The aim of this online seminar is to provide insights into the realities of implementation to achieve the NIHR vision that applied research should not only be generalisable, but also implementable and sustainable, to deliver benefits for patients as well as impact across the health and care system.   

The session will include the following presentations, followed by a Q&A discussion: 

‘Implementation, scale up and evaluation of ESCAPE-PAIN’ (with Ambra Caruso and Andrew Walker)

ESCAPE-pain is an evidence-based intervention designed to improve self-management of chronic joint pain, which is underpinned by an RCT and economic evaluation. In 2018, ESCAPE-pain was adopted by the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) as a priority for scale-up. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was in 260 sites with over 16,000 people completing the programme. Ambra and Andrew will talk about their experiences of leading and evaluating the scale-up of the ESCAPE-pain programme.  

‘FREED: from research to national programme’ (with Ulrike Schmidt)

FREED (First episode Rapid Early intervention for Eating Disorders) is a multi-award winning, evidence-based specialist care pathway for emerging adults with a first episode of illness. FREED transforms care for young people with eating disorders by facilitating rapid optimal person-centred care, which significantly improves outcomes. It was adopted by the AHSNs onto their national programme in early 2020 and later that year NHS-England invested in 18 eating disorder teams to implement FREED in their area.    

Presenter biographies 

Ambra Caruso has worked in health-related roles in charities and in the NHS for over 15 years. At the Health Innovation Network (HIN) she worked as a senior project manager in the musculoskeletal team, leading on the implementation of the ESCAPE-pain programme. Before joining the HIN in July 2016, Ambra worked for 10 years in the voluntary sector in various management roles, including managing a local Healthwatch and a health inclusion project for refugees. Ambra is currently working as Senior Transformation Manager for the South West London Integrated Care System (ICS), in neurosciences, neurology and pain.  

Dr Andrew Walker is a physiotherapist by training and has a PhD in implementation science from St George’s, University of London. His role at the HIN as head of evaluation and implementation science involves helping to build the evidence and practice of implementing innovation and evidence-based interventions across health and care in south London (and beyond). Andrew is a member of the NIHR ARC South London implementation and involvement team and a Board member for the UK Implementation Society. 

Ulrike Schmidt is professor of eating disorders at King’s College London, a consultant psychiatrist at the Maudsley Hospital and an NIHR senior investigator. A key focus of her research is on development of brief scalable psychological interventions for eating disorders. She has led the development of the FREED early intervention programme for eating disorders. She has published some 450 peer-reviewed papers and is the recipient of multiple awards for her work. 

Joining details    

This online seminar is aimed at ARC South London researchers and other interested collaborators. Please join using the following details:

If you have any questions about the event, please contact: sophie.lowry2@nhs.net