Ask the Institute

Ask the Institute is our advisory service providing hands-on, specialist, women and children’s health-focussed input to all areas of research and evaluation. Our service draws on our experienced expert advisors as well as a large pool of associates available thanks to our connections across King's Health Partners.

Submit a query

To submit a query, please fill out our query form here.

Steps to completing a query

Ask the Institute provides a bespoke service as each enquiry is unique. The flowchart below outlines the general Ask the Institute process.

ATI flow process

Outline of the process:

  1. Submit a query;
  2. 30 minute meeting to scope project plans;
  3. Proposal drafted (including timelines, end results, costs etc);
  4. Proposals agreed and contracts signed;
  5. Work undertaken;
  6. Completion and feedback.

We acknowledge receipt of initial enquiries and will contact you to arrange a follow-up conversation to clarify your research or evaluation needs, timescales and available funding within five working days.

Based on the follow-up conversation we will develop a research brief, which includes information on the background to your enquiry, aims and objectives of your enquiry, and what our researchers will provide.

Once you are happy with this research brief, a research proposal with clear deliverables and, if appropriate funding expectations are agreed.

Once all are happy with the plan, the research work begins.

Read about previous project supported by Ask the Institute here.

Watch this video to find out more about Ask the Institute

Animation explaining the Women and Children's Health Ask the Institute service - YouTube

Example queries

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS FT Frailty Training Analysis 

The Department of Ageing and Health and the Simulation and Interactive Learning Centre at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS FT carried out a staff survey of 86 individuals, before and after the administration of a, inter-professional in-situ frailty-based clinical scenario training programme. Participants attended 19 sessions and then self-rated their abilities in areas such as situational awareness, communication, and teamwork. 

How did we support this project? 

They requested support from Ask the Institute to analyse the data. 

What happened? 

Ask the Institute researchers carried an analysis of before and after data, comparing competency scores and providing summary statistics. They contributed to the write-up and publication of this data in a peer reviewed journal, concluding that in-situ simulation can improve self-efficacy of clinical and human factors skills related to frailty. 

South Thames Paediatric Network 

The South Thames Paediatric Network is hosted by Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust with regional representation from south east London, south west London, Kent, Surrey and Sussex. The Network is formed of Operational Delivery Networks which aim to ensure that children in the region have equal access to excellent care and that the workforce is supported to meet future Demands.  

How did we support this project? 

The STPN contacted Ask the Institute with 3 questions:    

1.How many High Dependency (paediatric Level 2) beds are recommended per population (0-16y) in the UK? 

2.What are the 0-16y populations per ICS/CCG for south east and south west London, Kent, Surrey and east Sussex? 

3.What number of 14-16y olds across the 5 STPN regions (south east London, south west London, Kent, east Sussex and Surrey) live with a chronic condition – obesity, cancer, asthma, epilepsy, long term ventilation, neurodisability? 

Ask the Institute researchers carried out a scoping review and complied and analysed population-level data to answer the STPN’s questions. 

What happened? 

Ask the Institute prepared a report summarising the findings of this work which was used by the Network to plan services for children and young people across the regions. 

Women’s Health Network

Between October 2022 and April 2023, Link workers from the Hill’s, Brook and Dale Primary Care Network (PCN) implemented a six-month quality improvement project funded by Healthy London Partnership (now Transformation Partners in Health and Care). The Women’s Health Network (WHN) was set up to engage and support cohorts of patients aged 20 – 70 years, these cohorts included: carers, patients with chronic pain, the socially isolated, those who experience anxiety and depression, and frequent or likely users of the social prescribing service. The WHN aimed to create space for peer engagement, build awareness of - and access to - community-based support, and provide accessible health education.   

During the initial six-month pilot, the WHN commissioned an evaluation of the programme.  

How did we support this project? 

Ask the Institute conducted a mixed methods process evaluation to understand what worked well about the pilot programme, for whom, and why, with a specific focus on the experience of Link workers. The aims of the evaluation were: 

  1. How has the Women’s Health Network pilot scheme been implemented? 
  2. What are the barriers experienced by facilitators for the successful implementation (or otherwise) of this pilot scheme?

What happened? 

Our evaluation showed that the WHN is highly valued by the women who attend, they report feeling more confident and less socially isolated. Patients have also benefitted from increased peer support and having access to clinical support in a safe, familiar environment. The WHN is beneficial for allied healthcare professionals, who have noticed improved relationships with their patients and a reduction in their workload. We provided the WHN with recommendations that will help them improve the programme and considerations for their plans to scale up.