaluation, so it’s not always clear what works, what doesn’t, or why – either for specific interventions or for quality improvement approaches. The learning is not always systematised or made available for others to learn and use.

“Our vision for the institute is bold and ambitious: we want to create the enabling infrastructure for the NHS to become the world’s largest producer of systematic learning about how to improve health care for patients.

“To do this, we will use innovative approaches ranging from citizen science through to large-scale research capacity building, and we will be working directly with patients themselves as partners.
“The basic principle behind the institute is a simple but important one: we need to get better at getting better at delivering healthcare, and one way to make that happen is by creating a better evidence-base for improvement.”

Dr Stephen Webb, Consultant in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care & Lead Clinician for Clinical Governance  at Papworth Hospital, said: “The institute will be Europe’s first organisation dedicated to improvement research and it is being developed in Cambridge right on our doorstep at the new Papworth Hospital.

“We are hugely enthusiastic about the mission of the institute, which aligns so well with our own goals in providing evidence-based, high quality, safe care.”

Together with their partners, the institute will work with the wider research and improvement communities, NHS staff, patients and carers, to identify, design and test improvements. Critically, their work will include understanding not only which interventions work, but in which contexts and why.

The institute will also fund a world-class fellowship programme to build skills in improvement research across the UK, creating a new, highly skilled generation of researchers.


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