Welcoming Dr Yu Fu to the team

16th August 2021

We’re delighted to welcome Dr Yu (Maggie) Fu to the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC) team. Yu has been appointed as a Senior Research Associate – a joint position with both the AHSN and the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) NENC. We caught up with Yu to find out more about her new role…


My background

I’m an applied healthcare researcher with a background in medicine, public health, applied health research and I’ve conducted research studies that have good potential to impact policy and practice. My research interests span effective management of long-term conditions in primary and palliative care settings, and also development, evaluation and implementation of healthcare interventions. Hence my research includes individuals of all ages and life stages and crosses a wide range of health and social care settings.


Collaborative working across the AHSN and ARC

I took up the position of Senior Research Associate with Newcastle University at the beginning of June. The role involves working across the ARC and the AHSN to develop and lead projects identified or prioritised by local stakeholders.

One of the key areas of expertise I’m bringing to this role is my mixed methods methodology. This approach will be invaluable as we seek to capture experiences and learnings from across the system, using everything from clinical data to stakeholders’ perspectives to evaluate the effect of interventions, tailor health services and deliver benefits to patients.


Beneficial Changes Network in the North East and North Cumbria

I also serve as a link to the national NHS Beneficial Changes Network (BCN) which is a national programme being delivered regionally by ARC and AHSN collaborations focusing on rapid evaluation of COVID-19 related responses or initiatives. Over the last 18 months the way the health and social care system operates has changed significantly due to the pandemic, and the BCN aims to capture, evaluate and, where appropriate, embed that learning. This focuses mainly on four key themes:

  • Remote consultation
  • Remote monitoring
  • New ways of service delivery
  • Workforce

It’s highly likely we are going to live with the virus for a long time so it’s about adjusting and adapting the new ways of working to manage the post-pandemic life. My role is to understand whether the new initiatives will provide benefit for patients in the long term, and also to accelerate the evaluation and implementation of innovation that supports post-pandemic ways of working and builds service resilience.  I will be working with stakeholders regionally, such as the local integrated care system (ICS) and NHS regional teams, to understand local needs and complexities and to identify study topics. This communication across the regional health and social care system will enable us to generate rapid insights in relation to promising innovations developed during the pandemic.


Looking forward

A key challenge in my field is the limited access to health services. This exciting post offers me the opportunity to generate robust evidence on patients’ needs and the use of health services, therefore the outcomes of my research will have a greater impact on service planning and delivery, narrowing health inequalities and contributing to NHS Reset and Recovery. So I’m really looking forward to taking this initiative forward in the North East and North Cumbria and working closely with people across the system to build resilience and bring benefits to the patients we serve. Being part of the Enabling Methodology Theme of the ARC NENC, I also feel this role enables me to build local capacity and expertise for evaluation and implementation.


To find out more, please contact Yu at [email protected]