About the NIHR ARCs and AHSN NHS Insights Prioritisation Programme

Funded by the NIHR, the NIHR Applied Research Collaborations and Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) received £4.2m to collaborate in order to support post-pandemic priorities via the NHS Insights Prioritisation Programme (NIPP), which was set up to accelerate the evaluation and implementation of promising innovations – selected for their potential to support the evolution of post-pandemic ways of working, build service resilience and deliver ongoing benefits to patients. Our NIPP project focuses on  Improving early identification and management of chronic kidney disease.

The NIPP builds on a collaboration between the Beneficial Changes Network and the AAC. To find out more, visit the AAC website.

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a growing problem in the UK. 15% of UK population over 35 have CKD, but only 2 in 10 people with the disease are currently diagnosed. 

We collaborated with Imperial College Health Partners (ICHP), AstraZeneca, Imperial College Health Care NHS Trust Nephrology Department, and London Kidney Network on the NHS Insights Priorities Programme (NIPP), to improve the diagnosis and early management of chronic kidney disease in North West London.  The project brought together primary and secondary care clinicians and patients to redesign the NWL renal care pathway.  


ICHP provided overall programme management, ARC NWL provided Public Health Consultant leadership on health inequalities, population health and evaluation, led on quality improvement, literature review and patient public involvement and engagement (PPIE), AstraZeneca provided project management and conducted interviews with patients.  

The Project

The project comprises of four phases: discovery, co-design, testing and evaluation.

In the discovery phase data was collected from interviews with patients at risk of CKD, patients diagnosed with CKD, primary and secondary care clinicians as well as population data analysis and an academic literature review to understand the largest challenges and opportunities in the existing NWL pathways. The findings of the review were used to facilitate workshop sessions to determine the next steps of the project. 

Through our Patient, Public, Community Engagement and Involvement Theme, we helped to recruit, mentor and support patient members to lead on six workshop sessions. 

Graphic symbolising "20 Patients Engaged"
Graphic symbolising "9 CKD & 7 at risk patients interviewed"

Through these workshops, clinicians and patients co-designed pathway improvements together and these solutions were then tested in GP practices and with patients to get feedback. We applied the real-world data on health inequalities to investigate the needs of people with CKD and those at risk of CKD to inform the project. The results will highlight challenges and support changes to improve services in NWL.

Key findings: 

What's next?

We have developed CKD pathway which will be launched across  Primary Care Networks (PCN) in NWL and evaluated with support from the Discover-NOW CKD data study, analysing the CKD population over the last 10 years.

What will the new primary care CKD Pathway look like?

The new pathway will:

WSIC & Discover-NOW dataset

With the Discover-NOW team and ICHP our Information & Intelligence Theme we will be looking to improve the completeness and quality of the data to make it more useful for NHS activities as well as research.

Image of a patient in consultation with a healthcare professional. Text reads: Improving identification, early management and progression of chronic kidney disease. Download our Project Report Logos: National Institute for Health and Care Research Northwest London and Imperial College Health Partners

Evaluation of the NHS Insights Prioritisation Programme

An independent evaluation was carried out between February and May 2023. This retrospective review captured learning from the programme’s delivery and offered recommendations for post-NIPP activities and future innovation programmes within the NHS.

Image shows the cover of the NHS Insights Prioritisation Programme report. Text reads: Insights to help health and care teams implement innovation in real-world settings.