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The focus of the 'From Evidence to Practice: Implementing change in Primary Care' workshop at the King's Fund in London on 9 October, was to discuss the challenges within primary care of how to close the gap between evidence and practice.

Designed for clinicians, health care professionals, health services managers, policy makers and academics, the event presented the findings of a two-year NIHR School for Primary Care Research funded study jointly led by Professors Elizabeth Murray and Pauline Ong. The event was organised by the E-Health Unit, Department of Primary Care and Population Health at UCL and the Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre, Keele University.   

The morning session saw Elizabeth Murray and Rosa Lau present their systematic review of reviews, where they emphasised the importance of considering the 'fit' between intervention and context before choosing implementation strategies.  The Normalization Process Theory toolkit was presented by Pauline Ong and Tim Rapley during the afternoon session. "It is a valuable and practical  resource to promote thought and discussion around the different factors associated with implementation;  from design of a new intervention or research project, evaluation of a clinical trial to implementing research findings into practice." commented SPCR doctoral student from the University of Southampton, Jane Vennik. The panel discussion was led by Professors David Haslam (Chair of NICE) and Carl May, University of Southampton. 

Overall, the day was a great success; delegates found the event relevant, the presentations generated a lot of interesting discussion and many delegates found the NPT toolkit helpful in their work. SPCR doctoral student Lily Lai, also from the University of Southampton commented "the engaging and practical event was aimed specifically at addressing issues with implementing change in primary care and the second translational gap.  What became particularly apparent was the accessibility and practicality of the toolkit, and the ability for it to facilitate discussions at different stages of change-implementation.  I found it especially helpful that the event was attended by colleagues not only from within academia but also CCG members and NHS managers which invariably broadened our workshop group discussions!" 

It was wonderful to see so many fellow SPCR colleagues involved in this project.  I felt the collaborative input from different disciplines added real value to the debate and the keynote speakers Professors David Haslam and Carl May gave hugely insightful perspectives on the issues that came up for discussion. All in all, an excellent training event, and I do hope that there is opportunity to see more of this important work in the near future!" - Lily Lai

For Jane, "This was the most relevant, interesting and practical event I have attended this year. Focusing on the problems and strategies of implementing complex interventions into routine practice, it was highly relevant to health care professionals, primary care researchers and health service managers alike. A systematic review of reviews (interesting from a methodological viewpoint) found that successful implementation is multi-factorial, but the over-riding factor is the 'fit' between the intervention itself and the context in which it will be implemented.  The event included workshops to demonstrate and practice using the toolkit and this proved extremely useful and relevant to my current research.  The key message for me was that it is never too early or too late to think about implementation in the research process!"

The external speakers provided insightful perspectives in terms of current health policy priorities and theoretical developments which contextualised the research findings. The workshops allowed the participants to contribute their diverse experiences from the worlds of research, commissioning, clinical services, public health and the third sector. This enriched the discussions about how to close the second translational gap and provided a variety of robust suggestions that could be applied to a range of contexts.


- Professor Pauline Ong

Programme and presentations

From Evidence to Practice Programme 

Barriers and facilitators of implementing complex interventions in primary care. Elizabeth Murray

Effectiveness of Strategies for Changing Professional Practice in Primary Care: A Systematic Review of Reviews. Rosa Lau