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Research – integrated health and social care

Keeping it Personal (January – December 2014)

Keeping it Personal (KiP) is part of the People Powered Health & Wellbeing programme. Through the project we sought to understand how health and social care partnerships can support more person-centred and integrated practice when working in a way that focuses on people first. The KiP project was managed by Iriss.

Over a 12-month period KiP brought together health and social care practitioners, people who access services and support and their carers, for two six-day long workshops. In North West Glasgow, the focus was on people with dementia and in the Motherwell area, people with heart failure.

The project set out to achieve the following outcomes:

  1. Increased capacity and capability among people using services to be active partners at individual and service level to influence their own health and wellbeing by contributing to the design and delivery of more person-centred care and support, including peer support.
  2. Increased capacity and capability among people delivering services to work collaboratively with people using support and services
  3. Enhanced understanding/relationships/collaboration between statutory and third sector
  4. Cultural transformation towards an asset-based, empowerment model.

The evaluation report provides more detail about the learning that took place at project level and the aspects that can help or hinder progress. Key achievements, challenges and learning points are discussed and summarised in the report’s conclusion.

Keywords: co-production, co-design, person-centred care, peer-support, asset-based, cultural transformation

Keeping it Personal evaluation report

KiP blog:

Related publications: People Powered Health & Wellbeing

Contributed by: Kerry Musselbrook, IRISS (Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services)



Participation: its impact on services and the people who use them, 2019

This Insight paper explores the evidence and implications for practice of people’s participation in the design and delivery of health and social care.

Key points:

  • Participation is a priority in many health and social care policies which encourages practice to encompass consultation, engagement, co-design and co-production
  • There is evidence that projects and services which use co-production methods, such as co-delivery of services, are beneficial for people
  • People who use services make valuable contributions to the design and delivery of health and social care
  • There is still a need for more evidence on costs savings, social return on investment and impact on health and wellbeing, developed and delivered through participation
  • The long-term effects of participation, particularly indirect effects, can be difficult to measure and attribute to participation approaches
  • Key implications for practice: participation approaches such as co-design and delivery of training and more formalised roles must be prioritised to encourage an assets-based approach in everyday practice
  • Evaluation of participation should consider the impact on the people who use services which have been developed through participation

Keywords: participation, co-production, co-design, engagement, co-delivery of services, evidence

Contributed by: Gail MacMillan – University of Strathclyde; Kerry Musselbrook – IRISS (Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services)



Translating Knowledge into Action: health and social care (2013 – 2019)

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) are involved in collaborative partnerships between the National Health Service, public services and Higher Education Institutions. The collaborations are focused on improving patient outcomes through the conduct and application of applied health research and evidence-based implementation.

The CLAHRCs are undertaking research in to a number of themes including Translating Knowledge in to Action. ‘Action’ refers to change in how we deliver or experience health and social care. We are particularly interested in the contribution of creative practices and design and participatory working to deliver successful change.

Keywords: knowledge translation, action, co-production, participatory working

Project overview:

Range of projects:

Related publications:

A co-design approach to service improvement resulted in teams exhibiting characteristics that support innovation (2017), March 2017, Daniel Wolstenholme, Cheryl Grindell, Andrew Dearden

Contributed by: Angela Tod, Daniel Wolstenholme – NIHR CLAHRC Yorkshire & Humber Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust



Co:Create: co-producing commissioning (2018 – ongoing)

Co:Create are based at the South Yorkshire Housing Association. We’ve been funded by the Department of Health to develop commissioning practice, and help design personalised and responsive services that effectively integrate the needs and expectations of customers. Co:Create is supported by a voluntary Project Advisory Group which benefits from extensive expertise in co-production and health and social care commissioning.

At Co:Create we believe that the best services are designed by the people that use them on a daily basis. We do this by genuinely engaging with real people from the earliest possible stage of designing a service – co-designing, co-delivering and co-evaluating services with current and future users, as well as professionals.

Keywords: co-creation, co-design, co-evaluation, community-based, commissioning

Co:Create website:

Our 2018 portfolio of projects includes:






Contributed by: Morwenna Foden, LiveWell – Co:Create, South Yorkshire Housing Association



The perspectives of service managers/planners regarding how co-creation is understood, implemented and sustained as part of improvement programme delivery within the health and social care context in Scotland: A qualitative study. (January 2019-December 2019)

The study is funded by the Scottish Improvement Science Collaborating Centre (Dundee University). It examines how service managers/planners understand, implement and sustain co-creation as part of improvement programme delivery within the health and social care organisations across Scotland.

More broadly, the project seeks to enhance the evidence-base of the implementation of co-creation as part of public sector reform agendas.

The research questions that underpin this study are:

  1. What are the perceived impacts of co-creation on service improvements?
  2. How do service managers/planners evidence the effectiveness of co-creation?
  3. What are the facilitators and barriers to sustaining co-creation in improvement programmes in Scotland?
  4. How does the social, policy and political context shape the sustainability of co-creation in health and social care in Scotland?

Keywords: co-creation, co-production, health and social care, sustainability, public sector reform, integration

Project overview here in pdf provided by the author

Contributed by: John Connolly – University of the West of Scotland



Co-production without experts: a study of people involved in community health and wellbeing service delivery.

Studies in Continuing Education 37:2, 2015

Co-production has been widely promoted as a means of revolutionising health and social care. Service providers/professionals are tasked with working in partnership with service users, recognising their experiences and knowledge as critical to the success of the interaction. Fundamental to the co-production model is the notion that service providers and service users are separate groups, with different interests, identities, training and work protocols.

This paper reports findings from a pilot research project which examined co-productive practices in two different health and social care organisations in the UK in 2012. In both settings we observed a range of initiatives in which most of the facilitators were people who had initially been service recipients, but become service deliverers in the spirit of co-production. Analysis of fieldwork notes and interview transcripts indicated that though facilitators developed expertise, they were reluctant to call themselves ‘experts’ and their learning was rarely recognised by them as expertise.

To progress co-production practice and research, we suggest that more attention needs to be paid to the ways that knowledge, experience and expertise are distributed across organisations, as well as the significance of context in service change.

Keywords: co-production, health and social care, facilitators, continuing professional development, expertise

Contributed by: Alison Ledger – University of Leeds, Bonnie Slade – University of Glasgow



Volunteering Help Create Better Health and Care. An evidence review.


This report was commissioned by Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett founder of HelpForce to review the current evidence on the effectiveness, deployment and impact of volunteers in the NHS, to support the organisation’s work in maximizing the potential of volunteering in health and social care. This report’s remit was to pull together evidence to help answer the following questions:

  • What volunteer / lay roles are effective in health and care?
  • What do we know about the effective recruitment, management and deployment of volunteers (in any setting)?
  • What evidence is there about the impact of volunteers in health and social care, within England health and social care organisations, and from voluntary sector initiatives working into health and social care?

It becomes clear, as soon as you look closely at this complex subject, that the dividing lines between NHS volunteering through formal structures, and volunteering through the third sector to support healthcare and recovery are not clear. The contention of this report is that both sides of this blurred division may be able to learn from each other, and that the most significant change that is required is cultural.

Keywords: volunteering, health, social care, review


Contributed by: Rebecca Malby – London South Bank University, David Boyle – New Economics Foundation, Tessa Crilly – Independent Consultant



Introducing A People’s Academy into Higher Education: A co-production approach to sustained wellbeing. (2018)

Working as a co-production innovation hub within London Southbank University, the People’s Academy celebrates inclusion of those with a lived experience of health and social care services into the academic community as valued members of the teaching and learning team.

The PA approach to entrepreneurial education and work-based learning across the HEI setting is one of the first of its kind. This paper outlines core practices to achieve innovative co-production approach that others may wish to replicate. Our focus is on the key impacts of an entrepreneurial education approach, particularly:

  • the work-based learning experience students achieve within the Higher Education Institution setting, preparing them for clinical placements and client encounters
  • innovative activities that the People’s Academy work-streams have encouraged throughout the academic staff via critically creative working practices as a process of entrepreneurial education.

The work and enthusiasm of the People’s Academy as an authentic social engagement process rippling across the ‘University’ experience; whether for students in the classroom or when working alongside academic staff, is identifiable in all aspects of academic activities. Most importantly is a positive gain in terms of knowledge, skills and confidence for the People’s Academy members themselves and their own wellbeing enhancement.

Keywords: co-production, higher education, work-based education, entrepreneurial education, people’s academy

Project website:

Project overview: Introducing A People’s Academy into Higher Education: A co-production approach to sustained wellbeing. Higher Education Skills and Workbased Learning 8:1 2018 Sally Hardy, Rebecca Malby, Carol Chamney, Anam Farooq, Gwendoline Young, Nina Hallett, Xavier White, Warren Turner.


Contributed by: Rebecca Malby – London South Bank University



Digital storytelling for inter-professional collaborative practice to develop quality and service improvements.

Social Work Education: The International Journal, 34:6 2018

Trish Hafford-Letchfield, Asanka Dayananda, Daniela Collins

My specialist research interests are in cross-disciplinary support for improving the quality of care for older people from marginalised populations and intersectionality and equality issues in social work. I have a particular interest in engaging with the arts to promote user involvement and co-production.

‘Service Development and Quality Improvement’ is a professional development module within an inter-professional leadership programme accessed by health and social care professionals. It focuses on acquiring skills and knowledge in quality enhancement, quality improvement and service user and patient involvement essential to transforming services. Emphasis is on the co-production of service improvement and enhancing skills in using information technology and different media supported by a virtual and blended learning environment. The Ideas in Action digital storytelling case study used a virtual learning activity supported by a combination of multimedia, discussion boards, group work and structured activities to engage students in peer support. Aspects of the digital storytelling process provide a useful distance learning tool for engaging different professionals in identifying common issues in improving services. Learning digital storytelling within a collaborative virtual learning environment gave rise to three key observable outcomes: a leveling effect in inter-professional collaboration; enhancing curiosity as a vehicle for enriching inter-professional exchange; and emphasizing service users and patient perspective in service improvements.

Keywords: digital storytelling, collaborative learning, service improvement, service user outcomes, virtual learning environment


Contributed by: Trish Hafford-Letchfield, Middlesex University Centre for Co-production of Mental Health Research




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