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Rapid evidence synthesis

What are we doing?
We produce rapid syntheses (summary and appraisal) of the available research evidence for innovations which are being considered by Health Innovation Manchester for adoption in Greater Manchester.


An innovation can be any intentional change in the provision of health or social care e.g. a treatment, test, or a change in working methods.


Why is evidence synthesis important?
Health and care systems have limited resources and it is important to prioritise the right innovations for adoption. Innovations can have positive and/or negative impacts when they are implemented. Looking at the research evidence tells us what is already known about the costs and effects of an innovation and how reliable that knowledge is (e.g., how much uncertainty there is about the effects). As well as helping to decide what innovations should be implemented, evidence synthesis highlights what extra information might be needed and what further research we might plan.


How do we do evidence synthesis?
We do an informed, efficient search for research evidence about the innovation. Where there is minimal research evidence, we may look at the evidence for other similar innovations. We begin by looking for existing, reliable summaries of the evidence (e.g., systematic reviews) but, where these do not exist, we look for individual studies. 


We prioritise studies that have used the best methods for comparing the innovation to a currently used alternative. We assess how reliable the evidence is, and also look at how relevant it is to the Greater Manchester region. This means that as well as looking at how strong the study methods were, we also look to see if the populations and healthcare settings (for example) were comparable to those in Greater Manchester. We have registered our methods at


Who are we working with?


More information:
For further information please contact Dr Gill Norman (lead researcher).