Commissioning and joint planning of interventions to reduce alcohol-related harms

Research utilisation and knowledge mobilisation in the commissioning and joint planning of interventions to reduce alcohol-related harms - a study in the co-creation of knowledge.

Commissioning and joint planning of interventions to reduce alcohol-related harms

We know that services based on research evidence of 'what works' lead to better outcomes, but in public health, the evidence-base is often patchy or contested, making it difficult to know precisely what interventions to support for the best outcomes.

In practice other concerns may 'trump' research evidence and offer more pragmatic solutions to inform commissioning decisions. A research team from the Universities of Teesside, Durham, Northumbria and Sunderland, led by Professor Rosemary Rushmer, has investigated how research evidence and other types of data and information are used to inform commissioning decisions for reducing alcohol-related harms. This is a nationally funded NIHR: HS&DR project and part of Fuse (

The research has taken place over two years in two in-depth case study sites - one in England (across a purchaser provider split), and the other in Scotland (through joint planning) to see if organisational arrangements make any difference to how easy (or not) it is to use research evidence.

We have worked with our research participants (in co-creation), rather than doing research on them (they picked the topic, helped interpret findings, and addressed issues). Through interviews, observations of meetings and analysis of key documents we found that there are key points in which research evidence enters decision making and what helps this. However, many other types of information, data, local intelligence and know-how are often more useful and used frequently. We plan to issue a short questionnaire on our findings to managers, commissioners and practitioners across the UK. Questionnaire results will be shared in a national workshop (November 5th 2013), to prompt debate so participants can help us understand if our findings apply elsewhere.


Applicants: Rosemary Rushmer PI (Teesside); Ann Crosland (Sunderland); David Hunter (Durham); Jo Gray (Northumbria); Lynda Cox (NHS England); Liam Hughes (Local Government Group, retired); Carole Tannahll and Pete Seaman (Glasgow Centre for Population Health). Researchers: (Mandy Cheetham (Teesside); Karen McCabe (Sunderland); Peter Van Der Graaf (Teesside).