In this paper we reflect on our experience of providing a rapid response facility for international healthcare policy comparisons to the English Department of Health. We examine the challenges of developing sustained relationships with policy officials while providing an 'on-demand' service in an environment with high turnover of policies and staff. It may be easier for policy makers to draw on researchers in such a setting than for researchers to foster 'linkage and exchange' relationships with policy makers. Under the facility, knowledge transfer has mostly been from researchers to policy officials, affording us little insight into the policy process or the impact of our work.
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