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The NIHR Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs) aim to improve health outcomes for both patients and the public through improving the quality of health and care services.

Key to achieving this aim is a focus on supporting, facilitating, and increasing the rate at which research findings are implemented into practice.

Too often in research, there is, firstly, a failure to consider how easily ‘interventions’ (e.g. treatments, practices, techniques), which have been shown to be effective in research studies, can be used in different real-world settings.

A second challenge is that even within research studies themselves, interventions which are poorly designed or are a poor fit with the setting are not used in the way that they are intended. Sometimes we also don’t know how well interventions have been used as part of a study because this information isn’t captured. As a result, when there is a neutral or negative finding in a research study, it is not possible to tell if the intervention simply doesn’t work, or if it wasn’t actually implemented.

The NIHR ARC NWC will focus on both of these challenges supporting people to consider implementation from the earlier stages of their research ideas, and also working with Quality Improvement teams in member organisations, along with the Innovation Agency, to increase the rate at which evidence-based interventions are implemented in practice.

To do this we will use theories and tools from a range of disciplines including implementation and improvement sciences. Additionally, through our Implementation and Capacity Building Team (IMPaCT), we will create opportunities for our members and public advisors to come together to learn from each other and further develop skills and expertise in this area.