Innovation and Evaluation

Achieving transformation through innovation and evaluation

Why is it important?

To address the needs of the local healthcare system by identifying and supporting the uptake and scaling of effective innovations.

What do we hope to achieve?

To make a lasting impact on the health of the local population through improved translation of innovation into practice in complex systems, building capacity for evaluating and spreading improvement practices across Northwest London and beyond.

How will it benefit people in Northwest London?

  • Reduce variation in quality of care received

  • Improve access to innovations, technologies and support services

  • Improve care experience, quality of life, and outcomes

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Theme Projects

Innovation and Evaluation News and Events

Meet the Innovation and Evaluation Team

Matt Harris
Grazia Antonacci

Dr Matthew Harris

Theme Lead Innovation and Evaluation

Matthew is the Lead for the Innovation and Evaluation Theme in the NIHR NW London ARC. With a background as a primary care doctor in Brazil, and as a public health doctor in Mozambique and Ethiopia, after his PhD and then qualification as a NHS Consultant in Public Health, Matthew was appointed as a Clinical Senior Lecturer in Public Health Medicine at Imperial College London in 2016.


His research interests focus on how the NHS and other high-income country health systems can learn from low-income country health systems through the adoption of frugal health technologies and models of care.

Dr Grazia Antonacci

Deputy Theme Lead Innovation and Evaluation


Grazia is an applied healthcare researcher, consultant, and manager, passionate about improving quality and efficiency of health systems and services. Her research interests include the adoption, implementation, spread and sustainability of technological and organizational innovations in healthcare systems. She is particularly experienced in systems and process analysis and re-design, using quality improvement and industrial engineering approaches.

Grazia has a Master's Degree in Science in Industrial and Management Engineering, a Postgraduate Master's Degree in Management of Healthcare Organizations and a PhD in Enterprise Engineering with a focus on healthcare systems improvement. Before joining Imperial College, Grazia worked in pharmaceutical and consulting firms. Her early career included 10 years as a manager at an Italian research hospital.

Dr Laura Lennox

Dr Laura Lennox

Improvement Science & Health Improvement Lead


Laura is the Improvement Science and Health Improvement Lead at NIHR ARC NWL within the Department of Primary Care and Public Health at Imperial College London. Laura is an applied healthcare researcher and manager with expertise in implementation science and quality improvement. Her work aims to improve outcomes for patients and the public by improving the quality, delivery and efficiency of health and care services; and increasing the sustainability of the healthcare systems.

Prior to joining Imperial College in 2011, she worked as a registered nurse in Ontario, Canada. Laura obtained a Master’s in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2010 and was awarded her PhD from the Department of Medicine at Imperial College in 2019. Dr Lennox’s current research focuses on understanding evidenced-based implementation, sustainability and spread in complex systems.

Dr Connie Junghans
Senior Clinical Fellow

Connie is a part time Senior Clinical Fellow on the theme. She combines her academic work with clinical work as a GP in Westminster and as Public Health Specialist at Westminster City Council and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. She is also a SPIN fellow in Westminster, looking at how the newly created community roles in primary care can be integrated into existing services. She is passionate about community led preventative Primary Care.

With her role spanning local authority, academia and clinical care she is uniquely positioned to lead on the first Community Health Worker pilot in the UK, currently running in Churchill Gardens in Westminster. She is interested in establishing a national role for this model which comprehensively addresses community resilience and cohesion, early prevention as well as crisis intervention, and through its proportionate universality, integration with health and social care and comprehensive cradle to grave approach at a household level offers a cost-effective way to provide continuity and holistic primary care.

Mark Skopec

Mark Skopec
PhD Student

Mark has been a Research Assistant at Imperial College since September 2018. His research and publications include investigating subconscious biases in the knowledge diffusion process in higher education and barriers to the uptake and implementation of innovations from low- and middle-income countries in healthcare. Mark joined the NHR ARC NWL Innovation & Evaluation Theme in 2020.


His work for the I&E Theme has focused on developing and delivering the Collaborative Learning Network, an interactive workshop for healthcare professionals and academics based in NW London and beyond.

Chandni N Hindocha
PhD Student

Chandni is a PhD student at the Department of Primary Care and Public Health at Imperial College London, specifically working within the Innovation and Evaluation theme, funded by the NIHR ARC NWL. Her PhD work focuses on the conceptualisation of frugal innovation and its acceptability and adoption in the UK’s NHS. Chandni is also working alongside Dr Laura Lennox on evaluating the implementation of community projects funded by Imperial Health Charity.


She has an advanced background in Psychiatry, Pharmacy, Cellular Pathology and qualitative research methods. Prior to starting her PhD, Chandni graduated with a Master’s in Neuroscience from Kings College London.

Giulia Dallera
Research Assistant

Giulia completed a BSc in Neuroscience from University College London before obtaining a Master of Public Health from Imperial College, where she did her research project on corruption in European healthcare systems. Giulia joined the NIHR ARC NWL Innovation & Evaluation Theme in 2021 as a Research Assistant.


She has conducted research assessing the potential of frugal innovation for adoption in neonatal care in the NHS, as well as evaluation of healthcare interventions using mixed-methods research. Giulia is also a Teaching Assistant on the Global Health Innovations module as part of the Master of Public Health at Imperial College.

Sandra Jayacodi
Lynn Laidlaw

Sandra Jayacodi
Public Partner


Sandra a former solicitor and a trustee for a mental health charity embarked on her journey as a PPIE Public Contributor following her own lived experiences of poor health. She is an Improvement Leader Fellow of NIHR CLAHRC NWL now known as NIHR Applied Research Collaboration NWL. Sandra holds a portfolio of profiles as PPIE lay advisor and or representative for various health care research studies and quality improvement projects. She is the lay chair for Imperial BRC Public Advisory Panel and is a service user advisor for CNWL NHS Quality Improvement Program Board.

Lynn Laidlaw
Public Partner


Lynn lives with a rare, autoimmune Rheumatic disease and multiple long term condition. A 4 year diagnostic odyssey prompted her interest in patient and public involvement and co production, and she is now involved in work across the UK and beyond as a patient and public contributor to research.


Lynn is an experienced grant reviewer for NIHR and others, lay review for Journals and has been involved in all aspects of the research cycle including involvement with the Health Research Authority and organisations such as HDRUK and the Academy of Medical Sciences. She is a Co-Investigator on a number of grants and have been a patient researcher and Co-Investigator on a recent, co produced qualitative, funded research project. She is also a Visiting Fellow at the University of Bournemouth.