How to Improve the Way Medical Research Is Applied in Frontline Care


(Guardian Healthcare Professionals Network)

two doctors observing something through a microscope

by Bryony Soper and Ellen Nolte

October 7, 2013

Collaborations for leadership in applied health research aim to encourage staff in the NHS to adopt research-informed practices

For the past five years, new teams of people have been trying to improve the way medical research is applied in frontline care.

Following on from the initial nine schemes, the number has been expanded to 13 and there has been research into how the organisations work.

Ministers see these schemes — collaborations for leadership in applied health research (CLAHRC, pronounced 'clark') — as a success, and to varying degrees they have fulfilled their initial aim of encouraging staff in the NHS to adopt research-informed practices.

But they have been closely scrutinised by researchers, including a team from Brunel University, London and RAND Europe, a non-profit institution that helps improve policy and decision-making through research and analysis. In a paper published this month in the Journal of Health Services Research and Policy we have picked out some of the key success factors arising from the rich experience of the first wave....

The remainder of this commentary is available at

Ellen Nolte directs the Health and Healthcare research team at RAND Europe in Cambridge. Her main research is the field of health systems, including their performance assessment and international comparisons.

Bryony Soper is Honorary Professor in the Health Economics Research Group, Brunel University, London.

This commentary originally appeared on Guardian Healthcare Professionals Network on October 7, 2013. Commentary gives RAND researchers a platform to convey insights based on their professional expertise and often on their peer-reviewed research and analysis.