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The Forum ICS and Research Symposium – Round Up

Date: 25 October 2022

Over 100 delegates gathered on the 13th October in Leeds, for one of the NHS Research and Development Forum’s first in-person events following the pandemic.

The aim of this event was to share current work and thinking with regards to research and ICSs/ICBs with attendees from R&D organisations across England, Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) Leads, Managers, Directors and interested stakeholders.

The symposium was launched and delegates were welcomed by Dr Shona Haining, Director, NHS RDF.

The morning agenda aimed to set the landscape and context for the emerging ICSs, with presentations from national organisations starting with Ian Perrin, Policy and Delivery Manager, ICS Network, NHS Confederation. Ian kicked off the day’s agenda with a presentation looking at “A National Perspective on ICS Establishment and Development.” This was followed by presentations from the Department of Health and Social Care around “Embedding Research in the NHS.” Firstly, by Emma Lowe, Head of Research Policy Clinical Research and Growth and then followed by David Linberry, Senior Research Policy Manager Capacity & Growth.

Delegates welcomed the opportunity to meet colleagues and peers from across England, face to face once again and the coffee breaks were a hub of conversations and valuable networking.

We welcomed Dr Alison Austin, Deputy Director of Research Innovation, Research and Life Sciences Group, NHS England to present on “Demystifying the Legislations and other requirements on ICSs: NHSE Guidance for Research”. This was followed by round table discussions and feedback

For the final morning session, we welcomed Elevator Pitches detailing ICS progress and challenges from across England. We heard from:

  • Clara Yates, Associate Director of Research, NHS Norfolk and Waveney ICB (also presenting on behalf of Clare Symms, Head of Research Management, Finance and PPI, NHS Norfolk and Waveney ICB)
  • Helen Duffy, Research and Innovation Programme Manager, Staffordshire and Shropshire Health Economy Research Partnership / Research and Innovation Programme Manager Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Rachel Illingworth, Head of Research and Evidence, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire ICB
  • Paul Carder, Head of Research, NHS West Yorkshire ICB

The afternoon session looked at the NIHR CRN and ICS/ICBs and how stakeholders can work collaboratively together. This was presented by Philip Evans, Deputy Medical Director, NIHR CRN – again this was followed by some valuable round table discussions and feedback.

The final session of the day was led by Alastair Nicholson, Head of Coordination and Standardisation, Health Research Authority looking at “What is a Research Site (and other questions for conducting research in the new structures)?”

Delegates really valued the opportunity to feedback to policy makers, influence guidance and policy and hear about examples of real-life approaches from across England.  There was a clear appetite for a follow-up session and this is something to R&D Forum will consider following this successful symposium.

Some of the feedback from delegates that we have received so far:

“Really enjoyed the presentations, , great to have all the ‘agencies’ represented that will influence the direction of the ICS – DHSC, NHSE etc”

“More events like this please as ICS develop and new guidance is released”

Good discussion, just emphasised how all the different elements of the research landscape are trying to fit with the new NHS landscape ie ICS.  Really interesting to hear from colleagues how different their CRNs responses have been”

Really helpful to feel that our feedback may influence guidance and policy”

If you have any feedback regarding this event, please contact 

(All presentation slides from the day can be found on the Symposium Programme page, here

Some photos from the day can be seen on the link below.

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