The STEMClub is an informal group of NHS and public health colleagues working cooperatively to support the mobilisation of evidence at the system-wide level in the north east of England.
We are trying to achieve this aim in two ways:
- By making links to system-level work streams within the North East and Cumbria Partnership, and potentially beyond.
- By providing both virtual and real, in person, opportunities to connect as a group and understand who is working on what, making effective use of our collective knowledge and insights.
The founding members of STEMClub have been enthused by the level of interest and commitment among colleagues from commissioning, public health and library and knowledge services (LKS) to a collaborative, system-wide approach.
Work to date:
The working model so far has been to identify work streams within the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) with an evidence need and match these to NHS library and knowledge services (LKS) staff who have volunteered to support with evidence searches. LKS staff are currently supporting work in the following areas:
- Development of a frailty framework
- Maternal choice in perinatal care
- Mental health
There have also been two community-of-practice events attended by colleagues from across the NHS. The main themes emerging from these events are:
- This is a bottom up “movement” which needs to be led by its members.
- It needs input from policy-makers, decision-makers to help members to understand the priorities and shape the offer.
- The Club offer needs to be defined and articulated
- The question of “how to sustain momentum and keep moving forward?” is a recurring theme.
What will success look like?
There is evidence to show that commissioners are currently ad hoc users of research evidence and that interventions tried so far to improve uptake and use of research have had little or no impact. The ambition of STEMClub is to change the NHS decision-making culture:
At every decision-making table, there will be someone with the skills, experience and knowledge to ensure that decisions are informed by relevant evidence.
What are the next steps?
- Club members need to broaden the network and work more closely with colleagues from the AHSN and other academic partners.
- Most of the resource and expertise required to achieve the aims of STEMClub will be in kind. In order to reach out to more work-streams, we need to scale up the activity and make it sustainable. This may require funding.
- There will be a need for coordination of activity and some infrastructure to support the sharing of evidence and searches. This is being explored currently.
- NHS LKS staff are going through additional skills development to support this work and ongoing development will be required. Opportunities for mentoring support will also be explored.
Shona Haining Head of Research & Evidence North of England Commissioning Support firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Hall Director of Public Health, South Tyneside email@example.com
Mark Lambert Consultant in Specialised Services Public Health (North East and Cumbria) firstname.lastname@example.org
Joanne Naughton Library and Knowledge Services Development Manager, HEE email@example.com
David Stewart Director of Health Library and Knowledge Services, North, HEE firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Wilson Senior Research Fellow, Manchester University email@example.com