Webinar - Qualitative approaches to understanding innovation and implementation science: a case study of dementia

16 Jun 2021


Join NIHR ARC North Thames and leading qualitative researchers from across the UK to explore and discuss the intricacies and challenges of implementing high-quality research evidence that informs and enhances care for people living with dementia. Part of the ARC North Thames Academy Innovation and Implementation webinar series.

Wednesday 16th June, 14.00-16.00

Zoom (online – link to be sent after registration)

Who is it for?
Open to people working in research, health and social care, public health, and anyone with an interest in innovation and implementation science

Register for this event on Eventbrite

About this event

A particular concern for researchers and those involved in the organisation and delivery of care is ensuring that high quality research findings are implemented in a way that informs and enhances care.  However there remains a key issue in terms of what is seen as the evidence needed to inform practice.  This webinar focuses on the complexities implicit in the collection, analysis and implementation of evidence from the use of qualitative approaches to understand and inform the care of people with dementia. 

The focus is on the importance of what has been discussed as ‘soft intelligence’ (Martin et al, 2015). Soft intelligence can be understood as the processes and behaviours associated with seeking and interpreting data which derives from sources beyond conventional metrics and formal knowledge. Such data evade easy capture, straightforward classification and simple quantification however are vital in the production of forms of knowledge to inform both innovation and the implementation of innovations.

The speakers will present work on:

  • the use of ethnography to reveal the institutional and ward cultures that inform the organisation and delivery of everyday care for people living with dementia
  • how interactional practices that are commonly used in healthcare, and that are trained as part of 'good practice', can create problems in interactions between people with dementia and health care workers
  • the challenges of implementing an intervention using life stories with people living with dementia, despite apparent buy in from the nursing homes concerned
  • the ways in which synthesis of qualitative evidence can contribute to policy recommendations in relation to dementia.


Dr Katie Featherstone
Reader, Medical Sociology, School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University

Katie Featherstone’s current NIHR-funded  programme of research examines institutional cultures of care, drawing on traditions in ethnography and medical sociology. The goal is to challenge normative assumptions about people living with dementia and to improve the quality and humanity of care this population receive during a hospital admission. This work is currently informing public policy, and training and improvement strategies within NHS Health Boards and Trusts. Katie also founded and leads the NIHR dementia portifolio early career researcher mentoring scheme.

Katie’s latest monograph Wandering the Wards (with Andy Northcott), published as part of the Routledge Studies in Health and Medical Anthropology series is an open access publication available free to download via: Kindle, Google Books and Taylor and Francis. The book has received favourable reviews with one recent book review describing it as “beautifully documented”, which “describes in ways that are redolent of Goffman… how identities take shape and are allocated within institutional and organisational ecologies.

Professor Alison Pilnick
Professor of Language, Medicine and Society in the School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Nottingham

Alison Pilnick is a sociologist of health and illness with a particular focus on analysing interaction between health and social care professionals and their patients or clients. For the last 20 years she has been using this work to inform and develop communication skills training, and has a growing interest in how expertise in interactional analysis can be used to inform policy development at the outset rather than as an evaluative tool post-implementation. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, an Academy of Medical Sciences FLIER (Future Leaders in Innovation, Enterprise and Research) and is currently in receipt of a British Academy Senior Research Fellowship for a project entitled "Between autonomy and abandonment: reconsidering patient centred care".

Kate Gridley
Research Fellow, Social Policy Research Unit, University of York

Kate Gridley has a background in community involvement and now works as a qualitative researcher at the Social Policy Research Unit. She has a particular interest in research involving people with dementia and their carers, and has led and worked on several studies in this area, including an evaluation of life story work with people with dementia and a study of specialist nursing services for carers of people with dementia. She is currently working on DETERMIND, an ambitious collaborative research project looking at the determinants of unequal quality of life for people with dementia and their carers.

Professor Jill Manthorpe
Professor of Social Work at King's College London and Director of the NIHR Health & Social Care Workforce Research Unit, King’s Policy Institute

From 2002-2018 Jill Manthorpe was Director of the Social Care Workforce Research Unit (initially sharing the position with Peter Huxley). Currently she is involved in advisory work for the Department of Health and Social Care and works closely with several social care and health sector employers to link research, policy and practice.

Jill provides assistance on workforce matters to local councils, NHS bodies, and employers on a pro bono basis and to user, carer and patient groups about evidence and communications. She provides expert advice to NICE and to other NHS Arm's Length Bodies about care services and workforce initiatives. Jill is a Fellow of Skills for Care and was appointed Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in March 2015.


About the Innovation and Implementation webinars

The ARC North Thames Innovation and Implementation Science team aims to improve implementation of health innovations in diverse settings, provide frameworks and tools for practitioners, and reduce the delay between innovation and putting it into everyday practice.

Together with the ARC North Thames Academy, they will be running a series of webinars to share learning, practice and approaches, explore opportunities and challenges, and stimulate thought-provoking discussions across the research, health and social care, and public health communities. 

Find out more about the Innovation and Implementation webinars.

Related Content