New research role will explore benefits of The CO-LAB

Catharine Rose headshot2023 - supplied by NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire ICB
Catharine Rose

The ICB has partnered with the University of Worcester to support a research fellow academic post, specifically dedicated to supporting The CO-LAB, which is based at Kidderminster Hospital and Treatment Centre.

The purpose of the new research role is to evaluate how the various digital healthcare technologies showcased at The CO-LAB, can benefit patient care and clinical teams in practice. Forging close links with the University of Worcester will also enable healthcare students to visit The CO-LAB to familiarise themselves with innovative technologies, which will equip them with the digital skills and experience needed for future career paths in the NHS.

The CO-LAB, which was opened in July 2022, provides a unique space for NHS teams, local businesses, schools, and universities to meet innovative technology providers, to explore collaboratively how digital technology can transform the delivery of patient care to benefit people living in Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

Amongst the latest cutting-edge technologies on display at The CO-LAB are a sensory pod, which offers a multi-sensory virtual reality (VR) experience to support mental health and wellbeing, a portable VR headset for chronic pain relief and anxiety, and a pod for remote consultations which simulates a consulting room and features equipment for recording an electrocardiogram (ECG) and checking basic observations.

Catharine Rose, who has a PhD in health psychology, has been appointed to the research fellow post for 15 months, and has already begun drawing up proposals for various research projects at The CO-LAB.

Catharine is planning to explore how the remote monitoring pod can be used to support telemedicine training for both healthcare students and staff. She is also planning to evaluate how a community cancer support group is using The CO-LAB to facilitate their recovery following cancer treatment.

Commenting on the partnership agreement, Simon Trickett, Chief Executive of NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire ICB, said:

“It’s great to see a partnership with the University of Worcester, which is focused on delivering the best patient care for the people of Herefordshire and Worcestershire.”

Professor Eleanor Bradley, College Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange and Professor of Health Psychology at University of Worcester said:

“The University of Worcester shares common interests with NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire ICB, in that both organisations are committed to tackling health inequalities and helping people live well and stay well in their local community. This agreement fosters a closer working relationship between us and will also enable healthcare students to gain first-hand experience of the technologies they will be using in their future careers in the health service.”

More information about The CO-LAB digital innovation hub can be found at:

The CO-LAB Digital Innovation Hub :: Herefordshire and Worcestershire Integrated Care System (