Webinar - Soft Power in the Clinic

19 May 2021


Join NIHR ARC North Thames for this free webinar, exploring how taking account of power can help us to understand the adoption and implementation of healthcare innovations, and the configuration and reconfiguration of health services. 

Part of the ARC North Thames Academy Innovation and Implementation webinar series.

Wednesday 19th May, 13.00-15.00

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

Stream the full webinar here.

About this event

Research on the translation of evidence into practice, and on the wider operationalisation and implementation of innovations in healthcare, often seems to proceed without discussion of the relative power of different kinds of participants in these processes. Sometimes research funders are anxious that talking about power will raise political questions.

However, inequities in healthcare, and complex relationships between people who use services and people who make services happen, aren’t natural phenomena. They’re constructed over time by professionals, managers, policy makers and politicians, they’re negotiated and navigated by patients and caregivers, and they are embedded in the organisations and services in which they are co-created.

This free webinar will explore how taking account of power (political, gendered, racialised, institutional, organisational, professional, economic) can help us understand the adoption and implementation of healthcare innovations, and the configuration and reconfiguration of health services. 


Professor Carl May
Theme Lead, Innovation and Implementation Science, NIHR ARC North Thames
Professor of Medical Sociology, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)


Sarah Knowles
Research Fellow in Knowledge Mobilisation, Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, University of York

Sarah is a health services researcher specialising in mental health, implementation science, coproduction and codesign. She has previously held fellowships with the NIHR National School for Primary Care Research and the NIHR Knowledge Mobilisation Research programmes. Her Knowledge Mobilisation fellowship explored the role of patients and carers in leading data-driven improvement in the NHS. Her mental health work has focused on patient experience, involving patients in intervention development and evaluation, and understanding the burden and service implications of physical-mental multimorbidity.

She has expertise in process evaluation, qualitative and quantitative evidence synthesis, participatory codesign, and patient and public involvement in research.

She currently works with the Cochrane Common Mental Disorders group to support coproduction of evidence synthesis with people with lived experience of mental health problems, and to improve the dissemination of evidence outputs to patients and the public.

She also works in partnership with Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Trust to support mobilisation of research knowledge to mental health professionals. She is a founding member of the UK Knowledge Mobilisation Alliance.4

Lynn Laidlaw
Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) representative

Lynn lives with two rare diseases and multiple long term conditions. A prolonged diagnostic odyssey kickstarted her interest in, and involvement with, research. She looks forward to exploring the issues of power, from my dual perspective as a public contributor and patient, and it’s impact.

Dr Lorelei Jones
Lecturer in Health Sciences (Healthcare Organisation & Governance), School of Health Sciences, Bangor University

Lorelei Jones is Lecturer in Healthcare Organisation and Governance in the School of Health Sciences at Bangor University. Lorelei’s research is on the social organisation of health care in the context of contemporary policy reforms. Through organisational ethnography, she enhances understanding of cultural process and contexts, to develop theory and inform practice. Lorelei studied anthropology at the University of Queensland and completed her PhD at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Her postdoctoral research, at UCL, was on the governance of quality and safety in hospitals. Lorelei currently works with colleagues in clinical practice, and visual art, to develop and conduct more creative, inclusive, and expansive healthcare research. Lorelei’s aim is to support the development of health care professionals and services in North Wales, and contribute to international learning to address future health and care challenges.


Professor Justin Waring
Professor of Medical Sociology & Healthcare Organisation, Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham

Justin Waring is Professor of Medical Sociology and Healthcare Organisation and Head of Department at the Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham. His research deals with the changing organisation and governance of healthcare systems. His primary interest is to understand how new ways of organising interact with institutionalised professional practices, cultures and identitites; and how such institutional influences can both stimulate or stymie change. He is interested in the application of social theory to different social, cultural and organisational contexts, as a means of both explaining social phenomena and extending theoretical rigour. The conceptual and theoretical foundations of hiswork involves making connections between medical and organisational sociology, sociology of the professions and public services management. He specialises in the use of ethnographic and mixed method research techniques.


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.

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