NIHR Blog

Professor Stephen Smye, NIHR Clinical Research Network Specialty Cluster Lead, King’s College London

A network approach to delivering imaging research

Author:

Professor Stephen Smye, NIHR Clinical Research Network Specialty Cluster Lead, King’s College London

Date: 24 August 2017

 

When I joined the NHS as a trainee medical physicist in 1981, I worked in nuclear medicine. Gamma cameras were still relatively new and considered (with good reason) rather temperamental; that 'unclear' is an anagram of 'nuclear' seemed entirely appropriate. Since that time, spectacular scientific advances in imaging science have been translated into clinical practice and imaging is one of the key drivers of the 'big data' revolution in medicine.

Today, new medical imaging technologies are driving significant advances in patient care. I want the NHS to be the 'go to' place for imaging research not only because, as a physicist I find the science so exciting, but also because access to research is good for patients, the NHS as an organisation and the economy. So, how can we ensure that the £300m annual investment in NHS infrastructure for research, which comprises the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN), supports the best imaging research effectively?

Earlier this year, an NIHR CRN imaging steering group with senior representatives from King’s College London (one of the five partner universities in the NIHR CRN), University of Cambridge, the Royal College of Radiologists and other professional organisations organised a workshop entitled Delivering Imaging Research in the NHS. The energy and insights of the 70 attendees were evident, as we heard talks on five key areas, including big data and the NHS imaging workforce.

     

This week, we published the findings from the workshop in a new report. Crucially, the report includes a roadmap detailing how we intend to work with our partners to improve the delivery of imaging studies in the NHS across five areas: workforce, science, infrastructure, industry and engagement and public and patient involvement. Workstreams for the different areas are also available to view alongside the report.

We’re now looking for people to get involved in one of the five workstreams. If you’re interested in being part of a newly set up NIHR CRN imaging network that we lead on this work, let us know.

I hope that the report and workplan does justice to the shared aspirations of those that took the time to attend the workshop earlier this year. The success of its outcome will be measured by what we do in practice. I look forward to working with you as we look to advance the delivery of imaging research in the NHS.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the NIHR, NHS or the Department of Health.
  • Summary:
    Stephen Smye writes about how new medical imaging technologies are driving significant advances in patient care.
  • Year:
    2017
  • Author:

    Professor Stephen Smye, NIHR Clinical Research Network Specialty Cluster Lead, King’s College London

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