23 Jul 2020

The new format attracted delegates from 16 countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, UK and USA. Delegates included applied researchers, health and social care professionals, policymakers, and service user researchers.

The conference theme was ‘Implementation science for health and social care: Maximising relevance for practice and policy', with presentations from leading international researchers, oral and poster presentations, parallel and meet the experts sessions, and panel discussions. 

The conference was organised by the Centre for Implementation Science at King’s College London and was supported by the UK Implementation Society, King’s Health Partners and BMC

The three plenary lectures were delivered by:

  • Dave Taylor, vice-chair of The Patients Association, and an expert in implementing digital health technologies. In his opening lecture, Dave discussed: ‘Patient perspectives on uses and abuses of IT in healthcare’ (watch the lecture)
  • Jessica Read, deputy chief midwifery officer, NHS England, who has extensive experience over a 30-year career of implementing organisational change and service improvement. In her lecture, Jessica discussed ‘The challenges and successes of implementing policy into practice and the impact of Covid-19’ (watch the lecture
  • Dr John Øvretveit, director of research and professor of healthcare innovation implementation and evaluation at the Medical Management Centre, The Karolinska Institute, Stockholm. In his lecture John discussed: ‘Improve-mentation for an effective response to Covid-19 – the Swedish experience’ (watch the lecture, pictured above).

Across the conference, there were 43 oral and poster presentations, covering theories and frameworks, stakeholder engagement and co-production, and global health. The abstracts presented will be published by BMC in a special supplement of Implementation Science.

Professor Nick Sevdalis, co-chair of the conference’s scientific committee, said: 

This was an ambitious event, bringing together 180 people from around the world in a virtual conference environment. Thanks to effective use of technology, delegates were able to connect, debate and discuss the latest issues in implementation science and its interface with practice.

Nick Sevdalis

Professor Nick Sevdalis, co-chair of the conference’s scientific committee

Professor Sevdalis continued: "There was excellent interaction, many opportunities for early career researchers and practitioners, and fascinating plenaries by service users, policy makers and leading implementation scientists. The conference showcased how implementation science can and has been used in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic."

At the close of the conference, there were five prizes awarded (watch the awards here) for the best oral and poster presentations, in association with BMC. They were: 

  • Oral presentation joint runner upDennis H. Li for ‘Furthering implementation science in HIV research through coordination of, consultation with, and collaboration among 65 projects to end the HIV epidemic in the US’
  • Oral presentation joint runner upJulia Moore (pictured below) for ‘Accelerating the implementation of evidence: Core competencies for implementation practice’
  • Oral presentation winnerHossai Gul for ‘Combining implementation research with implementation practice to translate evidence-based interventions into routine care within complex adaptive systems’ 
  • Best poster runner upZuhur Balayah for ‘Using ‘Theory-of-Change’ methodology to design a scale-up strategy: Lessons from the national implementation of a pragmatic quality improvement skills curriculum for urologists’ 
  • Best poster winner: Julia Moore for ‘Pathways to practice change: How to use implementation science theories, models, and frameworks’.