Return to case studies

Healthcare, Not For Profit


Improving the research finance function

Services Provided

  • Improving Support Functions

The Director of Research Support at UCLH was receiving numerous complaints from clinical researchers and others about poor service from the research finance section. He commissioned a review to establish root causes of these complaints, and to review the way in the team was organised and working with a view to making improvements.

It quickly became clear that there was no culture of customer service in the team and that it worked largely in functional silos. Calls were not returned and papers were not produced to agreed deadlines for meetings. Figures were not trusted and a large backlog of income had built up that had not been allocated back for the benefit of the research community. Processes and procedures were patchy and out of date, including those governing reporting.

The review made recommendations for change, and Rod designed and supported a programme of change that consisted of a number of workstreams to develop a culture of customer service by:

  • developing a simple dashboard that summarised the team's inputs, outputs and any backlogs arising 
  • understanding  the way in which workload was allocated and managed in the team
  • looking at specific improvements to systems and IT
  • reviewing and updating processes and procedures
  • examining examples of complaints to determine root causes and actions to address
  • introducing regular team meetings for management to review progress on these workstreams


Over the subsequent period, the income backlogs were cleared and a process put in place for representatives of research customers to monitor and influence progress with futher improvements.

The Partners

Return to Case StudiesContact Us