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Research and innovation

What are our overall aims by 2028?

Research active organisations transform the design and delivery of health and care services, in turn delivering improved care, patient experience and outcomes.

Strong and effective partnerships, working across organisational boundaries, enable us to enhance our research portfolio for patient benefit and provide us with a competitive advantage in attracting research studies, and an engaged workforce.

Working together with our local research partners the Universities of Coventry and Warwick (both leading teaching and research universities), through research we drive improvements in the health of our patients and the wider public, alongside a range of socio-economic benefits. 

We embed a culture to enable research to facilitate links with our regional partners and support health system changes based on research findings.

Our ICS builds capability for the adoption and spread of proven innovation by providing the necessary resources and support to implement these ideas, using Quality Improvement approaches to embed research outcomes and proven innovation into clinical practice as appropriate.


What’s our starting point?

We have established the Coventry and Warwickshire ICS Research Stakeholder Committee to facilitate a multi-organisational approach to research and innovation (R&I), and extend research opportunities across organisations.  In August 2022 we completed a system wide mapping exercise to understand our research activity and infrastructure.  The number of National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) studies currently open across the system is at 89% of pre-Covid pandemic levels.  The number of people participating in research stands at 210 per 10,000 of population and 11.5% of all trials in our ICS are commercially funded. 
The system benefits from a strong research commitment at Board level and all organisations have developed infrastructure to support research delivery. ICS partners share research facilities and offer recruitment, treatment or diagnostic opportunities across sites.
The NIHR has awarded around £5 million to create a Health Determinants Research Collaboration in Coventry.


What are some of the key links to other parts of the plan?

Over the next five years we will seek to achieve the maximum system benefit from R&I by focusing on making a difference across the local priority areas set out in this plan.

Health Inequalities – in line with our Health Inequalities Strategic Plan we will target research and proven innovations to address health inequalities.

Engaging and Involving People – in line with our Communities Strategy, we will embrace the principles of co-production to ensure the participation of patients and our wider communities in developing and implementing our work around R&I.

Digital, Data and Technology– through our Digital Transformation Strategy and PHM Roadmap we are delivering a significant programme of data and digital transformation and innovation, which will both enable and be enabled by R&I.

Quality – R&I will support continuous learning and improvement in line with our System Quality Strategy.


What will we be focusing on in the next 2 years?

Developing an ambitious Coventry and Warwickshire Health and Wellbeing Research and Innovation Strategy and aligned Delivery Plan to support collaboration, tackle inequalities, and accelerate and maximise impact.  As part of this work:
- Testing the overall aims set out on the previous slide;
- Understanding what is needed from the ICB to support the system to deliver its agreed overall aims in relation to R&I, whilst recognising the freedom and buy in that organisational sovereignty can provide;
- Reviewing the extent to which partner organisations feel connected with and actively aligned to our system R&I work, and identifying areas for development and improvement.

Utilising the NIHR Race Equality Framework Assessment Tool to assess our system’s ability to provide equitable access to research and enable us to measure progress towards this. 

Investing in our research workforce and expanding the research capacity of the system through, for example, joint training and events, networking, and sharing experiences and best practice 

Focusing on increasing the number of joint appointments between the NHS and our University partners to increase the local research leadership capacity.

Exploring the possibility of joint appointments across ICS health and care partner organisations to generate research ideas and facilitate collaboration on competitive research funding applications.

Developing Quality Improvement Science to drive adoption of R&I in our system building on the work undertaken in partner organisations. 

Embracing the principles of co-production with our partners and communities and scoping the programme needed to involve patients and their families across our R&I programmes.

Developing a Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement portal to enable staff and patients to access information about opportunities to get involved and register their interest to participate in research, highlight research needs and shape research plans. 

Completing our local system wide Pharmacy Clinical Trials Alignment Project. 

Further embedding a culture of innovation readiness and collaboration across of our system, including through the formation of a dedicated Innovation Partnership Group.

Through the Innovation Partnership Group, identifying mechanisms to maximise investment in innovation within and between organisations by 2025.

Building on our success in relation to primary care research, where the West Midlands had the highest recruiting research network for primary care in 2021-22, ensuring that our new Research and Innovation Strategy focuses on and supports primary care research, and maximises the impact of our local research active GP colleagues. 

Developing the role of the Clinical and Care Forum in shaping the system programme of work around R&I as the central source of clinical opinion and advice in the system (see Clinical and Care Professional Leadership section).


Key Challenges

Achieving alignment of vision and buy in for our plans from all stakeholders in the system, including meaningful co-production with our communities.

Establishing academic posts with our partner Universities to attract high quality academic staff, including identifying potential funding streams for academic sessions.

Workforce capacity within organisations to deliver our ambitious agenda.


Key Metrics and Deliverables

Engagement programme to inform the development of the new Coventry and Warwickshire Health and Wellbeing Research and Innovation Strategy completed.

New Coventry and Warwickshire Health and Wellbeing Research and Innovation Strategy published, alongside aligned Delivery Plan and Framework that describes how health and care partner organisations will work with each other and local communities to deliver the Strategy.

Double income from commercial research by 2028.

Deliver at least 5 Clinical Research Network Portfolio Studies requiring cross system partnership working between NHS organisations and social care partners by 2026.

Increase the number of NIHR Studies currently open across the system to more than 100% of pre-Covid pandemic levels by the end of 2023/24.

Quantify the benefits from the system wide Pharmacy Clinical Trials Alignment Project by the end of quarter 1 2024/25.

Develop a pathway for the adoption of innovation and strengthen Quality Improvement as a methodology to embed research outcomes and proven innovation into clinical practice.

This plan will be updated to reflect the new Coventry and Warwickshire Health and Wellbeing Research and Innovation Strategy by the end of March 2024.