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Placing interprofessional learning at the heart of improving practice: the activities and achievements of CLAHRC in Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland

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Background: The National Institute for Health Research initiative 'collaborations for leadership in applied health research and care' (CLAHRC) in Leicestershire Northamptonshire and Rutland (LNR) is a partnership between the University of Leicester and NHS trusts in LNR that aims to reduce the second gap in translation (the long delay between conducting research and it having an impact on clinical practice).

Method: CLAHRC-LNR appointed specialist staff as boundary spanners and knowledge brokers to improve links between academia and the NHS, and to facilitate a range of activities designed to increase the implementation of research evidence. An interprofessional and interdisciplinary approach is used and incorporates a range of activities including: applied research, service evaluation and pilot projects, education and training events, knowledge dissemination activities and developing networks to increase the use of research in the NHS partners.

Results: CLAHRC-LNR's close collaboration with partner NHS trusts has aided the development of a programme of applied research that aims to develop interprofessional teamworking to improve healthcare systems and patient outcomes. Co-ordinators (boundary spanners) have been appointed in trusts and have been crucial in facilitating interprofessional working. Activities include a successful programme of training and education courses within the NHS partner trusts using the principles of interprofessional education. CLAHRC-LNR is developing the use of knowledge exchange events and workshops as well as establishing communities of practice to bring together professionals from across LNR NHS trusts and the University of Leicester to share their expertise and build interprofessional relationships. CLAHRC fellows (knowledge brokers) are being appointed to work with co-ordinators to facilitate the use of research evidence in decision making in the trusts and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).

Conclusion: Interprofessional working is integral to the approach adopted by CLAHRC-LNR, running through many of its activities, and is proving vital to addressing and helping to close the second gap in translation.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: CLAHRC-LNR Implementation Theme Manager, Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester, UK 2: CLAHRC-LNR Research Capacity Development Lead, Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester, UK 3: CLAHRC-LNR Knowledge Manager, Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester, UK 4: Senior Lecturer in Shared Learning, Department of Medical and Social Care Education, University of Leicester, UK

Publication date: July 1, 2012

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